THE LOTUS-PLANTER. BY THEODORE TILTON.
Publication:The Blackburn Times
Date:April 25, 1863
This poem by Theodore Tilton uses the thematic trope of orientalism to makes it abolitionist argument. Perhaps what marks this out as unusual as an anti-slavery text of this time is that the moral justification comes from what may be a Christian monotheistic ‘God’ to a Hindu, the ‘Brahmin’. The story certainly seems to echo the tale of the ‘Good Samaritan’. This can either be read as an attempt to universalise anti-slavery morality or to impose western religious authority on an eastern subject. In any case, the imagery here is unusual, as is the formal presentation in stanzaic couplets. – SR