NOTABLE DOMINICANS: Celestine Edwards – Spokesman and Editor

Celestine Edwards. Photo: Library of 19th Century Photography

Samuel Jules Celestine Edwards is said to be the first black publisher in Britain. 

The youngest of nine children, Edwards was born on the island of Dominica on 28th December, 1858. During his teen years, he formed radical opinions on politics and became a supporter of human rights.

In the 1870’s he moved to Britain and became a successful evangelist for the Methodist Church.

One of the highlights of Edwards’ career were his speeches, which he gave across the UK, particularly on ‘The Negro Race and Social Darwinism’ and ‘Liquor Traffic to West Africa’.

Below is an extract from one of his speeches which was delivered in in Newcastle.

My ancestors proudly trod the sands of the African continent; but from their home and friends were dragged into the slave mart and sold to the planters of the West Indies. The very thought that my race should have been so grievously wronged is almost more than I can bear. Of the condition of my people today I but tarry to say that by diligence, thought, and care they have given the lie to many a false prophet who, prior to their Emancipation, sought to convince the world that the black man was in all respects unfit for freedom. Their position today is one over which I proudly rejoice. To their future I look with confidence.

London, however he suffered poor health and returned to his family in Dominica in May 1894. He then died at his brother’s house in July of the same year. (Note that according to another account, Celestine died at his brother’s house in Barbados).  

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  1. May 3, 2017

    That’s a NEG MAROON for real!

    May 2, 2017

    all this Dominican history should be in the history books used to teach children!

  3. To the one who claims to be “Let The Truth Be Known – Origina” I am about to prove to you that you lied when you made the claim that Darwin was anti God and anti Christian.

    Here is what you do not know and could have never known unless you were a biology major, majored in some discipline which required biology as a prerequisite.

    The history Of A Biological Theory: Darwin’s Theory OF Evolution!

    “The proposal that one type of organism can evolve gradually into another type over a longer time provides a good example of how an idea is developed into a hypothesis and, after much testing, is eventually accepted as a theory.

    Charles Robert Darwin – 1809 -1882; was an English naturalist who, after thirty years of study and observation, wrote one of the most famous and influential books of all time. The full title of the book: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the…

    • Continue:

      The full title of the book: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, expressed both the nature of its subject and the way in which Darwin treated it.

      The book created a sensation when it was published, and the ideas expressed in it have played a central role in the development of human thought ever since.” In Darwin’s time, it was traditional to believe that the various kinds of organisms and their individual structures resulted from direct actions of the God. To this day many people still believe this to be true.

      Species were held to be specially created, and unchangeable, or immutable, over the course of time. In contrast to such views, a number of old time philosophers had presented the view that living things must have changed during the history of life on earth. “Darwin proposed natural selection as a coherent, logical explanation for this process, and he brought his ideas to…

    • Continue:

      “Darwin proposed natural selection as a coherent, logical explanation for this process, and he brought his ideas to wide public attention.

      Darwin book, as its title indicates, presented a conclusion that differed sharply from conventional wisdom. Although this theory did not challenge; note: “the existence of a Divine Creator, Darwin argued “that this Creator did not create things and then leave them forever unchanged.” Instead, Darwin’s believed; God expressed himself through the operation of natural laws that produced constant change. and improvement, or evolution.

      Note, Facts or whatever your name. Such views put Darwin at odds with most illiterate people of his time, as they believed in a literal interpretation of the Bible, and accepted the idea of a fixed, and constant world. Darwin’s theory was a revolutionary one that deeply troubled Darwin himself, and many of his contemporaries; if anything I have proved Darwin believed in God, so where you got…

    • Finally:

      Darwin’s theory was a revolutionary one that deeply troubled Darwin himself, and many of his contemporaries; if anything I have proved Darwin believed in God, so where you got this crap that the man was anti-God and anti Christian is a blatant lie! You believe so much in Catholicism that you have no time to read a variety books, and educate yourself.

      That which you read is text book material, you will not get that via google either!

  4. Let The Truth Be Known - Original
    May 2, 2017

    Interesting article. He was a highly intelligent man who made the most of his opportunity and life. One who kept fruitfully busy. An impressive life.

  5. amanda
    May 2, 2017

    Samuel Jules Celestine Edwards
    28th December, 1858

  6. amanda
    May 2, 2017

    Celestine Edwards, the youngest of nine children, was born on the island of Dominica on 28th December, 1858. At the age of 12 he became a sailor. During the next few years he developed radical opinions about politics and became a strong supporter of human rights.

    In the 1870s Edwards he settled in Edinburgh, Scotland. He became involved in the temperance movement. Later he lived in Sunderland before moving to London. Edwards worked as a building labourer but in his spare time he made speeches in Victoria Park about issues such as slavery.

    Edwards helped Walter Hawkins write his autobiography, From Slavery to Bishopric (1891). Hawkins, a former slave, eventually became a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada. He also became editor of the weekly Christian newspaper, Lux (1892-1895). Edwards also became executive secretary of the Society for the Recognition of the Brotherhood of Man and edited its monthly journal, Fraternity (1893-1897).

    Edwards continued to make…

    • “December, 1858. At the age of 12 he became a sailor. ”

      I keep saying something is wrong; if at age twelve, he became a sailor, that tell me he had very little time to educate himself scholastically. To be a Methodist Minister of Religion, even in these days one have to be at least secondary educated, and when you are selected the religion ensures theology school in college.

      When did he get his scholastic education, which could have lasted twenty-four years, remember he died somewhere at thirty-six years old!

  7. freshwaterlake
    May 2, 2017


  8. Tj
    May 2, 2017

    Extremely proud

    Can some more information be sought ?

    • Let The Truth Be Known - Original
      May 2, 2017

      Why do you not Google Celestine Edwards, Spokesman and Editor.
      I will also try to do so, if it is on Google. It depends how well-known he was.

  9. Something seems fishy about this, and makes it hard for me to believe:

    The story said he was born in 1858 and moved ( immigrate to England) in 1870!

    So we have 1870 – 1858 = 12

    This is an indication that he was twelve years old when he immigrated to England. The story went on today he died somewhere in 1894. So, lets do this 1894 -1858 = 36 years, so that means he died at age 36, in Barbados.

    Something is wrong, how could he have traveled to a white world at the age of twelve by himself for what purpose, a background of his parent might solve the riddle. I even have a problem with his hair style of the day, which appears to be something out of the 1960’s

    I am not saying the story is false, all I am saying within that period the British and Spanish, and French were still in the process colonizing the world, they were sending white priest and Methodists into our country to brain wash us. The issue here is moving to England at age twelve!

    • Man bite dogs
      May 2, 2017

      @ Fransisco, you know i am not a fan of yours, but after reading the story of Celestine Edwards it didn’t cut much grass to be honest, and for that reason you could be right.

      • Well man bite dog; wether we are a fan of another, or not; if we look carefully into the comments another person writs, we might just find a variable that causes us to see a little bit of truth.

        I am convinced that something is not altogether authentic with that story.

    • Let The Truth Be Known - Original
      May 2, 2017

      In those days some young people traveled to other lands without parental permission. He could have decided to disappear and go to another land. It is stated he was a stow-a-way. This explains why he migrated so young.
      If it is said, he did not give Dominica as his land-of-birth, he probably had a reason which is also why he left Dominica as a youth. Times were not the same as it is today for youths.

      May 2, 2017

      Telemaque… Dominica was the last island in the Caribbean to be colonized and the first British colony in the region to have internal self rule and a black legislature! even during the short time slavery existed on the Island those held in forced servitude had their own plot of land to work and feed themselves. You may be confusing American history with Dominican history. Caribbean people were actively fighting Europeans and escaping to Islands like St Vincent, Grenada and Jamaica to live free. Haiti was the country who helped Simon Bolivar free South America after he escaped and sought refuge, ti was the only country who took him in and provided him with weapons, ships and soldiers to go back and liberate South America.

      • “Dominica was the last island in the Caribbean to be colonized and the first British colony in the region to have internal self rule and a black legislature! ”

        You see if I was an idiot, I would have believed that, and if you are correct, then that means the account given in elementary school in Dominica in regards to Columbus discovery of the islands in the Caribbean are all wrong!

        Now if you tell me that the colonial powers were not interested in Dominica, as such Dominica remained the most undeveloped, I will agree with you. I am not going into details, except to say Dominica was always in no mans land. First dominated by the Spanish, then the French, then the English, again the French, and ultimately the British, until Independence.

        That is why at one time Dominica was among the Leeward Islands, and then they linked it to the Windward Islands. Controversy always engulfed Dominica, even to this day! And don’t you ever suggest I am confusing anything America to what…

  10. Let The Truth Be Known - Original
    May 1, 2017

    ‘Social Darwinism.’ Darwin was anti-God; anti-Christian.
    A concerned man in his own way on these matters, his life and death are worth researching. I hope his soul is in a good place.

    • Are you not tired of lying?

      Darwin’s theory of evolution, and survival of the fittest did not say anything about he was anti-God, or anti-Christian. You are lying again!

      I don’t think anyone who majored in Biology, or simply took a few class in Biology; human biology, or biology can say they read a single paragraph in any biology text book where it said that Darwin was anti God, or anti Christian!

      I challenge you or anyone who has information to support that lie, to quote a paragraph, in any biology text book where I can confirm that lie! Facts, I told you before you grab for straws, and throw it out there, but many of us are better educated than you, and knows plenty more than you okay, and will expose you when we catch you in a lie!

    • Facts you are ignorant, you just keep talking fart: If you want to know something about Darwin: get hold of this Book: Raven & Johnson Biologgy Forth Edition.

      You are always talking crapo as you are smart, what the hell socialism are you talking about, has anyone told you Darwin was a communists?

      Socialism, and communism are one of the same thing. I do not think you are to old to go to school and educated yourself. In North America people go to school (college) at any age, you might do yourself a favor by getting an education, rather than writing lies, and talking about things you do not know.

  11. me2
    May 1, 2017

    Good Stuff.. need to see more of this on your site…

  12. freedom fighter
    May 1, 2017

    Was he ashamed to be call a Dominican? Just asking.

  13. Mary Black
    May 1, 2017

    Very interesting. Why was he a shame of his mother land and gave Antigua as his birth place. Typical Dominican, he is just like the other Dominicans I have come across abroad who was a shame to say that they were from Dominica. Now they all want to declare that they are from Dominica only bevause it is now being publicise.

  14. I am Dominica....Are you?
    May 1, 2017

    DNO great story. Thank you!

  15. bro
    May 1, 2017

    I liked this, you guys should do more- if its not to difficult to get such info.

    Thumbs up!

  16. Pioneer
    May 1, 2017

    Very proud

    • Proud Dominican
      May 1, 2017

      Read the article… he never claimed Dominica. He gave his place of birth as Antigua.

        May 2, 2017

        not claiming your child doesn’t make the child someone else’s!

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