The Christian belief in the fundamental unity of the human race clashed with fashionable theories of polygenesis and African inferiority, promoted by infidel philosophers. As Davis explains, ‘early antislavery writers like James Ramsay and Granville Sharp repeatedly identified the theory of racial inferiority with Hume, Voltaire, and materialistic philosophy in general; they explicitly presented their attacks on slavery as a vindication of Christianity, moral accountability, and the unity of mankind’. Hannah More deplored the new philosophical racism:
21. Who are Shiphrah, Puah, and Miriam? How would their stories relate to what Grimké is trying to say?
Shiphrah and Puah were Hebrew midwives who protected Moses, disobeying Pharaoh by not killing the young baby but obeying God instead. Miriam was Moses’s older sister who was watching over him in the basket on the Nile’s edge. When she saw he was rescued by the Princess she convinced her to let Moses be nursed by his own mother, Jochabed. By approaching the Princess Miriam risked her life to help make sure her brother was safe. All these women feared God more than they feared Pharaoh or his laws.