With grateful thanks to Historian, Poet and Writer AC Benus* for finding these important poets and their poetry for us
The girls’ parents were Robert E. Peters and his wife Ethel Peters, nee Hughes, and the family lived in Beckley, West Virginia., United States of America.
"The sisters were known in the poetical world as "The Peters Sisters." The Peters Sisters have had very limited education. Each of them spent one and one half years in high school at the Institute. West Virginia. Their teacher was Prof. Byrd Prillerman."
By William F. Denny from The Introduction to their poetry collection “War poems” by Ada Tessibel Peters and Ethel Pauline Peters (Union publishing Co., Charleston, West Virginia, 1919).
The sole intention of the Authors in writing these poems is to show the Negro's loyalty to the Stars and Stripes, in the war with Germany; and to show the need of unity of all men in the fight for democracy. The Authors.” From the sisters' WW1 collection “War poems” by Ada Tessibel Peters and Ethel Pauline Peters (Union publishing Co., Charleston, West Virginia, 1919)
OUR WAR WITH GERMANY. Poem by Ada Tessibel Peters
America and her Allies are now engaged
In a war that freedom might live,
That all nations may not be enslaved
Giving as all True Americans would give
Fighting lest Germany's Kaiser should spread
The spirit of feudalism over the earth,
That the Sons of Liberty may not be led
Captives from the land of their birth.
While foreign field were strewn with dead
With folded arms we merely looked on
'Till the wronged people believed and said
"They are gamblers, in search of coin."
We became apoligist for our neutriality
While an uncivilized war waged on
Devoid of all principle and morality
Urged on by brutes in human form.
When the country of Belgium was invaded
And It's inhabitants tortured and slain
When other defenseless towns were raided
And mines in neutral waters were lain
When the smoldering ruins of France we saw
The home of the world's greatest arts
Then Humanity forced us into this war
For America too, must do her part.
The Imperial German Government smiled
When the Sussex, and Lusitania went down
Unwarningly murdering American lives
While on peaceful missions bound
Should not this wicked and hideous crime
That sent our friends to watery graves
Help more close our hearts to bind
And strengthen us on our rugged way?
“War Poems” Pages 9 – 10
read the remainder of the poem – pages 10 – 15 here https://archive.org/details/warpoems00pete/page/10/mode/2up
PEARLS UNRECOGNIZED Poem by E. P. Peters.
Oh wandering pilgrims of Virginia,
Who made you noted men.
Whom was ever your defender.
And proved old Glory's friend.
Was it not back in sixteen
For slaves of your selfish will.
When your unfree tongues were still,
You ignorantly bought pearls unseen,
For slaves of your selfish will.
In vales and on historic hills,
Where your gallant heroes sleep,
Once Ethiophians your soil tilled,
From dawn till sunset peace.
Raised grain and your cattle fed,
In your business planned and advised,
Without place to lay their heads
Your own pearls unrecognized.
Your own pearls unrecognised.
From tobacco made you wealthy,
Your cruelty was humbly borne
Slave cooks made you healthy,
Black boys protected your homes,
With maimed bodies and chained hands,
Died to make your sons free,
Rare gems in a slave land.
Robbed of rights and liberty.
From “War Poems” page 48). Read the remainder of the poem on pages 49 - 51 here
Sources: Find my Past and
*AC Benus is the author of a book about German WW1 poet Hans Ehrenbaum-Degele : “The Thousandth Regiment: A Translation of and Commentary on Hans Ehrenbaum-Degele’s War Poems” by AC Benus (AC Benus, San Francisco, 2020). Along with Hans's story, the book includes original poems as well as translations. ISBN: 978-1657220584