What kind of a person is the preacher in Elijah of Buxton?

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By anyone's standards the preacher, Zephariah Connerly, is a real piece of work. A loudmouth and a braggart, he loudly boasts that he's the smartest man around. As well as being superficially clever, the preacher's a lying, greedy, dishonest individual, a man of God in name only. The fact that...

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By anyone's standards the preacher, Zephariah Connerly, is a real piece of work. A loudmouth and a braggart, he loudly boasts that he's the smartest man around. As well as being superficially clever, the preacher's a lying, greedy, dishonest individual, a man of God in name only. The fact that he isn't attached to any church tells you that he's not the real deal when it comes to serving God; truth be told, he'd much rather serve himself.

We see his when he offers to help Mr. Leroy but ends up stealing the money that Mr. Leroy was saving up to buy his family their freedom. It is in pursuit of that money that Mr. Leroy's good friend Elijah sets off to the United States. He also aims to do everything he can to bring the thieving, no-good preacher to justice.

As well as being a thief and a con man, the preacher is also a degenerate gambler. In fact, he gambled the money that he stole from Mr. Leroy. Connerly was so desperate for money that he even once tried to sell Elijah to a traveling carnival. You'd think that a black man, of all people, would never even think about selling someone into slavery. But as we saw when he stole Mr. Leroy's money, Connerly only cares about himself.

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