July 2022 Catalogue

Black Americana and Abolition – 20 – Bauman Rare Books - July 2022 “The Official Whistle-Blower Of The Horrors Of Transatlantic Slavery” 30. CLARKSON, Thomas. An Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species, Particularly the African…. With Additions. London, 1786. Octavo, early 19th-century full brown calf gilt. $18,000. First edition of Clarkson’s first published work, his “‘famous prize essay’ on the abolition of slavery,” igniting the campaign “for one of the fundamental rights of man” including in the United States (PMM 232). With this Essay, Clarkson “became the official whistle-blower of the horrors of transatlantic slavery” (Smith, 17). His “famous prize essay” at Cambridge ignited the campaign “for one of the fundamental rights of man” (PMM 232). While researching this Essay, Clarkson saw an “advertisement for Benezet’s Historical Account of Guinea. He was profoundly struck by the title and… ‘hastened to London to buy it’… Overwhelmed by the horror and brutality of transatlantic slavery, his goal of merely winning the prize” shifted to creating a work of wider impact—documenting the history of slavery, the horrors of the Middle Passage and slavery in the colonies. Clarkson stands as “the man who spawned the British Abolitionist Movement and the first Briton to devote his entire adult life to ending African slavery… the moral conscience of American slavery proponents well into the 19th century” (Smith, 9-30, 43). He lent “his pen and his prestige particularly to the cause of abolition in the United States” (DNB). Bound without rear leaf of publisher’s advertisement. Text fresh with lightest scattered foxing, light expert restoration to handsome binding.