July 2022 Catalogue

Black Americana and Abolition – 51 – Bauman Rare Books - July 2022 “You Are In A Free State, And Have Only To Go Ashore To Be Free” 85. WILLIAMSON, Passmore. Case of Passmore Williamson. Philadelphia, 1856. Octavo, original brown cloth rebacked with original spine laid down. $3200. First edition, exceptional presentation copy, of “the most complete record available” (Dumond) of the controversial Pennsylvania case on fugitive slaves, inscribed: “R. l. Bodley, With respects of P. Williamson.” This case directly preceded the following year’s Dred Scott decision and provoked a “legal crisis… that led to the Civil War.” “In July 1855 Col. John H. Wheeler, the U.S. minister plenipotentiary designate to Nicaragua, traveled to Philadelphia with his slave Jane and her two sons.” When she “managed to get word out of her desire for freedom,” abolitionists William Still and Passmore Williamson met Jane at the Philadelphia wharf “and released her from Wheeler’s grasp” (Sinha, 52728). This triggered a series of major court cases when Williamson was presented with a writ of habeas corpus by Judge Kane and imprisoned for contempt. Ultimately the case “created a new constitutional right—‘transit for property and person’”—opening the way for the Dred Scott case (1857). Institutional inkstamps to title page, page 27 and fore-edge. Trace of shelf label removal to spine end. Text very fresh with faintest rubbing to bright gilt-cloth. A handsome about-fine copy. “Faith In The Fight Of Black Men For Freedom” 86. WRIGHT, Richard. Bright and Morning Star. New York, 1941. Small octavo, original yellow and black paper wrappers. $950. First separate edition of one of Wright’s earliest and most provocative works, in fragile original wrappers. Bright and Morning Star was inspired by a rumor Wright heard about a Black woman who avenged her husband’s murder by killing the white men responsible. It first appeared “in the May 10, 1938 issue of New Masses and the story was included as the final piece in the 1940 edition of Uncle Tom’s Children… In 1941 Wright gave publishing rights to the story to the Earl Browder Defense Fund and it was published separately by International Publishers” (Richard Wright Encyclopedia, 55). Only faint soiling to fragile wrappers. Fine condition.