PRAISED BY FREDERICK DOUGLASS: FIRST EDITION OF ALEXANDER'S PIVOTAL WORK, LETTERS ON THE SLAVE-TRADE (1842), FURTHERING THE CAUSE OF THOMAS CLARKSON AGAINST "THE ATROCITIES OF THE SLAVE TRADE," AN UNOPENED COPY IN ORIGINAL CLOTH
ALEXANDER, G[eorge]. W[illiam]. Letters on the Slave-Trade, Slavery, and Emancipation; With a Reply to Objections Made to the Liberation of the Slaves in the Spanish Colonies; Addressed to Friends on the Continent of Europe, During a Visit to Spain and Portugal. London: Charles Gilpin, 1842. Small octavo (4-1/2 by 6-3/4 inches), original gilt- and blind-stamped brown cloth, uncut and unopened; pp. xvi, 176. $2900.
First edition of a signal work by leading British abolitionist Alexander, whose lifelong efforts "to rid the world of the scourge of slavery" won praise by Frederick Douglass, cited in W.E.B. Du Bois' Suppression of the Slave Trade, almost entirely uncut and unopened in original gilt-stamped cloth.
"As longtime treasurer of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, Alexander helped coordinate an international effort to eradicate the slave trade and slavery. According to Frederick Douglass, Alexander spent more of his own personal fortune than any other abolitionist on either side of the Atlantic to rid the world of the scourge of slavery." With publication of Letters in 1842 and the death of Thomas Clarkson in 1846, Alexander emerged "as a leader in the British abolitionist movement… the persistence of the African slave trade and the continuing presence of chattel slavery in the U.S., Brazil, Cuba and other locations made it clear that the work of abolition was far from complete…. He visited France, Spain and Portugal, using his personal diplomacy of moral suasion to convince those governments that it was in their best interest to enforce their own laws and satisfy their treaty obligations… [and] visited the U.S. as the U.S. Congress was debating a controversial body of legislation that became known as the Compromise of 1850… Despite his efforts, the U.S. Congress passed the Compromise of 1850, which included the Fugitive Slave Act" (Rodriguez, Encyclopedia of Emancipation, 16). Cited as a source by W.E.B. Du Bois' in his Suppression of the Slave Trade (1896), Letters won praise on publication as a "humane, enlightened work.. [that] consists of eight letters, which give the History of the Abolition of the Slave Trade, as also the Abolition of Slavery in some Foreign States—the Progress of the Anti-Slavery Cause in England—the Results of Emancipation—the State of Foreign Slavery and the Slave Trade—the General Prospects of the Great Cause—and an Answer to Objections touching the Emancipation of the Spanish Slaves" (Eclectic Review). With rear errata slip. Sabin 726. Goldsmiths' II:32999. Kress C5711.
Text quite fresh, minimal rubbing to bright gilt cloth. A desirable near-fine copy.