"THE WILFUL MUTILATION OF A SLAVE IS MADE LIABLE TO BE PUNISHED BY A FINE, NOT EXCEEDING 100L…": RARE FIRST EDITION OF MACAULAY'S THE SLAVE COLONIES OF GREAT BRITAIN, 1825
MACAULAY, Zachary, editor. The Slave Colonies of Great Britain; or A Picture of Negro Slavery Drawn by the Colonists Themselves, Being an Abstract of the Various Papers Recently Laid Before Parliament on that Subject. London: Ellerton and Henderson, 1825. Slim octavo, modern half brown calf gilt, raised bands, red morocco spine label. $2800.
First edition of this collection of 13 extracts from papers presented before the 1824 House of Commons on the subject of colonial slavery, edited by abolitionist Zachary Macaulay.
This work comprises 13 extracts of papers presented before the House of Commons during the 1824 session. Each of the papers touches on some aspect of slavery, from the conditions endured by slaves to manumission. Edited by Zachary Macaulay, this work attempts to take advantage of a shift in popular opinion toward abolition, offering fact-based evidence about slavery in the colonies. While many governments began to lean toward reform, others rejected any attempt at altering the system. The Bahamas, for example, are shown to have made substantial reform, while Dominica "was for a time very vehement in its denunciations against the efforts of abolitions to ameliorate the conditions of the slaves." As the Bahamas were taking steps to limit physical punishment of slaves, Dominica attempted to join the West Indian colonies together to shield the area from any abolitionist attacks on the status quo. Most importantly, Macaulay's work exposes the extent of the British slave trade, even slavery was abolished in Britain proper in 1807. Macaulay includes notices on Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Berbice, Bermuda, Cape of Good Hope, Demerara, Dominica, Grenada, Honduras, Jamaica, Mauritius, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Christopher, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Tobago, Trinidad, and the Virgin Islands—all slave-trading colonies under British rule. Sabin 82063. This work is quite scarce; it last appeared at auction over 40 years ago.
Light scattered foxing, a single paper repair to final leaf, binding fine. Near-fine condition.