"THE VAST AMOUNT OF HUMAN SUFFERING AND THE WASTE OF HUMAN LIFE"
(SLAVERY) BUXTON, Thomas Fowell. The African Slave Trade and its Remedy. London: John Murray, 1840. Octavo,original brown cloth,uncut and partially unopened; pp.14, viii, (3) 6-273, (274-276), (i) ii-vi, (277), 278-582. $2800.
First expanded and revised edition of British abolitionist Buxton's powerful call for an end to the slave trade, the first to include his extensive and influential Remedy, two major works that followed the lead of Wilberforce in calling for treaties and commerce to end the slave trade, and outlined a way to "secure the regeneration of Africa through agricultural development," with large folding map, a handsome copy in original cloth.
Quaker Thomas Buxton was in Parliament when, in 1824, Wilberforce asked him to become his successor. "In 1789 Wilberforce had begged Parliament to 'make reparation to Africa… by establishing a trade upon true commercial principles… Fifty years later Buxton redeveloped this appeal in The African Slave Trade… To support his vision Buxton formed the African Civilization Society (July 1839)." In this first expanded edition of African Slave Trade (1839)—the first to include his Remedy—Buxton argues for the "agricultural colonization of West Africa and the development of a broad-based commerce that could undercut the economic dominance of the illicit slave trade" (Hopkins, Peter Thonning, 615). He documents the horrors of the Middle Passage to show that despite all efforts to end the slave trade, "twice as many human beings are now its victims as when Wilberforce and Clarkson entered upon their noble task." And in Remedy he further develops his argument: showing how "legitimate commerce would put down the Slave Trade, by demonstrating the superior value of man as a laborer on the soil, to man as an object of merchandise."
With African Slave Trade and its Remedy, Buxton powerfully "synthesized contemporary currents of thought, developed the arguments about the relationship between abolition and African improvement more systematically than before, and then catapulted them to national prominence… His views prevailed. The belief that the only way to suppress the African slave trade was to promote 'legitimate commerce' and that this new trade would launch Africa on the road to moral and material progress became the conventional wisdom in mid-19th-century Britain." Among those he convinced was David Livingstone who, as "an unknown medical student, attended the 1840 meeting of the African Civilization Society where Buxton first announced his remedy for the slave trade. What Livingstone heard on that occasion helped inspire a lifetime of work and travel on the continent" (Mann, Slavery and the Birth of an African City, 88-90). First expanded and revised edition: first to include Buxton's Remedy, which was issued separately in 1839. Precedes the first American edition. With folding map of "Central Africa." Paginated as issued without loss of text. With 14-page "Prospectus of the Society for the Extinction of the Slave Trade and for the Civilization of Africa" preceding title page. Sabin 9685. Goldsmith's 31743. Kress C5121, See Goldsmith's 31181; Kress C4818; Blockson 9121.
Interior fresh with light foxing to folding map as often, front inner paper hinge starting but very sound, mild rubbing and toning to bright original cloth. A desirable near-fine copy.