"FREEDOM IS THE NATURAL RIGHT OF ALL MEN": SCARCE EARLY AMERICAN ABOLITION BROADSIDE
(SLAVERY). Constitution of the Abolition Society. No place, early 19th century. Broadside, measuring 8 by 13 inches, printed in double columns. $3500.
Rare generic template of a broadside for an abolition society constitution, from the early days of their proliferation, with the original printer's registration nicks.
Following the preamble, there are fourteen articles, with blank interruptions in two places where the name of the society and the place it meets could be added. Mainly concerned with governance and leadership structure, this constitution also provides, as its tenth article, the admonition that "It shall be the duty of the members of this society to inculcate the doctrine, that freedom is the natural right of all men; and that every species of involuntary bondage, which is not the consequence of crime, is inconsistent with the true principles of Republicanism." The printer's registration nicks at the margins are intriguing, suggesting this may have been used in typesetting customized constitutions at the request of individual societies as they were organized. Early pencil notations to verso.
Leaf embrowned, with a small hole at the center affecting one word of text; small repair along fold. Quite rare.