"VERY PROBABLY AN END WILL SOON BE PUT TO THE PRACTICE OF TRANSPORTING SLAVES FROM AFRICA TO THE NEW WORLD"
(SLAVERY). The Interference of the British Legislature, in the Internal Concerns of the West India Islands, Respecting Their Slaves, Deprecated. London: J. Mawman, 1816. Slim octavo, modern blue-gray paper wrappers; pp. 58. $1800.
First edition of this defense of the West Indian slave trade, arguing against emancipation.
Cloaked in pro-abolition language and anonymously written by a person claiming to be an abolitionist, this work is actually a zealous condemnation of British interference in the slave trade of the West Indies. After briefly discussing the abolition movement, the 1807 act abolishing slavery in britain, and prominent anti-slavery organization, the author sets out to make his main argument: that a bill requiring registry of slaves in the West Indies would infringe on the rights of those colonies. The author swiftly aligns himself with the interests of the West Indian Planters, arguing that abolishing slavery is a different cause from emancipating people of African descent. He points out that this bill is merely the first in a projected series of measures meant to emancipate the Black population of the West Indies. Set in the awkward period between 1807 and 1833, when slavery in Britain was illegal but the slave trade still thrived abroad, this work makes sense of obvious hypocrisy by arguing that slavery was permitted by God and that Blacks of African descent were better off as slaves than in Africa. The will of those against slavery proved stronger and complete abolition eventually became the law of the land. Sabin 34904. Kress 21649. This work last appeared at auction over 25 years ago; prior to that, it had not been seen since the 1940s.
Interior quite clean with only slight pressure offsetting, toning to spine of modern wrappers. A beautiful copy in fine condition.