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    [Abolition]. An Archive of Letters Related to Gamaliel Bailey. More than a dozen letters spanning the years 1846 through 1868, written to, from, and about abolitionist and newspaper editor Gamaliel Bailey. Bailey was a member of the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society, serving as secretary of its executive committee. He also served on the editorial board of their newspaper, The Philanthropist; and later founded the National Era, the newspaper that first published Uncle Tom's Cabin as a serial in 1851 and 1852. Bailey died in 1859, and this archive includes letters written after his death regarding possible biographies that were planned. Highlights from the archive are listed below:

    Period fair copy of a letter to Gamaliel Bailey entreating him to establish a newspaper in Washington D.C. Three pages, 7.75" x 9.75", Chicago, Illinois; August 24, 1846. The letter was sent by a committee, headed by Charles V. Dyer, an ardent abolitionist and Stationmaster in the Underground Railroad. The letter recommends that Bailey become editor in chief and suggests John Greenleaf Whittier and Reverend A.A. Phelps as assistant editors. The following year, Bailey would establish the National Era with Whittier as a co-editor. This fair copy appears to be in Bailey's hand, and is numbered 3 on page 1.

    Two letters from Thomas Shreve to Gamaliel Bailey, one of which references Bailey's close escape from an attack on the National Era offices by pro-slavery mobs. In a four page letter, dated May 12, 1848, Shreve writes: "I suppose that you have to be congratulated on having escaped, scalp lock & all, from that mob so often that congratulations have become terrible bores to you. Well I'll not say how glad I feel that you were not made a preposterous spectacle of with a suit of tar & feathers..." A second letter (8 pages, dated September 16, 1849), recounts Shreve's editorial work for the Louisville Examiner, and includes content regarding the issue of slavery in Kentucky: "...Perpetual slavery has but few advocates here in Kentucky. We differ more as to plans than principles... We have begun an agitation that can only end with the overthrow of the peculiar institution. If ever your friends feel dejected when they think of the cause of emancipation in this state, tell them that we do not feel that way..." Much more great content regarding the complexity and trepidation of the abolitionist cause in the state of Kentucky.

    Manuscript Letter Signed by Gamaliel Bailey to Joshua R. Giddings. 3 pages, May 1849. A letter outlining the challenges of establishing a daily paper in Washington D.C. sympathetic to abolitionist views, and soliciting Gidding's views on the project. This is the actual transmitted letter and not a retained copy, as evidenced by a docket on the verso of the integral page.
    Gamaliel Bailey Autograph Letter Signed to his co-editor at the National Era John Greenleaf Whittier. Four pages, April 10, 1853. A letter with content regarding the day-to-day running of the paper as well as requesting an introduction to friends in England. Bailey made several trips to Europe, both for health reasons as well as to promote support for his abolitionist causes. Letter has soiling, and a single tear with not loss of text. A second letter from Bailey's wife Margaret dated November 9, 1859, letting him now that his name would be retained, along with Gamaliel Bailey's, as editor, until the following month. Gamaliel had died at sea earlier in the year, and Margaret writes asking for a recommendation for someone to fill the role as editor.

    John McLean Autograph Letter Signed to Gamaliel Bailey. Two pages, Chapel Wood; May 14, 1859. McLean writes to Bailey regarding late subscription fees, "I could have paid them at any time. I hope the delay has not subjected you to inconvenience... I trust your journey to England will reinstate your health..." Bailey would die on said journey the following month. Included is Bailey's letter to McLean to which this letter is responding to.

    Also included are four letters to Bailey's widow Margaret during the mid to late 1860s, regarding possible biographies about her husband, as well as a copy of the July 1868 edition of the "Universalist Quarterly" which has an article about Bailey written by I. Washburn. Overall condition is very good to near fine, except as noted. Pages are clean, with bold ink.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
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