Description

    "I am scarcely composed, to express myself in the collected manner I could wish..."

    [Anthony Calvert Hutton]. British Justice in Africa; Developed in Official and Other Documents, Concerning Certain Recent Proceedings at the British Forts on the Coast of Guinea: to Which is Prefixed, an Introduction, by the English Editor. London: Printed by and for J. Innes, [1815].

    First edition. Octavo. xliv, 49 pages [final page mis-numbered as "149"].

    New quarter red morocco over red cloth boards. Gilt rules, borders, and lettering. Title page has an early nineteenth-century inked ownership name, and a very faint dampstain to lower left corner. Bookplate. Very good.

    A series of heated letters concerning A. C. Hutton, a private merchant on the Gold Coast of Africa and his ongoing dispute with local tribal chiefs which began with a demand for their traditional Christmas liquor. When Hutton declines to participate in this "tradition," the outraged chiefs proclaim that trade between him and the natives has been suspended and they demand he leave the small trading settlement of Annamaboe, ten miles from the Cape Coast Castle on the coast of Guinea. The matter then spirals out of control as Hutton seeks assistance from the inept and bureaucratic local British officials. Hutton offers evidence of how such "total remissness of energy and common discipline in those who command the British Forts" has resulted in several instances of local colonists being "butchered" by the tribesmen, the blame for which Hutton places squarely on the shoulders of the Governor and his lackeys. The anonymous "English editor" who published these letters did so in order that "the whole [be] submitted to the consideration of His Majesty's ministers, and both Houses of Parliament." Very scarce. From the Professor John Ralph Willis Collection of Rare Africana.


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    February, 2010
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