DescriptionCharles C. Jones. The Religious Instruction of the Negroes of the United States. Savannah: Thomas Purse, 1842. First edition. Twelvemo. 277pp. Original wraps with titles printed in black on the front cover. Contents sound notwithstanding a slight separation of the gatherings about midway in the text block. Covers slightly soiled with a small 1" section missing from the front at the spine. Back strip missing. Contents moderately foxed but all things considered a quite nice copy in very good condition and scarce in the original edition. Accompanied by a beautiful custom made half-leather slipcase with five raised bands on the spine and titles stamped in gilt on morocco spine labels.
Charles Colcock Jones, Sr. was Presbyterian clergyman, educator, and planter from Georgia. While attending seminary in the north, Jones agonized over the morality of owning slaves but upon returning to Georgia he became a planter, a missionary to slaves, and a reluctant defender of the institution of slavery. That he was conflicted by the notion of slavery is evident in the pages of his book: "I have endeavored to confine myself to the Religious Instruction of the Negroes, and have touched upon other subjects only when it has been necessary for the illustration or support of the one before me." Read with the hindsight of over 150 years, Jones' writings, though well-intentioned, are appalling.
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