The Slave Trade and the British EmpireThomas Clarkson. The History of the Rise, Progress, and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade by the British Parliament. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1808.
First edition. Two octavo volumes. , 572; , 592 pages. Three plates including one featuring various restraining devices for slaves; a folding map in Volume I; one large folding plate of a slave ship illustrating the deplorable "living" arrangements of the slaves on board.
Contemporary green half-leather over marbled boards with titles and rules stamped in five compartments between four raised bands on the spine. Marbled edges. Moderate bumping to corners, else general light shelf wear with some toning to spines; contents slightly toned with occasional scattered foxing and with former owner's bookplate on the front pastedown of each volume, else a handsome set in very good condition. From the Professor John Ralph Willis Collection of Rare Africana.
Thomas Clarkson (1760-1846) was a leading opponent of slavery in the British Empire and was instrumental in convincing the British public and Parliament of the moral necessity of abolishing the slave trade. William Wordsworth was so taken with Clarkson's anti-slavery efforts that he wrote the "Sonnet, To Thomas Clarkson, On the final passing of the Bill for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, March, 1807." A tablet to his memory lies in Westminster Abbey.
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