London: Printed by R. Taylor and Co., for Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme, 1808. [Slavery] FIRST EDITION. Two volumes. Octavo (22 x 14cm), pp. 572; pp. 592. With two folding plates, including the famous cross-section of a loaded slave ship, and one further plates illustrating various manacles and and instruments of torture. Recent tan half calf with gilt titles to contrasting red and green labels, further gilt decoration to spines, and marbled paper over boards. Moderate spotting to preliminaries. Quite heavy spotting to plates and facing leaves, as usual. Folding plate to volume I quite well worn, with some old misfolds and a few repairs using archival tape. Heavier wear to second folding plate, which has been backed onto a secondary sheet of paper and re-inserted. This slave ship plate has numerous misfolds and some large tears, now repaired by the re-backing, but is present and complete. Rare thus. Very good. Clarkson was a leading campaigner against the slave trade in the British Empire and, alongside Wilberforce and Granville Sharp, was instrumental in convincing the British public and Parliament of the moral necessity of abolishing it. He took a leading role in the affairs of the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade and undertook the dangerous task of collecting evidence from various British ports with which to lobby Parliament. These included first hand accounts from mariners, such as officers and ship's surgeons, as well as dockworkers and marine-side landlords. He also gathered examples of the grim restraining apparatus used aboard slave ships. Clarkson was attacked on one trip to Liverpool, and was nearly killed by a gang of sailors who had been paid to assassinate him. Clarkson's selfless efforts generated and sustained a national movement which mobilised public opinion as never before, until the Slave Trade Act was passed in 1807. The poet William Wordsworth was so impressed with Clarkson's achievements that he was moved to write 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. Item #58341
Standard worldwide shipping and insurance is free for all items ordered directly through our website. For expedited delivery, please contact us directly. See our full terms.