Thomas Clarkson - Autograph Letter Signed - re/ Napoleon & His Work on Abolition
Thomas Clarkson - Autograph Letter Signed - re/ Napoleon & His Work on Abolition:
THOMAS CLARKSON. Thomas Clarkson (1760-1846) was an English abolitionist who was a leading campaigner against the slave trade in the British Empire.
HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED BY LEADING ENGLISH ABOLITIONIST THOMAS CLARKSON ON THE COMPLETION OF HIS INVALUABLE BOOK, THE HISTORY OF THE RISE AND PROGRESS, AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE ABOLITION OF THE AFRICAN SLAVE-TRADE BY THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT
Historically important autograph letter signed by, “Thomas Clarkson,” to Robert Grahame on the completion of his most well-known book, The History of the Rise and Progress, and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade by the British Parliament: “I received your Letters in due Course, and felt very much obliged to you for the kind Interest you promised to take in my Work. The first Volume will be finished in about three weeks, and I would send it to the Subscribers, before the second was ready, if I thought it would be agreeable to them. I expect the second to be out by about March 25, or the Anniversary Day of the Abolition. I should now be very much obliged to you, if you would inform me how many Subscribers you have obtained...Should the Names be numerous, it would probably be desirable, to send off the first Volume first.”
“THE FIRST VOLUME WILL BE FINISHED IN ABOUT THREE WEEKS, AND I WOULD SEND IT TO THE SUBSCRIBERS, BEFORE THE SECOND WAS READY, IF I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE AGREEABLE TO THEM. I EXPECT THE SECOND TO BE OUT BY ABOUT MARCH 25, OR THE ANNIVERSARY DAY OF THE ABOLITION”
Clarkson also discusses how the Napoleonic Wars have delayed the release of his work: “I am sorry that War is to be our Destiny. I met one of the late admins the other day. He told me that Bonaparte had lately made overtures for Peace and had sent Passports for two negotiators, but that the Language of the present administration was, that he insulted England by offering her Peace. If this be true, the War will go on, till one or the other bale. The Merchants in London, begin, many of them, to experience the Stoppage of their Trades. I myself have been a little sufferer (I wish no one had suffered more) in the Instance of my New Work. Old Rags have been stopped coming from the Continent. Hence Paper has advanced 4 shillings per Ream. I have been obliged in Consequence, in order to complete my Work, to pay 102 £ more than I otherwise should, if Bonaparte Decree had not come out.” The letter is three pages on a bifolium, contains an address panel, measures 9 by 7.5 inches, created in Purfleet on January 25, 1808, and in very good condition with minor toning, minor foxing, a few separations along the folds on the second leaf, and evidence of mounting on the left border.
“I AM SORRY THAT WAR IS TO BE OUR DESTINY...BONAPARTE HAD LATELY MADE OVERTURES FOR PEACE AND HAD SENT PASSPORTS FOR TWO NEGOTIATORS, BUT THAT THE LANGUAGE OF THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION WAS, THAT HE INSULTED ENGLAND BY OFFERING HER PEACE. IF THIS BE TRUE, THE WAR WILL GO ON, TILL ONE OR THE OTHER BALE. THE MERCHANTS IN LONDON, BEGIN, MANY OF THEM, TO EXPERIENCE THE STOPPAGE OF THEIR TRADE. I MYSELF HAVE BEEN A LITTLE SUFFERER (I WISH NO ONE HAD SUFFERED MORE} IN THE INSTANCE OF MY NEW WORK”
Clarkson’s invaluable book was published later that year by R. Taylor and Company in London. The History of the Rise and Progress, and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade by the British Parliament is the best source on the history of the movement that led to the abolition of slavery in the British dominions in 1807. It also provides information on Clarkson’s life and his lengthy fight for that cause. His famous cross section and plan of a slave ship depicted on one of the plates remains one of the most powerful social action prints ever conceived.
Christie’s. The History of the Rise and Progress, and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade by the British Parliament.
Forum sales. The History of the Rise and Progress, and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade by the British Parliament.