Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2003 Issue

Slavery in the United States <br> Chapter 2

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It has been asserted, of late years, by writers so zealous in the cause of emancipation, that they sometimes conflict with all previous authorities, that the custom of buying captives on the coast of Africa operates as a provocative to perpetual wars, and thus increases the evil it affects to alleviate. It may be that this is the case in some degree. But a reference to the travels of Mungo Park will show that the purchase of slaves by Europeans can have little influence on the wars in the interior of that continent. The state of slavery exists there entirely independent of the foreign slave trade, and to an extent beyond any other portion of the globe.
"A state of subordination, and certain inequalities of rank and condition, are inevitable in every stage of civil society; but when this subordination is carried to so great a length, that the persons and services of one part of the community are entirely at the disposal of another part, it may then be denominated a state of slavery ; and in this condition of life, a great body of the negro inhabitants of Africa have continued from the most early period of their history, with this aggravation, that their children are born to no other inheritance.'"* (See Park's Travels, p. 210. New-York edition. )
"The slaves of Africa, I suppose, are nearly in the proportion of three to one of freemen."*
"Hired servants, by which I mean persons of free condition, voluntarily working for pay, are unknown in Africa.
"*! (Park's Travels. Ibid . )
If, then, the certainty of being able to convert prisoners into a source of profit, is an incentive to war, the negroes of Africa have that incentive in the highest degree, independent of the foreign slave trade, which only carries off that surplus of captives which would otherwise probably be put to death.

In a subsequent chapter of this inquiry, it is proposed to institute a comparison between the situation of the slaves of Africa, and those of the United States, for the purpose of showing what they sacrifice and what they gain by being transferred from one country to the other. In one, they are the slaves of a race of unfeeling barbarians, equally destitute of the arts of civilized life, as of the principles of civilized government, and the doctrines of true religion. According to Park, they are perpetually engaged in wars of capture and extermination. Their systems of government, their manners, habits, and social relations, are those of uncivilized barbarians. Those who were transported hither were captives in war; they possessed no civil rights at home; they brought none with them, and acquired none here. They came as alien bondmen; they were "of the heathen ;" their posterity were "begot in our land," and have become "our possession," as " inheritances of our children," in accordance with the sanction of Holy Writ, as conveyed in the twenty-fifth chapter of Leviticus. The government of the United States, its institutions, and its privileges, belong of right wholly and exclusively to the white men; for they were purchased, not by the blood of the negroes, but by that of our fathers.

The declaration "that all men are created equal" is thus carried out in its consequences. It follows "that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Unquestionably, it may be said that all men are born equal, and born free, and yet may forfeit that freedom. To deny this, is to impeach the right of self-defense, which justifies the necessity of putting captives in war beyond the reach of doing us further injury, as well as those laws which inflict imprisonment and hard labour, frequently for life, on persons guilty of great crimes, and thus bring us back to the bloody code of England, or leave us at the mercy of villains. All men have also a natural right to live as long as they can; yet it does not follow that they cannot be deprived of life, as a punishment, or to secure the safety of society. So also all men have a right to pursue their own happiness, so long as this is done without illegally or immorally interfering with the happiness of others. To interpret this celebrated declaration in any other manner, would be to pervert its principles into a warrant for the violation of all human statutes, under the sanction of the inalienable rights of nature. It was not an elaborate metaphysical discussion of human rights, but a mere assertion of great general principles; and to have enumerated all the exceptions would have been giving the world a volume in folio, instead of a simple declaration of rights. The charge of inconsistency between our principles and practice, is therefore entirely unfounded.

Rare Book Monthly

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    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500

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