Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2008 Issue

Abolition from the William Reese Company


Item 14 is an interesting collection of 21 legal broadsides from the late Spanish period in Mexico, with dates from February 7, 1811 to October 1, 1813. The timing is significant as the first abortive attempt to overthrow the Spanish had occurred in 1810, and it would only be another decade before the revolution would free Mexico from the colonial power. These broadsides cover many legal issues, from the trivial to items concerning personal freedoms. Among the topics covered are the election of deputies to the Spanish Cortes, internal passports, the freedom to establish bakeries, taxes on silver and tobacco, abolition of the veil makers' guild (to allow women to make veils), discharging firearms in the city, sale and possession of knives and razors, etc. $7,500.

Item 11 is a somewhat surprising plea from an early Tennessee governor. In this 1845 address, he did not call for the abolition of slavery, but almost as surprisingly, called for the abolition of the death penalty. In this Message of the Hon. A.V. Brown, Governor of Tennessee. To the General Assembly: November 1845, he states, "The long continued confinements of the prison house and the degradation of becoming the humble vassals of the turnkey, that nightly locks them in their solitary cell, has done more in deterring from the commission of crimes than the fear of death, which men always behold in distant obscurity." After a 40-year hiatus, Tennessee began again executing prisoners in 2000. $300.

The William Reese Company may be found online at www.reeseco.com, telephone 203-789-8081, email coreese@reeseco.com.

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