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A Plan For improving the Trade at Senegal. Addressed to The Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.

London: printed for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 Stock Code: 117460
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Proposal to liberate and enfranchise slaves

First edition. An anonymous proposal to liberate and enfranchise the slaves in Senegal, recently captured from the French in 1758, and set up there a democratic government with British law. Arguing that free labourers are far more productive than those enslaved, and refuting any inherent idleness among the Africans, the author argues this will be a productive and prosperous area of Britain's dominions, with the intent that slavery would also be ended in Britain's other colonies. The tract is far ahead of its time, stating "let not the thought of putting blacks and whites on a footing shock the delicacy of any white person; for what is more unmanly, effeminate, or irrational than for a man to value himself on the colour of his skin? Is there any prejudice so foolishly weak and ridiculous?" (p. 13). Naturally his proposals were not put into action. A contemporary review stated that "the proposal is humane, and well supported: but some gentlemen who are better acquainted than we pretend to be with those countries, may possibly think the doctrine too dangerous to be executed" (The Critical Review, volume 18, 1763). The tract is scarce, with copies known in only eight institutions and no known auction records.

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Octavo (197 x 121 mm), pp. 32. Rebound in modern boards, printed paper label to front board, edges sprinkled red.


Pages lightly creased, small chip to p. 10 and final advertisement leaf slightly affecting text. A very good copy.


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