SLAVERY.

Opinions of Henry Brougham, Esq., on Negro Slavery: With Remarks; [bound with:] Correspondence between Mr. George Hibbert and the Society of Friends; [and:] British Colonial Slavery.

London: Printed for Whitmore and Fenn; [printed by A. J. Valfy; printed by Maurice & Co.,] 1826; [1833; 1833] Stock Code: 135084
£1,750.00
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The copies of an anti-abolitionist

First edition of all three pamphlets, the copies of the pro-slavery Hibbert family. George Hibbert (1757-1837) was a merchant whose correspondence with the Quakers comprises the second pamphlet, and his son Nathaniel (1794-1865) wrote the "Remarks" on Brougham in the first pamphlet; the third pamphlet was published by the Committee of West India Planters and Merchants, in which George Hibbert was a central figure. The book has the bookplate of Munden House, the Hertfordshire estate purchased by George, which Nathaniel inherited on his father's death. Though the bookplate and binding date from the early years of the 20th-century, the first pamphlet bears the ownership signature of Nathaniel Hibbert's wife "Mrs Nathaniel Hibbert" (Emily Hibbert, 1807-1874) to the title page, as well as her notation of Nathaniel Hibbert as the author of the Remarks, and it is a reasonable supposition that all three pamphlets were owned by the Hibberts from publication, and subsequently bound by their descendants. Intriguingly, Emily Hibbert herself came from an abolitionist background - her father Sydney Smith (1771-1845) was a prominent opponent of slavery in his role as Dean of St Paul's. She came into possession of Munden House, and consequently the pamphlets, on Nathaniel's death in 1865.

The first pamphlet was published to undermine Henry Brougham, the prominent politician who was playing a major role in the campaign to abolish slavery - it reprints a section of a work written in his youth, An Inquiry into the Colonial Policy of the European Powers (1803), in which he had aggressively defended the continuation of slavery, even though he had opposed the slave trade itself. His words are printed with the remarks by Nathaniel Hibbert (not named as the author), mocking Brougham for his conversion, while upholding the validity of his original opinions, which "though Mr. Brougham may now repudiate, he cannot alter their truth, or make them less applicable to the circumstances in which Great Britain is placed" (p. 46).

The second pamphlet reproduces a letter from a group of Quakers to George Hibbert, opposing slavery, and his response, defending the institution - it appears to have been published by the Quakers themselves. The final pamphlet was published by the Committee of West India Planters and Merchants, and calls for full reparations for the slave holders - it sets out at length how the institution of slavery has been upheld by the British state and legislature since 1585, and consequently the slave holders deserve recompense for any penalties due to abolition, as they were always within the laws. The pamphlet opens with the notice that a copy has been distributed to every member of parliament, but is now "submitted to the consideration of the British Public", in a clear attempt to influence public opinion in the final stages of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire.

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Description

3 pamphlets bound in 1 volume, octavo (203 x 126 mm). Early 20th-century brown half calf, morocco label to spine, marbled sides.

Condition

Binding a little scuffed around extremities, first pamphlet bound without half-title, some foxing. Overall in very good condition.

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