[New York]: Samuel Wood, [n.d., ca. 1805-1808]. Broadside, 16 1/2 x 13 inches, with main text printed in two center columns, flanked on both sides by seven woodcut illustrations with descriptive text. The entire broadside surrounded by an ornamental border. Old folds, minor chipping to edges, short repaired tears, small smudge in right column. Backed on acid-free tissue. Very good condition. Item #WRCAM54959
A rare and powerful illustrated broadside describing in text and images the cruelties suffered by Africans in the West Indies slave trade. The main text is largely adapted from a work published in London in 1793 (REMARKS ON THE METHODS OF PROCURING SLAVES WITH A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THEIR TREATMENT IN THE WEST- INDIES) in support of an abolitionist boycott of West Indian goods, with information gleaned from Parliamentary reports. It describes slave auctions and the "scrambles" by which sickly Africans are sold, and gives details of the treatment of field and house slaves. The illustrations are horrifying, showing slave families being separated at auction and then branded, floggings at the hands of black overseers, and various restraints to keep the slaves from eating or escaping, including head-frames and mouthpieces, neck braces, weights, leg spurs and shackles, and yokes. The printer of this broadside, Samuel Wood, was a noted Quaker- reformist, and the illustrations are credited to pioneering New York wood engraver Alexander Anderson. OCLC locates eleven copies and gives a publication date of 1802, though Pomeroy, the American Antiquarian Society, and Princeton give a date of 1805 to 1808, based on Samuel Wood's address as noted in the imprint. The Gilder Lehrman Institute also holds a copy, as does the Rosenbach Museum. Rare and very interesting, and a powerful manifestation of the growing abolitionist sentiment in the United States in the early 19th century. POMEROY, ALEXANDER ANDERSON 169. HAMILTON, EARLY AMERICAN BOOK ILLUSTRATORS AND WOOD ENGRAVERS 252. OCLC 33989651, 476101156, 945084251.