Item #17763 Very Scarce Edition of Benezet's Constitution of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery. Anthony Benezet.
Very Scarce Edition of Benezet's Constitution of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery

Very Scarce Edition of Benezet's Constitution of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery

Book

[Slavery] [Abolition] Benezet, Anthony. Constitution of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief for Free Negroes unlawfully held in Bondage. Philadelphia: Francis Bailey For The Society, 1788. Enlarged from the first edition of 1787, it nearly doubled in page count. Octavo, 29 pages. When Anthony Benezet died, 400 of Philadelphia's black citizens turned out to mourn his passing. Known for his humility and tireless devotion to the education and uplift of the black population, this gentle Quaker was known as "the single most prolific antislavery writer and the most influential advocate of the Negro's rights on either side of the Atlantic." He founded the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery in 1774 at the Rising Sun Tavern in Philadelphia, making it the first abolitionist organization in what became the United States. Its mission was later expanded in the 1780s to include "improving the Condition of the African Race." For the founders, this primarily meant offering jobs and education to black youth, whether escaped slaves from the South or native Philadelphians. It was revived after the Revolution, with Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush among its officers. In 1788, the group successfully petitioned the Pennsylvania legislature to amend the Gradual Abolition Act of 1780. As a result of their petition, the legislature prohibited the transportation fo enslaved children or pregnant omen out of Pennsylvania, as well as the building of slave ships and imposed a heavy fine for kidnapping African-Americans. Disbound with worn and crudely repaired original plain wrappers present; contents worn, moderate worming, bookplate removed from verso of title page with resulting loss of two letters; later bookplate and Chester County Historical Society label inside front wrapper. In fair to good condition. Very scarce: Only three copies of the first edition and only two copies of this second enlarged edition in any library or institution worldwide, per OCLC worldcat. . Evans 21831; ESTC W30522.

Item #17763

Price: $4,500.00

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