Mar 21, 2024 - Sale 2663

Sale 2663 - Lot 6

Price Realized: $ 6,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 9,000
(ABOLITION.) [David Ruggles.] The Abrogation of the Seventh Commandment, by the American Churches. 23 pages including illustrated title. 12mo, stitched; minor foxing, minor soiling to outer pages. New York: David Ruggles, 1835

Additional Details

The pamphlet argues that the institution of slavery operates in flagrant violation of the biblical prohibition on adultery. It suggests that southern women have the power to end slavery by confronting their adulterous husbands. It also attempts to draw northern white women to the abolitionist cause, urging them to shun slaveholding men and women, and ban them from visits to northern churches.

The New York abolitionist David Ruggles (1810-1849) is named as the publisher of this pamphlet. He is best known as the leader of the Committee of Vigilance, as an Underground Railroad operative who helped Frederick Douglass to freedom, and as proprietor of the first Black-owned bookstore in America. The pamphlet does not name an author, and is signed in type by "A Puritan." The Afro-Americana bibliography attributes authorship to the white abolitionist minister George Bourne. However, Graham Russell Gao Hodges attributes the work to Ruggles in his authoritative 2010 biography "David Ruggles: A Radical Black Abolitionist" (pages 79-83). Afro-Americana 1411; Sabin 81739. Not in Work or Blockson; none traced at auction.