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Estimate: $ 2,500 - $ 3,500
A GREAT RARITY (SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) [BACON, REVEREND THOMAS.] Two Sermons Preached to a Congregation of Black Slaves at the Parish Church of S.P in the Province of Maryland. By an American Pastor. 71, [i] pages. 12mo, later marbled wrappers with printed label on the upper cover; paper toned; a couple of leaves closely cropped but with no loss of text. London: Rivington, 1782
second edition. an item of the upmost rarity, of which only four copies are known in addition to the present one. No copy has been at auction of this or the 1749 edition in the last 30 years of recorded sales. The Reverend Thomas Bacon (1711-1768), one of colonial Maryland's most prolific authors, is remembered today primarily for his sermons on charity schools and the education of slaves, and for his compilation Laws of Maryland At Large ... (1765). In his own day he was also known as a poet of modest abilities and an outstanding musician. Other than the fact that he was raised in Ireland (perhaps Dublin, where his brother, Anthony Bacon, M.P., attended Trinity College), little is known about Bacon's early life. Following in his brother's footsteps, the Reverend Thomas Bacon sailed to America in June 1745 and shortly thereafter was appointed rector of St. Peter's, Talbot County, by the governor of Maryland. Here he was struck by the wretched condition of the slaves and wrote two important works directly dealing with them. The first is the present work which Bacon wrote soon after his arrival in Maryland, and sent to London for publication in 1749. The second work was directed at the slave owners themselves and is titled Four Sermons, Upon the Great and Indispensible Duty of All Christian Masters and Mistresses to Bring Up Their Negro Slaves in the Knowledge and Fear of God (1750). This too was sent to London for publication.. There are no American printings of either of these works. Clearly Bacon knew his that while his sermons might be tolerated, published versions would not be welcome among his congregation that included the slaveholders of Talbot County.
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