Mar 01, 2012 - Sale 2271

Sale 2271 - Lot 32

Price Realized: $ 2,880
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
PRINTS BANNEKER'S LETTER TO JEFFERSON (SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) BROWN, MOSES. Short History of the African Union Meeting and School-House, erected in Providence (RI) in the Years 1819, '20, '21; with Rules for its Future Government. 32 pages. 8vo, disbound; paper toned; "Presented by Mrs. Warrick, Smith (undecipherable?), 1830. Not to be given away" written on the title-page. Providence: Brown & Danforth, 1821

Additional Details

A fascinating document, revealing the extended and often contentious history of an important Rhode Island school for Negro children. The verso of the title-page reads: "The design of publishing the following pages is to prevent any misunderstanding among the people of colour (sic), respecting their Meeting and School-House, and thereby laying a foundation of future difficulty." With details of the acquisition of the original plot of land from Moses Brown, the great Quaker merchant and philanthropist, as well as some limitations and regulations. Includes some discussion of the importance of secular as well as religious instruction of Negro children. This pamphlet also prints a substantial portion of Benjamin Banneker's famous 1791 letter to Thomas Jefferson on the intellectual capacity of the Negro, with Jefferson's reply. Though present in many early collections (Brown, Yale, Harvard etc), this is a truly rare pamphlet, not appearing at auction in the last 30 years. Not in the Blockson Collection; Schomburg copy in microfiche.