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AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT SIGNED: A PLEA FOR ABOLITION OF SLAVERY PENNED AS A SONNET BY GEORGE THOMPSON ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF EMANCIPATION IN GREAT BRITAIN.
Delhi [India]: August, 1843.. 1843.. Good. - Over 123 words penned on an 8-1/4 inch high by 5-1/2 inch wide sheet of light blue paper. Titled "Sonnet / On the Morning of the 1st of August, the Anniversary of Emancipation", a magnificent 14-line anti-slavery sonnet that concludes with the powerful statement "... It is decreed! not far remote the time, / When freedom's trump shall sound through / every clime!". Signed "Geo. Thompson". Mounted with glue from the top of the verso onto a strip of heavier stock from an album, the letter is folded several times horizontally and vertically, with short teats to the edges of the folds. A piece is clipped from the top left corner and the right edge is creased and lightly chipped near the bottom. Apparently penned on a larger sheet with a portion of the mailing address with a red postal cancellation stamp from India penned on the verso. Good.

The Slavery Abolition Act passed by the UK Parliament in 1833 came into force on August 1, 1834.

The British antislavery orator and activist George Donisthorpe Thompson (1804-1878) worked toward the abolition of slavery through lecture tour and by introducing legislation while serving as a member of Parliament. An able orator, he was hired by the London Anti- Slavery Society in 1831. While in Scotland in 1832, where he became interested in abolishing slavery in the United States as well as other parts of the world, he met William Lloyd Garrison and the African-American abolitionist Nathaniel Paul. Invited to visit New England by Garrison, he traveled to the US in 1834 where he drew the attention of pro-slavery supporters and was forced to flee for his life. The Hobart Town Courier later printed a letter in which Thompson stated that he had "...left the United Sates to escape the asassins knife...", the editor noting that attempts had been made to "burn and murder" him in several US towns. He returned to the US following the passing of the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850. By then, the abolitionist movement having substantially grown and gained in influence, Thompson found a warmer welcome. Returning to London, he and his son founded the London Emancipation Society which supported the Union during the Civil War. Returning to America, allied himself with William Wells Brown and met President Abraham Lincoln. Throughout his life, Thompson was a powerful voice for emancipation. He supported East Indian reform, free trade, Chartism, non-resistance and the peace movement, often protesting legislation that offered only limited restriction on slavery.

A remarkable example of the autograph of one of history's greatest abolitionist.
      [Bookseller: Blue Mountain Books & Manuscripts, Ltd.]

Last Found On: 2016-12-19           Check availability:      Biblio    

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