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THE REPORT FROM A SELECT COMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, APPOINTED TO INQUIRE INTO THE ORIGIN, CAUSES, AND PROGRESS, OF THE LATE INSURRECTION
Barbados: W. Walker, [1818].. Barbados: W. Walker, [1818].. 63pp. Stitched as issued. Minor foxing. Very good. In a red half morocco and cloth slipcase and chemise. Very rare first edition of a report printed in Barbados on the origins of the slave insurrection of 1816, including numerous eyewitness descriptions of the bloodshed. "The rebellion began on April 14, 1816, in St. Philip's Parish. The canes on one-fifth of the estates in the island were burned, and property to the amount of £179,000 was destroyed. It had its origin in a rumor that freedom was to have been granted at the close of 1815. When this had not transpired, a restlessness resulted which showed itself in the Easter outbreak. The foundation of the false report was to be found in the proposed establishment of registration, and the hope for emancipation had been kept alive by the exertions of Wilberforce in England" (Ragatz). Following a report of the committee containing a history of the insurrection as well as conclusions of its origins, the pamphlet includes transcripts of twenty-one interviews with various slaves, free men of colour, military officers, pastors of local churches and others. The pamphlet concludes with the Jan. 17, 1816 resolutions of the Barbados House of Assembly as well as an alphabetical listing of Barbados property owners with the amounts of their losses from the insurrection. Undated on the title, Ragatz and other bibliographers have ascribed the date of this pamphlet to 1816; however a footnote on p. 23 references a Feb. 19, 1817 report and at a meeting of the Barbados Assembly on Jan. 7, 1818 the committee's report was formally presented and 250 copies were directed to be printed for distribution on the island and in England. Among the recipients of the latter was John Gladstone, the original owner of the present copy. The provenance of this copy to Gladstone, the father of the prime minister, is significant, as he was among the largest of the slave owners in the West Indies. OCLC cites but three extant copies of the first edition (Library of Congress, University of London and the American Antiquarian Society). Schomburgk, in his mid- 19th century history of Barbados, confirms: "There are few copies if any of that report left in the island." HANDLER, A GUIDE TO SOURCE MATERIALS FOR THE STUDY OF BARBADOS HISTORY, pp. 70-71; RAGATZ, p. 138. SCHOMBURGK, THE HISTORY OF BARBADOS, p. 398. SABIN 3284.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana]
Last Found On: 2014-03-11           Check availability:      Biblio    

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