2 December 2010
[SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.] The Case of the Vigilante, a Ship Employed in the Slave Trade, with some Reflections on that Traffic. London: Harvey, Darton & Co., 1823.
8o (199 x 124 mm). Large folding diagram plate (557 x 442 mm) of the interior of the ship (some repairs on verso). Modern boards.
"Slaves are mapped into the terrible grid of this slave ship, a portrait of individual suffering multiplied by 347 people and than millions" (Tufte).
FIRST EDITION, published for the Society of Friends, this pamphlet describes the capture and the condition on board of the slave-ship The Vigilante. "Many of the slaves jumped overboard during the engagement, and were devoured by the sharks" (p.8) "On board this ship, Lieutenant Mildmay observed a slave girl, about twelve or thirteen years of age, in irons, to which was fastened a thick iron chain, ten feet in length, that was dragged along she moved. He ordered the girl to be instantly released from this fetter, and that the captain, who had treated her so cruelly, should not be ignorant of the pain inflicted upon an unprotected and innocent child, the irons were ordered to be put on him" (p.9). The folding plate engraved by J. Hawkesworth of the interior "reveal the ghastly workings of a slave ship perhaps better than purely representational still-life drawings or photographs" (Edward Tufte Beautiful Evidence p.22). Sabin 81922.
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