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Department of Bad Predictions (Again)

June 12th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

I’m reading Maurie McInnis‘s award-winning new book, Slaves Waiting for Sale: Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade. In it, she mentions the English-born Presbyterian minister George Bourne, who lived for years in the Shenandoah Valley and was so horrified by his witness of slavery there that in 1834 he published Picture of Slavery in the United States of America, one of the earliest illustrated antislavery books published in America.

I went looking for Bourne’s Picture of Slavery on Google Books and found a first edition. In addition to the engravings that McInnis writes about (two of the book’s eleven are above), this copy of the book has two handwritten inscriptions. The first reads:

Presented to
Joseph Eddy Brown
by his father, in the
hope that he will
read it attentively,
and pity the condition
of the wretched and
suffering Slaves.
July 15, 1834

Here is the second:

July 4, 1835.
In an address delivered
at High street meeting-house
this day, Wm. Scott, of
Ohio, indicated that in
ten years from this time,
i. e. by July 4, 1845, the
evil of Slavery would be
wholly done away in this
land and the blessings
of freedom be universally
diffused throughout our
otherwise happy land
Amen and Amen

As far as predictions go, not great. But change that 4 to a 6 and you’re golden!

Tags: Art of Google Books · Virginia History · Virginia Literature

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