WILBERFORCE, WILLIAM, COMPILER.
An abstract of the evidence delivered before a Select Committee of the House of Commons in the years 1790, and 1791; on the part of the Petitioners for the Abolition of the Slave-trade. James Phillips, 1791
AN ABSTRACT OF THE EVIDENCE DELIVERED BEFORE A SELECT COMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN THE YEARS 1790, AND 1791; ON THE PART OF THE PETITIONERS FOR THE ABOLITION OF THE SLAVE-TRADE. JAMES PHILLIPS, 1791
8vo, FIRST EDITION, folding engraved map of the Western Coast of Africa at rear, contemporary blue boards, ownership signatures, lacking the folding black and white wood engraved plan of a slave ship, some water-staining to text, spine defective and crudely repaired with tape, binding very worn and rubbed with some staining
A KEY TEXT IN THE PROCESS TOWARDS THE ABOLITION OF THE SLAVE TRADE.
This is Wilberforce's compilation of the evidence presented by abolitionists to the select committee he secured from January 1790 examining the slave trade. The politician worked tirelessly to assimilate and condense the huge body of information generated by the committee. As recorded by Oxford DNB "the select committee resumed its deliberations in February 1791, and Wilberforce, encouraged by a letter from the dying John Wesley, returned to his assiduous gathering of material. On 18 April, in a four-hour speech that showed his mastery of the evidence and arguments, he moved for leave to bring in an Abolition Bill. Subsequent debate was lively and extended over two evenings, but when the house divided at 3.30 on the morning of 20 April Wilberforce was defeated by 163 votes to 88..." Wilberforce would have to wait until 23 February 1807 when abolition was finally achieved through the passing of Grenville's Abolition Bill in the Commons, receiving royal assent on 25 March.
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