Reception of George Thompson in Great Britain. (Compiled from Various British Publications)
Boston: Isaac Knapp, 1836. xvi,-238pp. 12mo. Original publisher's blue boards with black sheep spine, gilt. Boards rubbed, corners and spine moderately worn. Text lightly foxed. About very good. Item #1691
Scarce work addressing the anti-slavery work of George Thompson following his visit to America. Thompson (1804-1878) was British lecturer and reformer who worked as a commercial clerk.
"Thompson first came to prominence in 1831, when he was recruited by the London Anti-Slavery Society's Agency Committee as an itinerant lecturer. In the run up to the Emancipation Act of 1833 he became the most effective British anti-slavery lecturer since Thomas Clarkson.... With the struggle against British slavery apparently won, Thompson was instrumental in reorienting anti-slavery effort towards the Americas and particularly the United States. ... In 1834 he encountered the charismatic American abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. Recognizing Thompson's talent, Garrison invited him to travel to the United States with his growing family to labour there on behalf of the enslaved people of America" - DNB. Thompson employed sarcasm and vitriol in his orations, attacking anti-abolitionist sentiment across the northern states. In the process, he failed to make very many friends or converts, and alienated those with more moderate views.
"Opponents attacked him as a foreign interloper and an anti-American agitator. They also discovered a scandal in Thompson's past, alleging that in 1829 he had absconded with £80 embezzled from his employer. His supporters angrily rejected this charge, though Thompson later privately admitted it was true (he eventually repaid the sum in full). Hostility increasingly turned violent and, in fear of his life, he was smuggled out of the country in October 1835, returning to a hero's welcome in Britain" - DNB.
This work is a rebuttal made by Thompson's American supporters, aggregating information from British sources to defend his good name and abolitionist efforts after fleeing America for his homeland. It includes some of Thompson's speeches on slavery in America, given before audiences in Scotland and England, and discusses his work with the American Anti-Slavery Society. Though there are a handful of institutional copies, the work is scarce on the market and does not appear in auction records over the pasty forty years.
Sabin 9324. American Imprints 36449.