Narrative of a Five Years' Expedition Against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam in Guiana on the Wild Coast of South America; From the Years 1772 to 1777

Narrative of a Five Years' Expedition Against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam in Guiana on the Wild Coast of South America; From the Years 1772 to 1777

STEDMAN, J. G., Captain

J. Johnson, 1796


2 volume set. 1st ed. Bound in contemporary tree calf. Rehinged. Gilt ruled.  Leather spine label. Good bindings and covers. 4to, 26 x 21 cm.  Collated: xviii, 407, index, list of plates, errata pp.; 404 pp.  81 engraved plates and maps, 4 folding. Plates uncolored.   Plates by William Blake, Bartolozzi, Barlow, etc.  (Lacking Final plate Europe Supported by Africa and America.)  The 16 plates engraved by William Blake "have long been recognized as among the best executed and most generally interesting of all his journeyman work" (Keynes, Bibliography of William Blake, p. 98). Pages generally fresh, clean and unmarked. Though, some faint spotting to the Toucan plate. Explorers Club (NYC) bookplate on front paste down.  John Stedman was a Scottish soldier who fought the slave insurrection in Guiana.  His work is significant as an indictment of the 18th century slave plantation system and was influential as an early abolitionist tool. 

"In 1772 he volunteered to accompany an expedition sent out by the States-General to subdue the revolted negroes in Surinam, or Dutch Guiana.  This service, in which he was employed fro give years, gave him the opportunity of his life.  His narrative of it is a model of what such a book should be.  Its rules for marching and fighting amid tropical swamps anticipate those laid down for the Ashanti expedition.  The field of his curiosity embraced not only all branches of natural history, but also economical and social conditions.  His description of the cruelties practised on he negroes, and of the moral deterioration resulting to their masters, forms one of the most vivid indictments of slavery that have been penned.  While he did his duty as a soldier in the pay of Holland, he does not disguise his sympathy with the rebels." - DNB, Vol. LIV. 1898, pp. 127-128.   Refs: Abbey, Travel 719; Sabin 91075; BMC, Vol 24, p 137 (49); ESTC T146566; Goldsmiths 16679.

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Tags: Latin American History, Set, Antiquarian, Featured