A Voyage to the River Sierra-Leone, on the Coast of Africa; Containing an Account of the Trade and Productions of the Country, and of the Civil and Religious Customs and Manners of the People; in a Series of letters to a Friend in England...
MATTHEWS Lieut. John (1788.)
£1500.00 [First Edition]
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First edition. Folding frontispiece map and a folding plate. 8vo. Smart modern half plum morocco over marbled boards. Gilt titles and tooling over green labels to spine. iv, 183, pp. London, B. White,
Matthews was an enthusiastic proponent of the slave trade, putting forward the argument that [it] "is probably permitted by Providence as a means of preserving the lives of the many thousands who would otherwise be put to death, and are thus made useful members of society". He goes on further to add that "the practice of making, buying, and selling slaves, was in use in Africa long before our knowledge of it. Death and slavery were, and still are the punishments for almost every offence."
He particular notices the French bounty awarded slavers, who (by 1784 statute) in addition to receiving forty shillings per ton also received eight pounds sterling for every slave imported into their West Indian colonies. There are two chapters on the subject of the slave trade along with geographical, historical and ethnographic sections.
Stock Code: 226224