2 ALS to "My Dear Sir"

WILBERFORCE William (1806.)


"You had better keep this to yourself..."

Manuscript in ink. 4pp. 4to. & 2pp. 8vo. London, December 16th, 1803 and May 12,

The first of these two letters contains Wilberforce's opinion on an act regarding finance. However, it also includes a lengthy postscript on abolition in the Caribbean:


"Some of the West Indians are beginning to profess themselves friendly to at least a qualified abolition of the slave trade ... I dare not repose much confidence in them. We are indebted chiefly I believe for their fears of being beat and of the marked by the Planters of the conquered Dutch Settlements - you had better keep all this to yourself lest an opposition should be stirr'd up among those who are interested in the African trade, which might crush these first shootings in the Bud."


The second is essentially an apology for his "neglect of his correspondents" but adds that "Lord Grenville [then Prime Minister] & Mr Fox [Tory MP] do themselves the highest honour by their conduct respecting abolition." Both were written in the most important period of Wilberforce's life in the lead up to the abolition of slavery act passed in 1807.


Stock Code: 184287

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