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16 results, ordered by Publication Date

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[After Edward Wallis] / Augustus Kollner (lithographer) / Thomas Sinclair (printer), NATIONAL GAME of the STAR SPANGLED BANNER or Geographical & Historical TOURIST through the UNITED STATES & CANADA. Philadelphia: L. I. Cohen & Co, 1844.

Rare 1844 American edition of the Game of the Star Spangled Banner

One of the earliest published American cartographic games and one of the earliest American pictorial maps, based on one of the same title published in London by Edward Wallis. This fine pictorial map covers the eastern United States and Canada, the limits as then existed, from the northern shore of Lake Superior to the tip […]

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1671 slave trade contract between Boston and Maryland merchants

Rare 17th-century New England-Maryland slave trade document

A rare seventeenth century slave trade contract between Boston merchant Richard Wharton on the one part and Jonathan Sybery of Maryland on the other, requiring Wharton to acquire slaves in the West Indies and deliver them to Sybery, on the Wye River in Maryland, for which Sybery agrees to pay with a large quantity of […]

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Slave Market of America abolition broadside

Powerful abolition broadside

A remarkable illustrated broadside highlighting the hypocrisy of the Washington, D.C. slave trade, published during a campaign for abolition in the national capital. The broadside features eight scenes of slaving activity in the national capital plus a small map showing the relative positions of the U.S. Capitol and the Public Prison.  The images are complemented […]

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Drawn by E[dwin] Hergesheimer / C. B. Graham lithr., MAP OF VIRGINIA Showing the distribution of its SLAVE POPULATION from the CENSUS OF 1860. Washington, DC: Henry S. Graham, June 13, 1861.

Famed 1861 map of the distribution of slavery in Virginia

A landmark use of thematic mapping to present U.S. census data. Intended to demonstrate the wildly uneven distribution of slaveholding in Virginia and thereby influence the secession debates of 1861. The map depicts Virginia and its counties in outline, with a figure in each county indicating the number of slaves as a percentage of the […]

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Map demonstrating the “Impolicy of Slavery”

A rare thematic map delivering an economic argument for the abolition of slavery in the British Empire.   PJ Mode provides a most helpful explanation of the map and its maker: “This polemic map argues that import prohibitions and high duties on sugar were artificially inflating prices and inhibiting manufacturing in England. It was published by J. […]

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Rare and crudely-racist “Bobalition” broadside

A rare broadside lampooning Boston’s annual Abolition Day celebration in crudely racist language.

 This broadside was one of several “bobalition” texts issued in Boston between 1816 and 1828, all of which are now rare. These used a crude simulacrum of African-American speech patterns to mock the annual celebration held by the black residents of Boston commemorating […]

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[ Royal African Company ] The British Interest on the Coast of Africa Consider’d, with the Interest of other Europeans, and the Politicks they used for Carrying on that Trade. [London: Royal African Company, ca. 1708.]

The Royal African Company fights for a monopoly on the slave trade (1 of 2)

An exceptionally rare 1708 broadside arguing for the restoration of the Royal African Company monopoly on the slave trade, with substantial reference to the central role of slavery to the economy of Britain’s American “plantations.” Written with a Colonial audience in mind, with copies sent to the Caribbean and Virginia. Background Chartered by Charles II in […]

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The Royal African Company fights for a monopoly on the slave trade (2 of 2)

An exceptionally rare 1708 broadside arguing for the restoration of the Royal African Company’s monopoly on the slave trade with substantial reference to the central role of slavery to the economy of Britain’s American “plantations.” Written with a Colonial audience in mind, with copies sent to the Caribbean and Virginia. Background Chartered by Charles II in […]

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NATIONAL POLITICAL MAP OF THE UNITED STATES. New York: A[dolphus] Ranney, / Chicago: Rufus Blanchard, [July-October, 1856.]

National Political Map documenting the high-stakes Election of 1856

A rare persuasive map issued during the 1856 presidential campaign, suggesting the threat posed by the extension of slavery into the West after the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act established two new territories and repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which had hitherto prohibited slavery in the Louisiana Purchase north of 36° 30’. Instead, […]

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