1773 · Boston
by [Parsons, Theodore, and Eliphlet Pearson]
Boston: Printed by John Boyle, for Thomas Leverett, 1773. 48pp. Dbd. Short diagonal cut through most of textblock, not affecting text. Two unobtrusive ownership signatures on titlepage. Title-leaf and final leaf worn and stained, some soiling, final leaf reattached at gutter. Withal, a good copy. In a cloth chemise and half leather and cloth slipcase, spine gilt. An early and quite scarce American work on slavery, and one of the only known records of a public debate on the legality of slavery in colonial New England. The work is especially interesting as it is presented in the form of a collegiate debate at Harvard on this increasingly controversial issue. Here, Pearson defends slavery while Parsons argues against it, both basing their arguments on the principles of natural law. There is also much included on the nature of human equality and on the perceived emergence of the African from primordial darkness to the light of Christianity.
ESTC records thirty-four copies in twenty- two discrete institutions, but the work is quite rare in the market. This is only the second copy we have ever handled, and the first in almost thirty years. EVANS 12917. LIBRARY COMPANY, AFRO-AMERICANA 7455. DUMOND, p.89. HOWES P107. COHEN 9869. SABIN 25075, 81980. ESTC W38507. (Inventory #: WRCAM55109)