Burlington [NJ]: Printed for the Society, by Isaac Neale, 1793. 16pp, stitched. Contemporary plain wrappers present but detached. Untrimmed, lightly toned. Very Good.
This is the printing of the Constitution which had been "enlarged at Burlington the 2d of the 5th Month (May), 1793." The original Constitution, adopted three months earlier in February, probably was printed before ours. Joseph Bloomfield was President; Robert Smith, Jun. was Secretary. The Society draws its principles from the Natural Rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence. "We abhor that inconsistent, illiberal, and interested policy, which withholds those rights from an unfortunate and degraded class of our fellow creatures." In addition to the Constitution, this pamphlet prints New Jersey statutes ameliorating the condition of slaves, including a requirement that certain slaves "BE TAUGHT AND INSTRUCTED TO READ."
"New Jersey was one of the last northern states to actively promote abolition and the last northern state to abolish slavery. The New Jersey Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, founded in 1793, was made up chiefly of residents of West Jersey, most of them Quakers. Joseph Bloomfield was the Society's first president. There are two printings of the constitution: this one, with 16 pages, and another with 14 pages. They are printed from different settings of type, and the text varies" [Felcone Collection].
Evans 25891. LCP 7071. Felcone Collection 201. Felcone Bibliography 661. Item #31216