London: Printed and Sold by J. Phillips, 1788. vi, 7-83, [1 blank], -134 pp. Lightly foxed and disbound, else Very Good.
The first edition also issued from London in 1788. Clarkson dedicates his Essay to the great abolitionist William Wilberforce, "a zealous advocate in behalf of the oppressed Africans." Though Clarkson denounces "the cruelties, practiced by the officers of slave vessels," he also demonstrates that the slave trade "is as IMPOLITICK, as I have proved it to be inhuman and unjust." [Capital letters substituted for italics]. He argues that the enthusiasm with which Africans trade for goods with Englishmen is "proof of the commercial spirit of the Africans," whose natural resources are ripe for cultivation in joint ventures. "Free labour can be made the medium, through which the productions of their country may be collected."
Kress B.1381. Sabin 13480. LCP 2380. Dumond 39. Item #31581