Philadelphia: Printed by Kite & Walton, 1849. 44pp, stitched in modern marbled wrappers. Very Good.
The 'Inquiry', commissioned by the Society of Friends, is a landmark census analysis, designed "to obtain an up-to-date picture of the black community" in Philadelphia. "Among other data gathered were statistics on crime, a survey of the Negro churches, and comparative population figures" [LCP Exhibition]. Population trends, mortality data, life expectancies, manumitted former slaves, asset values, trades and occupations, and education are studied.
"The massive data drawn from rents, taxes, trades and occupations, education, churches, and crime rates-- despite the unprecedented anti-Catholic and anti-black violence which swept through Philadelphia between censuses-- plainly showed that a considerable percentage of the estimated ten thousand black urbanites 'actually prospered in the face of overwhelming obstacles.' The alarming number of black men and women murdered, pummeled, or forced to flee, and fires which engulfed their homes, schools, and places of worship went unrecorded-- a well-intentioned oversight that only further camouflaged the drastic socioeconomic deterioration of the city's black community" [Weinstein].
FIRST EDITION. LCP Exhibition 158. Weinstein, Against the Tide 89. LCP 9764. Item #34458