LETTER ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ON SLAVERY, CONSIDERED IN RELATION TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT IN GREAT BRITAIN AND IN THE UNITED STATES. BY AN AMERICAN CITIZEN.
Boston: Redding and Company, 1855. , 91, [1 blank] pp. Disbound and lightly worn, else Very Good.
This printed Letter to Doughface President Franklin Pierce is signed in type at the end, "AMERICAN CITIZEN" and dated Boston, December 1, 1854. Its message doubtless fell on deaf ears. The author, probably Chickering [see Appleton's], argues that Lord Mansfield's 1772 decision in the Sommersett Case, and subsequent legislation and decisions following that groundbreaking precedent, effectively abolished slavery in England and Scotland, and "the principle of freedom confirmed as a part of the Common Law and of the British Constitution."
This principle was the "birthright" of every person in the British Empire, including the American people, who based their rights on the British Common Law and Constitution. "At the time of our Revolution, our fathers contended for the rights of Englishmen, living in England; among which, was that of freedom, which excluded the holding of slaves of any race or color."
The paramount constitutional status of personal freedom renders American Slavery intolerable; delay in abolition is excusable only by the most serious practical considerations. "We do not urge immediate emancipation. The slave must be prepared for freedom before it will be a blessing to him."
LCP 5795. Sabin 40262, 22934. Item #39069