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Lot #180
Thomas Clarkson Autograph Letter Signed

Clarkson fundraises for the "Slave-Purse," applying to "Friends to the Cause in Parliament"

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Estimate: $400+
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Clarkson fundraises for the "Slave-Purse," applying to "Friends to the Cause in Parliament"

English abolitionist (1760-1846) who was a leading campaigner against the slave trade in the British Empire. ALS signed “Tho's Clarkson,” three pages on two adjoining sheets, 7.25 x 8.75, August 5, 1793. Handwritten letter to Charles Grant, in part: "I sent you Mr. Williams's Bill two or three Posts ago, & now enclose you the Case, which you have been at the Pains of making out. I think it so much better than any other hitherto drawn out, that I hope it will be adopted. I am more & more convinced, since I have been travelling into the Country, that Mr. William Smith's Idea is the true one, viz. that the Friends to the Cause in Parliament & a few other such Persons should do this Business. On application to little Persons on my Travels, who have nevertheless given five Guineas to the Slave-Purse, I have been answered that such great men as are friends to the Cause ought to do this among themselves, & that ordinary Persons ought not to be resorted to in such a case. I find, moreover, that the Bill is looked upon in so iniquitous a light, that People will not subscribe to it, I mean by this that the charges of the Law are so extravagant, that they will have no Hand in encouraging them. I find also that in many Instances subscriptions towards this would so much clash with those towards the great Cause, that I dare not urge them. I think the best way would be to look out for a dozen or more good persons, who would give fifty Pounds each, & pay this to Williams…On the Meeting of Parliament we could speak to Wilberforce on the Subject & mark out a few Persons friendly to the Cause in the H. of Commons to be spoken to." In very good to fine condition, with scattered creases and seal-related loss to the second integral sheet.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #635 - Ended May 11, 2022

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