QUAKERS - The Annual Monitor, or New Letter-Case and Memorandum Book. York, William Alexander, 1813-1822.
The first ten volumes in one, 12mo. Contemporary, probably Northern English half calf over marbled boards, spine ornamented in blind, ruled and lettered in gilt 'Annual Monitor 1-10'; lower hinge restored in the early 20th century and endpapers renewed, covers a little rubbed, extremities with light wear; still a decorative and fitting binding; a few volumes with even light toning, otherwise clean and fresh.
A consecutive run of the very rare in-house publication by the Society of Friends with many references to the ongoing abolitionist campaigns and moving texts about the sin of slavery. The middle pages of each annual which would have included the diary, space for memorandums and cash book to be filled in by hand have been removed by the Quaker who had this volume bound up.
This Quaker annual was started by William Alexander in 1813 and ran up to 1919. The English Quaker, businessman, educator, bookseller, publisher and author settled in 1808 in York, when Sotherans Bookshop was still there. In the first volume he writes: 'The holding of bondage of our fellow men, is this year a prominent feature; for though the slave-trade is abolished by law in this country and those of America; yet, as slavery still exists, by legal authority, in British Dominions, it may be interesting to many readers, to have a few anecdotes of some of the individuals who paved the way for its exterminations in the religious Society of Friends; amongst whom there is no longer a fellow-creature held in that unchristian bondage' (p. 3 f.). For example on pp. 129 f. in volume five is a report by a Quaker visiting Virginia about the bestial attitude of a slave owner who threatens a sick and dying slave with severe flogging as punishment for having brought the sickness upon himself. Another rather interesting long report (volumes 7 and 8) is on a visit of the Seneca Indians of Lake Erie to York. There had been a Quaker mission to this tribe from 1798 onwards.