BICKELL, Richard. The West Indies as they are; Or A Real Picture Of Slavery: But More Particularly As It Exists In The Island Of Jamaica. In Three Parts. With Notes.

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BICKELL, Richard. The West Indies as they are; Or A Real Picture Of Slavery: But More Particularly As It Exists In The Island Of Jamaica. In Three Parts. With Notes. London, Hatchards, 1825.

8vo. Contemporary expertly restored and rebacked half calf over marbled boards, spine directly lettered in gilt; pp. [iii]-xvi, 256; p. 149/50 with small marginal paper flaw, gutter of pp. 163 and 163 with toned strip due to offstting from silk page marker, only initially a little toned, a good copy of a great rarity.
First edition. Richard Bickell was Curate in Kingston and later Port Royal, then naval chaplain at Port Royal. From first-hand experience he wrote this emphatic denucniation of the dehumanizing practice of slavery in the Caribbean, containing blood-curdling accounts of cruelty, torture and murder of profitable property. Bickell gleefully deconstructs Edward Long's theory expressed in the History of Jamaica (1774), which is trying to prove that Black People are a species different from - and inferior to - (white) humans. Brickell accuses him of 'ranging far and wide, in the dark and dangerous region of metaphysics, and philosophizing on what God might have done' (p. 191) in order to underpin his racism. Brickell does away with this way of thinking by stating that Long's 'conclusions are by no means correct; for we know that ancient Egyptians, who were a people of dark colour, far excelled many other nations who were fairer than themselves; nay, made greater progress in the sciences and fine arts, than many modern white nations have ever made' (p. 192).
Goldsmiths 24715; Sabin 5218.

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