Memoir of Captain Paul Cuffee, a Man of Colour: to Which is Subjoined the Epistle of the Society of Sierra Leone, in Africa, &c.
Memoir of Captain Paul Cuffee, a Man of Colour: to Which is Subjoined the Epistle of the Society of Sierra Leone, in Africa, &c.

Memoir of Captain Paul Cuffee, a Man of Colour: to Which is Subjoined the Epistle of the Society of Sierra Leone, in Africa, &c.

York, [England]: Printed by C. Peacock, for W. Alexander, and Sold by Him; Sold Also by Darton, Harvey, and Co. Grace-Church-Street, and W. Phillips, Lombard-Street, London, 1812. With supplement dated 1817. 12mo, disbound. 32, [2] pp. of ads. Early ink ownership inscription of “Charlotte Hill” at head of title-page.

A scarce pamphlet account of the remarkable life of Captain Paul Cuffee (1759–1817), detailing his successes as a whaler and maritime trader, and his involvement in the African Colonization Movement, published during Cuffee’s lifetime by Quaker publisher William Alexander of York, England, republished here with a supplemental 2 pp. obituary dated 1817.

Born on the island of Cuttyhunk, off New Bedford, Cuffee was the son of freed African slave Kofi Slocum (who took the name of the Quaker man who freed him, John Slocum) and Ruth Moses, a Wampanoag Indian. Exceptionally energetic and ambitious, Cuffee took to the sea at an early age, served on a privateer during the Revolutionary War, and, following the War, took to whaling and commercial voyages. Despite a number of serious setbacks early on, including losses at the hands of pirates, he persisted and became quite prosperous. In 1780, objecting to Massachusetts laws that required free blacks to pay taxes while they had no rights as citizens, Cuffee and several others petitioned the General Court for exemption, resulting in a law making “all free persons of color liable to taxation, according to the ratio established for white men and granting them the privileges belonging to the other citizens.” Later in life, through the influence of British abolitionists, Cuffee became interested in the cause of African colonization, making several trips to Sierra Leone, and in 1815 spending some $4000.00 of his own money to transport and settle thirty-eight people there. The text of subjoined Epistle of the Society of Sierra Leone, an appeal from “men of colour” for the liberty of all slaves, was brought by Cuffee to England for publication.

REFERENCES: Howes C940; Sabin 17850.

CONDITION: Very good, removed from a sammelband.

Item #5017

Price: $3,750.00

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