Rare First Edition of Letters addressed to William Wilberforce
Cobbett’s Weekly Political Register (January – May 1821) with Letters Addressed to William Wilberforce, M. P. Recommending the Encouragement of the Cultivation of Sugar in Our Dominions in the East Indies, as the Natural and Certain Means of Effecting the General and Total Abolition of the Slave-Trade.
Item Number: 75022
Liverpool: James Smith, 1822.
First edition of this compilation of issues of Cobbett’s Register collected in 1821 bound together with Cropper’s letters to Wilberforce. Octavo, bound in three quarters calf over marbled boards. Bookplate of Edward Nicholas Hurt to the front panel, with his signature to the title page and notes to the front free endpaper and verso. In very good condition. First editions are scarce, with the last copy appearing at auction was in 1948.
James Cropper (1773–1840) was an English businessman in Liverpool and philanthropist, known as an abolitionist. Successful in business, Cropper became the founder of Cropper, Benson, & Co., merchants, and made a personal fortune. He worked for the repeal of the orders of council which, up to 1811, restricting British commerce with the USA, He became an abolitionist, active against slavery in the Caribbean. He also was concerned at poverty in Ireland, made a series of visits there, and established cotton-mills. He also became involved with the port of Liverpool. English pamphleteer, farmer, and member of parliament William Cobbett sought relentlessly through his commentaries and weekly Register to end the poverty of farm labourers and reform the policies of the borough-mongers, sinecurists and "tax-eaters." Although initially staunchly anti-Jacobin, by 1804 Cobbett began questioning the policies of the Pitt government, especially the immense national debt and the profligate use of sinecures that Cobbett believed was ruining the country and increasing class antagonism. Hi journal soon became the main newspaper read by the working class, making him highly controversial figure in early 19th century England.