Boston: Allen and Ticknow, 1833. 1st edition (American Imprints 18214; BAL 3116; Dumond, p. 38). viii, 232 pp. Errata slip tipped-in. Frontis. Plate. 12mo. 7-5/8" x 4-5/8". Original publisher's gunmetal blue cloth binding with printed paper title label to spine. Professionally rebacked. Chip to lower right edge of spine label [no text affected]. A VG+ copy. Item #34931
"More ambitious in scope than either its predecessors or its successors, Child's Appeal also differs strikingly in style and substance from other white American abolitionist tracts, including the many that bear witness to its influence. Unlike Amos A. Phelps's Lectures on Slavery and Its Remedy (1834), William Ellery Channing's Slavery (1835), Angelina Grimké's Appeal to the Christian Women of the South (1836), and Theodore Dwight Weld's The Bible against Slavery (1837), the Appeal relies very sparingly on religious and scriptural arguments. Unlike Weld in American Slavery As It Is (1839), Child relegates incidents of cruelty to a minor place in the Appeal. Unlike Grimké, Child emphasizes rational rather than emotional persuasion, cultivates a political discourse that is more masculine than feminine, and targets a gender-mixed rather than a female audience. And unlike abolitionist tract writers generally, not excepting Richard Hildreth, whose Despotism in America (1840) amplifies the Appeal's economic and political analysis, Child looks beyond the issue of slavery to the larger imperative of ending discrimination against free African Americans. In short, the Appeal's most distinctive and enduring feature is its indictment of racism, which governs four out of eight chapters, recurs as a sub-theme elsewhere in the book, and shapes Child's argument throughout." [eNotes, History].
However, as Child predicted in her preface [".. though I expect ridicule and censure, I cannot fear them."], this stance of equality extracted a personal cost in terms of her public image & popularity, e.g., the Boston Athaneum retracted the free library privileges that had been conferred & her book sales plunged. Nevertheless, today the work is acknowledged as a ground-breaking tour-de-force, occupying a preeminent role in American Abolitionist literature.
Scarce in the trade, with ABPC current showing only 3cc at auction in the last 30+ years, with the last in 2000 [with that copy imperfect, lacking the errata].