Item #51127 TRIAL And IMPRISONMENT Of JONATHAN WALKER, At Pensacola, Florida, for Aiding Slaves to Escape from Bondage.; With an Appendix, Containing a Sketch of His Life. Jonathan Walker.
TRIAL And IMPRISONMENT Of JONATHAN WALKER, At Pensacola, Florida, for Aiding Slaves to Escape from Bondage.; With an Appendix, Containing a Sketch of His Life.

TRIAL And IMPRISONMENT Of JONATHAN WALKER, At Pensacola, Florida, for Aiding Slaves to Escape from Bondage.; With an Appendix, Containing a Sketch of His Life.

Boston: Published at the Anti-Slavery Office, 25 Cornhill, 1845. 1st printing (American Imprints 45-6701; Blockson Catalogue 10153; Dummond, p. 113). vi, [7] - 119 pp. Preface by Maria Weston Chapman, a noted Boston abolitionist and the editor of the anti-slavery journal The Non-Resistant. T.p. cut of a branded hand. 3 full page wood-engravings: pp. 27, 38 & 42. 12mo. 7-9/16" x 4-9/16". Original publisher's brown cloth binding with gilt stamped title lettering to front board. Modest extremity wear, title gilt bright. A bit cocked. T.p. with offset [see image]. Small semi-circular piece missing from fore-edge of leaf 6-1. Withal, a pleasing VG+ copy of a somewhat uncommon book in the trade. Item #51127

"Jonathan Walker, known as 'The Man with the Branded Hand', was an American reformer who became a national hero in 1844 when he was trialed and sentenced as a slave stealer following his attempt to help seven runaway slaves find freedom.

Walker was born in Harwich, Massachusetts. During his youth in Massachusetts, Walker learned to sail and became captain of a fishing vessel. In early 1837, he went to Florida and became a railroad contractor. The condition of the slaves interested him, and in 1844 Walker aided several of them as they attempted to make escape in an open boat from the coast of Florida to the British West Indies, where slavery had been abolished ten years before. After doubling the capes, Captain Walker fell seriously ill; the crew, being ignorant of navigation, would all have been drowned if a wrecking sloop had not rescued them and taken Walker to Key West. From there, he was sent in chains aboard USS General Taylor to Pensacola, where he was put in prison, chained to the floor, and deprived of light and proper food. Walker later wrote about the degrading conditions inside the jailhouse and the brutality shown toward slaves there. Put on trial in federal court in Pensacola, Walker was convicted, sentenced to be tied to a pillory, and publicly branded on his right hand with the letters 'S S' for 'slave stealer'. He was also imprisoned and heavily fined. But to some it meant 'slave savior'. United States Marshal Eben Dorr, who also traded slaves, executed the branding with a hot iron. Walker was then returned to jail, confined eleven months, and released only after northern abolitionists paid his fine. For five years after his release, Walker lectured on slavery in the northern and western states.

Walker was the subject of John Greenleaf Whittier's poem 'The Branded Hand'. Whittier heard about Walker after reading a book about him called Trial and Imprisonment of Jonathan Walker [i.e., the book here offered]. The poem praised Walker's actions.

A plaque commemorating Walker was erected on the lawn next to the Harwich, Massachusetts Historical Society." [Wiki].

Price: $1,750.00

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