New York: Am. & For. Anti-Slavery Society, 1851. First edition. Original paper wraps stitched at spine. In about Near Fine condition, with only the lightest soiling to the covers but internally fresh and unmarked. 36 pages. Front wrap featuring the now iconic image of an enslaved woman with the caption "Am I Not a Sister?" which was also deployed on abolitionist medals and coins; rear wrap featuring a list of activist tracts by the publisher. The only copy of the Liberty Almanac for 1851 on the market, OCLC lists only 9 other copies at institutions.
"Am I not a Sister? See the poor victim, torn from social life; The shrieking babe, the agonizing wife!" So opens the 1851 Liberty Almanac, featuring one of the most striking and recognizable images and slogans of the movement. Already in 1850, the Liberty Party had tapped into Victorian notions of family and femininity to appeal to readers' sympathies for the enslaved. The present volume continues this campaign. In addition to tapping into more conservative notions of women's humanity, however, this volume expands it to appeal to suffragists and women activists. If they seek their own freedom through the vote, after all, they must also recognize the suffering of their black American sisters. While 13 pages are dedicated to predictions of sunrises, sunsets, and climate, the bulk of the Almanac emphasizes the personal and legal cruelties of slavery. Here appear tragic accounts of freedmen being dragged across international lines back to slaveholders, and accounts of slave women's brave court testimonies in the face of white men's antagonism. These are placed alongside poems such as "Ichabod, " "Safe is the Ark," and "American Slavery," factual reports on Free and Slave States, and extracts from statesmen's speeches. (Item #2792)