Worcester: Printed for the Author, 1849. First edition. Original publisher's cloth binding stamped in gilt and blind. A bit of sunning and spotting to spine and front board; light foxing to preliminary and terminal leaves, with central signatures a bit proud. Overall a tight, square copy that is surpisingly fresh internally. Collating xii, 228: complete including frontis. OCLC reports 17 hardcopies at libraries; and its last appearance at auction was over a century ago, in 1916.
Drawing together letters, journals, and publications from her husband's lifetime, Catherine Brown memorializes her activist husband's life and emphasizes the continued work of the groups with whom he allied. While the introduction gives us insight into Catherine's personality -- she specifically provides no apology for her publication and stands by its distribution -- and its structure allows her to shape something of a teleological activist narrative, the bulk of the book is thus in Abel's own words.
Born in Massachusetts, as a young man Abel, "under the spell of the Second Great Awakening, entered the Christian ministry and soon felt called to action in the abolitionist movement. Brown was an eloquent voice crying out against slavery, publishing letters and reports in The Liberator and other abolitionist periodicals as well as founding his own paper, The Tocsin of Liberty (later The Albany Patriot)" (Calarco). Not content with words alone, he carried allyship to action, standing alongside freed and enslaved Black Americans and facing physical violence and threats to his life. One of the Underground Railroad's most prolific operatives, he spent time in Pennsylvania, living near the Ohio River and providing aid to those fleeing the South; he traveled to Kentucky and Virginia to assist in emancipating enslaved peoples; and he provided a public platform for those who had escaped to tell their own stories. "His abolitionist activities brought constant harassment that included a reward from slaveholders for his apprehension...but he continued to lection on the anti-slavery circuit, accompanied by fugitives who described their sorrows and hardships" (Calarco). It was during the height of his activism that he met and married Catherine, who joined him in his abolitionist efforts, cared for him following physical beatings by white supremacist mobs, and produced the present work to ensure that his work survived beyond him.
Sabin 8462. Not in Blockson. (Item #4413)