Narrative... expedition against the revolted Negroes of Surinam...
on the wild coast of South America
London, Johnson 1806
Sabin 91075; Abbey Travel 719; Bentley, Blake books 499 B
Two books in one volume in quarto
Large paper copy, bookblock 29,5x23cm, blindstamped vellum over heavy bevelled boards.
Book one: 11 lvs, including frontis and title page; 423 pp; 1 leaf; 4 pp;
Book two: second title page; 4 lvs; 419 pp; 5 pp
The two title pages with engraved vignette, 77 plates in aquatint and 3 engraved folding maps, all in attractive contemporary colour.
Images after original Stedman drawings.
A famous abolitionist document, attractive as a large paper copy and enhanced by its contemporary deeply coloured plates.
First published in London in 1796. Translated in 6 languages. The story of life of slaves in Surinam and their fate when they escaped slavery. Upriver and deep inland the so-called maroons formed communities. The Dutch sent out expeditions to bring them back and castigate them cruelly.
John Gabriel Stedman was an officer in the Scots brigade in the Netherlands and volunteered to serve in Surinam, then a Dutch colony. Stedmans diary says that upon arrival a negro women offers me her daughter at a certain sum. And a few months later Joanna comes to stay with me. I give her presents...and I am perfectly happy. After they have a son, Stedman tries to convince Joanna to come with him to the Europe, which she refuses
Stedman was a gifted person with ample interests. Apart from the love in times of slavery story the book documents an extreme slave society. The black slave in Surinam was 25 times bigger than the white population, compared to 10 to 1 in Jamaica. Stedman was appalled by the terrible treatment of the slaves that he documented. However he also observed, draw and described the Surinam fauna and flora in detail