Slavery

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The Beinecke Library holds numerous books and pamphlets related to slavery and abolition, some of which were owned and annotated by prominent abolitionists. These include two books on the Somerset case (1772), concerning the legality of slavery in England, with extensive marginal annotations by Granville Sharp.

Manuscript of a detailed description of the geography, population, economy, government, and social organization of Jamaica by John Dalling, who was appointed Lieutenant Governor of the colony in 1767. Topics include agriculture, the sugar trade and the mechanics of a typical sugar plantation, slavery and slave customs, and relations between the races.

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This Collection, originally called at Yale the Mason-Franklin Collection, is the most extensive collection of materials by, about, and around Franklin and his times to be found in a single collection anywhere in the world. The main body of the Collection is housed in three adjoining rooms on the second floor of Sterling Memorial Library, where it is available for research and study. The published papers and their digital compliment contain numerous references to slavery and abolition.

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Part one centers on Jamaica, c1765-1848. It includes the Taylor and Vanneck-Arcedekne Papers from Cambridge University Library and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. Highlights include the correspondence and papers of West Indian agents, correspondence and accounts of London agents concerning Jamaica, and materials covering the Maroon and French wars, slave revolts, the treatment of colonists by the British government, births, deaths, marriages, inheritances, debts and family quarrels. A detailed guide is available online.

Correspondence, business and personal papers, volumes and pamphlets, diaries, family papers, planation records, and miscellanea of families and individuals in Louisiana and the Mississipppi Valley. The effects of the Civil War and Reconstruction, emancipation, and social and economic change in the South are documented in nineteen separate collections. An unpublished finding aid is available.

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