The Pelican Island, and Other Poems. James Montgomery.
The Pelican Island, and Other Poems.
The Pelican Island, and Other Poems.
The Pelican Island, and Other Poems.
The Pelican Island, and Other Poems.
The Pelican Island, and Other Poems.
The Pelican Island, and Other Poems.
The Pelican Island, and Other Poems.

The Pelican Island, and Other Poems.

Philadelphia: E. Littell, Chestnut Street, and J. Grigg, No. 9, North Fourth Street, 1827. First American edition. A rare volume of poetry, with both an early Australian reference to Captain Flinders and an anti-slavery poem. The Preface states; "the subject of 'The Pelican Island' was suggested by a passage in Captain Flinders's Voyage to Terra Australis. Describing one of those numerous gulfs which indent the coast of New Holland, and are thickly spotted with small islands, he says:- "Upon two of these we found many young Pelicans unable to fly...from the number of skeletons and bones there scattered, it should seem that for ages these had been selected for the closing scene of their existence..." Captain Flinders called it Kangaroo Island.

Montgomery (1771-1854) was born in Irvine, Scotland, the son of Moravian Brethren missionaries who both died in the West Indies. He did not complete his schooling, apprenticed to a baker and drawn to writing poetry and hymns, moved to Sheffield in 1792 to assist the owner of the newspaper the " "Sheffield Register", renaming it the "Sheffield Iris". He eventually sold out to John Blackwell. (Wikipedia).

With a moving anti-slavery poem "Inscription under the Picture of an Aged Negro-Woman."
"Art thou a WOMAN : - so am I; and all That woman can be, I have been, or am; A daughter, sister, consort, mother, widow...Whiche-er of these THOU art, O be the friend of one who is what thou canst nevr be! Look on thyself, thy kindred, home, and country, Then fall upon thy knees, and cry "Thank God, An English woman cannot be A SLAVE!" It goes on to similarly describe a man, a father, husband, son, who shared My bliss in freedom and my woe in bondage..." "Then at the altar of your household joys, Vow one by one, bow all together, vow With heart and voice, eternal enmity Against oppression by your brethren's hands; Till man nor woman under Britain's laws, Nor son nor daughter born within her empire, Shall buy, or sell, or hold, or be a slave."

12mo, (16 cm) ix, [1] 156pp. Original orange papered boards, pages untrimmed, spine laid down with most of the original cream title label. Ex- library from the Congregational Library, Boston, with their attractive bookplate on the front board and blind stamp on title and a couple of prelims. Ferguson 1134 lists 3 actual copies (F.C.; M.L. and N.L.) of the 1st UK edition of 264pp but only an electronic resource for the 1st US edition of 156pp. Both were published in 1827. OCLC: 9793115 cites a Kirtas internet resource at 10 US libraries, although the AAS definitely owns a copy. Shoemaker, R.H. Checklist of American imprints for 1820-1829, 29787.

Rare in trade. Item #26361

Price: $700.00

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