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Aunt Sally; Or, The Cross the Way of Freedom. A Narrative of the Slave-Life and Purchase of the Mother of Reverand Isaac Williams, of Detroit, MI, 1859.


[Abolition]. Aunt Sally; Or, the Cross The Way of Freedom. A Narrative of the Slave-Life and Purchase of the Mother of Rev. Isaac Williams, of Detroit, Michigan. Cincinnati: American Reform Tract and Book Society, 1859.
Small 8vo.; frontispiece engraving of "Aunt Sally," other engravings throughout; endpapers lightly offset; tan cloth, stamped in gilt and blind; covers heavily used, spine cocked; stamping faded; a sound copy.
First edition. An interesting example of a genre that grew increasingly popular in post-1850s America: the female-centered anti-slavery abolitionist tract. Like many works decrying slavery, Aunt Sally is told in the form of a fictionalized biography. The 216-page text covers the decades-long saga of a "young colored girl's" imprisonment, resistance, and eventual freedom. The book is noteworthy in that it was apparently written for a juvenile audience, which would suggest that other women besides Aunt Sally were involved in its production. The preface states that "There are very few Anti-Slavery books adapted to the young, yet no field could furnish a more attractive literature for children than this. Robinson Crusoe and the Arabian Nights would seem lifeless and uninteresting by the side of the hundreds of true and simple narratives which might be written of slave life in our Southern States"(iii).

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