A Lecture on the Haytien Revolutions; with a sketch of the character of Toussaint L’Ouverture. Delivered at the Stuyvesant Institute, (for the benefit of the Colored Orphan Asylum,) February 26, 1841 ... Published by the Managers, for the benefit of the Asylum. [Haiti]
An abolitionist, author, physician, an inspiration to Frederick Douglass
First Edition of McCune Smith’s 1841 pamphlet, a carefully-documented history wherein he sought to clarify the importance of the Saint Domingue revolution, especially for black Americans, given in this public lecture. (Stauffer)
John Stauffer, editor of The Works of James McCune Smith: Black Intellectual and Abolitionist (Oxford, 2006) p25 describes McCune Smith’s pamphlet succinctly: “The purpose of the talk was fourfold: his lecture which cost fifty cents was a fund-raiser for the Colored Orphan Asylum ... It also sought to educate and uplift blacks ... It offered a revisionary account of the Saint Domingue Revolution ... Finally, he hope that his portrait of Toussaint L’Ouverture, the ex-slave who created the first black republic, would inspire his own generation ... [Further, L’Ouverture’s] swift rise from slave to physician and then head of a republic, while remaining a devoted husband and father, resonated with McCune Smith, who hoped to lead his nation to universal freedom.”
James McCune Smith (1813-1865). Abolitionist and reformer, the son of slaves, the first professionally medically trained black American physician. Smith “...became the staff physician for the New York Colored Orphan Asylum, and opened a pharmacy on West Broadway, one of the first in the country owned by a black. Smith’s activities as a radical abolitionist and reformer, however, secured his reputation as one of the leading black intellectuals of the antebellum era. ... [Frederick] Douglass considered Smith the “foremost” black leader who had influenced his reform vision.” (ANB)
No copies at auction since 2001 according to ABPC.
Description: A Lecture on the Haytien Revolutions; with a sketch of the character of Toussaint L’Ouverture. Delivered at the Stuyvesant Institute, (for the benefit of the Colored Orphan Asylum,) February 26, 1841 ... Published by the Managers, for the benefit of the Asylum. [Haiti]
New-York: Printed by Daniel Fanshaw, no. 150 Nassau-street. And for sale at the bookstores of the city, 1841. Frontis map, 28pp. First Edition. 8vo. Bound without wraps into recent cloth with gilt-stamped morocco spine label. Lightly foxed and near fine.
Blockson, Afro-Americana. An Exhibition of Selected Books ... 1984 #18 — “Smith, probably the most prominent New York black of the 1840-65 period, published a number of speeches, pamphlets and articles. He was frequently cited by the abolitionists as an example of what cultural training could do for the ambitious black man. Although born and raised in New York City, he attended the University of Glasgow in Scotland and received his M.D. degree there.” Sabin 82794.