A Dialogue Concerning the Slavery of Africans

Hopkins text page

A Dialogue Concerning the Slavery of Africans; showing it to be the Duty and Interest of the American States to emancipate all their African Slaves

Samuel Hopkins

1785

Dialogue title page

Written and printed in 1785, Samuel Hopkins’ pamphlet emphasizes the importance of human rights and encourages slave-owners in the United States to change their practices. The pamphlet, originally dedicated to the Continental Congress, is portrayed as an argumentative piece, drawing its base from historical and religious contexts. The text itself includes passages from the Bible, as well as descriptions of historical figures and events. The text supports the Quaker abolitionist movement in the late 18th and early 19th century, and was used as an outlet for pro-abolitionist arguments. Being disposable and mass-produced, this specific pamphlet is in a worn condition despite being printed on a high-quality beige matte paper. Small illustrations and graphics, and differences in font and font size imply this pamphlet was not cheaply produced. This particular pamphlet was given as a gift to a family member during the 1870s, and has very few notations. The initial intended audience would have been the general public. In addition, the piece was dedicated to the Continental Congress, likely as a way to introduce pro-abolitionist arguments on a larger scale.

 

John Ratliff, Class of 2022

A Dialogue Concerning the Slavery of Africans