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Bigelow | John

Jamaica In 1850

First Edition


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First edition of Jamaica in 1850: or, The Effects of Sixteen Years of Freedom on a Slave Colony, by American diplomat and author, John Bigelow. Inscribed by the author to Henry J. Raymond, co-founder of The New York Times.

Twelvemo, iv, 214pp. Publisher’s brown cloth, title in gilt on spine, publisher’s initials embossed in a decorative design on covers. Some rubbing to the spine, wear to cloth along bottom edge. Even toning throughout, a few dog-eared pages. Solid text block, yellow endpapers. (Sabin 5305) This copy is signed on the front free endpaper: “H.J. Raymond Esq., With the compliments of The Author.”

This scarce work challenges the long held assumption that black emancipation would collapse the Southern economy. It argues that the collapse of the Jamaican economy following emancipation in 1838 was largely due to the negligence of the white plantation owners, not the alleged incapacity of former slaves. The author, John Bigelow (1817-1911) was the editor of the New York Evening Post and a diplomat in later life. From 1861-1864, he served as Lincoln’s Consul and Charg? d’Affaires in France, working to influence the French to support the Union cause. In the 1870s, he served as Secretary of State for New York, and later he became the executor of the Tilden Trust, founding the New York Public Library in 1895.

Additional information

Location Published

New York


George P. Putnam


First Edition

Date Published





Very Good


Bigelow | John