Picture of Slavery

George Bourne (1780-1845), Picture of Slavery in the United States of America (Middletown, Conn.: E. Hunt, 1834). Wood engravings designed by H.A. Munson (born 1814)and G.W. Flagg (1816-1897), carved on wood by Munson. Original cloth binding. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Hamilton 1870

George Bourne was a Presbyterian minister and abolitionist who called for the “immediate emancipation without compensation” of American slaves. As one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society, Bourne was himself the object of persecution throughout his adult life.

At the National Antislavery Society meeting in Philadelphia on December 4, 1833, Bourne was chosen as one of three delegates to prepare

“a synopsis of Wesley’s Thoughts on Slavery, and of the Antislavery items in the note formerly existing in the Catechism of the Presbyterian Church of the United States; and of such other similar testimony as they can obtain, to be addressed to Methodists, Presbyterians, and all professed Christians in this country, and published under the sanction of this convention.”

Following the 1833 conference, Bourne re-issued an expanded version of The Book and Slavery Irreconcilable (originally published in Virginia, 1816) under the title Picture of Slavery in the United States. One of several appendixes in this volume is the statement he helped to write for the 1833 National Antislavery Society.