Auctioneers of Rare Books, Collectibles and Fine Art

Auction 72: March 16th, 2017

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Lot: 37 (AMERICAN JUDAICA). The African Slave Trade: The Secret Purpose of the Insurgents to Revive It. No Treaty Stipulations Against the Slave Trade to Be Entered into with the European Powers. Judah P. Benjamin's Intercepted Instructions to L.Q.C. Lamar. The Daniel M. Friedenberg copy. pp. 24, (2). Modern boards. 8vo.

C. Sherman, Philadelphia: 1863. Est: $1,000 - $1,500

-The background to this pamphlet is as follows: The Confederacy, in which Judah P. Benjamin served as Secretary of State, entered into secret negotiations with the European powers seeking recognition as an independent nation. However it was feared that in exchange for recognition, the Europeans would require a stipulation on the part of the Confederacy forbidding the importation of slaves from Africa. Judah P. Benjamin parried, by arguing that no stipulation was necessary, for the Confederacy was already legally bound to forbid involvement with the African slave trade. A letter written by Benjamin to this effect, intended for Confederate minister. L.Q.C. Lamar, special envoy to the Russian government in St. Petersburg, was intercepted by the North and Benjamin's argument was exposed as sophistry.
     Judah Philip Benjamin (1811-1884) was born into a Sephardic family on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. As a boy, he moved with his parents to the United States. Benjamin went on to become senator from Louisiana, and during the Civil War, served the Confederacy first as Secretary of War and later as Secretary of State. See EJ, Vol. IV cols. 528-9.

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