The Black Abolitionist Papers - Vol. 1

By C. Peter Ripley | Go to book overview

81.
William E. Powell to Samuel May, Jr. 31 December 1859

During his years as a Liverpool resident, William P. Powell helped to make the transatlantic antislavery network a vital conduit for antislavery materials. He collected goods in Liverpool to forward to the Boston Anti-Slavery Bazaar, procured British subscribers for American Anti- Slavery Society periodicals (particularly the National Anti-Slavery Standard and Liberator), and assisted British abolitionists in purchasing abolitionist books and pamphlets printed in America. Powell frequently arranged for these antislavery publications to be carried to Britain by black American seamen, whose acquaintance he made while operating a sailors' home in New York City from 1839 to 1851. ASA, August 1853, April 1858; Foner, "William P. Powell."

No. 1 North John St[reet]
Royal Insurance Buildings
Liverpool, [ England]
Dec[ember] 31st, 1859

Dear friend May

I am extremely obliged for your prompt attention to my letter of wants kindly--favored by the Rev. S. J. May. First then do please countermand the Standard being sent to Thomas Parry1 143 Chester Road Hulme Manchester, in error as the paper is already sent to Miss Rebecca Walton same address--only one copy being required.

Second--The list of Anti Slavery publications which I wrote for are for our mutual friend and co-adjutor Wilson Armistead of Leeds which I hope you will not fail to send. Now whilst I think of it, if you should fail to send by New York ship you can give instructions to Philadelphia Anti Slavery office 2 (for they have the same publications) to send the books by Mr. Fisher, 3 Steward of the ship Saranak or Mr. Freeman, 4 Steward of ship Tonawanda, both Philadelphia packets running to L'pool, either gentleman will be glad to serve me. In the mean time, please send me in same package Three Copies of the best got up book of the Martyr Jho. Brown, 5 and a dozen of his portraits; and, please have the Standard and Liberator sent to the Revd. P. Hains6 Incumbent of St. Mathias Church Great Howard St. Liverpool. Really the more I write, the more my wants increase. I wish I had the means to scatter Anti Slavery information broadcast over Liverpool and adjoining towns, the difficulty is that the people want information. We want in this Great Commercial town a full supply of Antislavery publications, a good Library, and a few extra copies of the Liberator and Standard. I firmly believe, if I had at my

-474-

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