FROM AN ABOLITIONIST
TO A SLAVE CATCHER
The Saints’ Everlasting Rest, or, a Treatise on the Blessed State of the Saints.
Philadelphia: Solomon W. Conrad... for Ezekiel Cooper, 1803.
This copy of The Saints’ Everlasting Rest was signed on the title page by its publisher, Ezekiel Cooper (1763–1847), a prominent Methodist preacher in Maryland. In 1798 Cooper was elected Superintendent of the Book Concern for the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States of America, based in Philadelphia, and in 1804 he became Editor and General Book Steward in New York City.
The provenance of this book presents a stark irony: whereas Ezekiel Cooper was an abolitionist who preached against slavery as one of humanity’s vilest sins, the volume also bears the bookplate of Edward Inghram (1793–1854), the Philadelphia lawyer who as Commissioner of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1851 deported countless runaway slaves back to their “claimants” in the southern states. The engraving added to this copy is a portrait of the author, Richard Baxter (1615–1691).