She Was Woman, Hear Her Roar!

>Ah . . . sweet discoveries drop into my lap like ripe fruit in an orchard. Here we have a fascinating little Poem on the African Slave Trade (Dublin, 1792), which we bought from a well-known dealer about 40 years ago for $23.50. I would say its dollar value today is, at the very least, a hundred times that figure. Monetary value is but one index, however. The market will put a price on everything, but those of us in rare books deal in a multiplicity of values simultaneously.

The author of this surprisingly rare item (we are one of a mere half-dozen libraries listed as having both parts), Mary Birkett Card (1774-1817), was a Dublin Quaker, and the eldest of 13 children born of a soap boiler and tallow chandler. In the poem she urges other women to boycott goods produced by slaves (i.e., sugar and rum). And so we see that protests against social injustice via consumer boycott has a longer history than one may imagine. For more information on this woman (and to see the full text of the poem), go to the following website, put up by someone who claims to be the great-great-great-granddaughter of Mary Birkett Card:

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