THE LAMP OF LOVE: A Book For Young Readers. Illustrated.
Edinburgh: Gall & Inglis, 6 George Street / London : Houlston & Wright. No Date [between 1857 and 1869]. First Printing. 12 mo, original publisher's green cloth decorated in blind & gilt, lettered in gilt on upper cover, decorated and lettered in blind on rear panel, spine panel decorated and lettered in gilt, pale yellow endpapers. 280 pages, Frontispiece engraved by J.M. Corner, illustrations, music. Minor foxing to text, lacking front free endpaper, rear inner hinges just starting to crack. A bright, very good copy. A very attractive little book. Item #311998
¶ Christian stories, tales, poems and songs (with music) for a juvenile audience. Aside from the usual morality tales, the book includes the tale of "Lott Cary", a black slave from Richmond, Virginia, who works in a tobacco factory and is sometimes rewarded for his good work with 'bits of money'. At the age of 20 he becomes terrified of eternal damnation after listening to an old Baptist preacher. He then sets about learning the good ways of the Lord, learning his ABC's in order to read the Bible. He takes his 'small bits of money' and saves them, which allows him to buy himself and his two sons out of slavery. As a free man he then proceeded to work in the same warehouse on a salary of 'eight hundred dollars a year'. I have a few questions here, but nevermind those... Lott decides to join the plan of colonizing free blacks back to Africa, goes to Liberia where they set up a 'happy Christian colony' amongst the savages, with whom they end up going to war. Lott seems to be heavily armed with muskets and cannons, so they kill as many 'savages' as they can and hold their fort safe for six weeks 'until but three rounds of shot were left'. But (of course) the bravery and spirit of the colonists led to a treaty of peace, and the colony expanded with new emigrants, new crops, schools, etc. After a while a ship of Spanish slavers arrives but the colonists threaten the ship with cannon fire, so it ups anchor and leaves. Lott then proceeds to play Christian Missionary with the local savages among the neighbouring tribes. Slightly preposterous but a bit more interesting then the average Christian Morality fare. The Houlston & Wright office was located in London between 1857 and 1869, hence the attributed date of the book. A rare book, there are no copies in commerce, and but one copy of this volume listed in Worldcat, at The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature in the Department of Special Collections at the University of Florida's George A. Smathers Library.