New York: Trustees of the residuary estate of Lindley Murray, 1838. 408p, third edition of this work that was first published in 1826, period leather-binding (polished calf) with old repairs and edge wear, spine worn with gilt bands but title label absent, period owner's name inked on free front fly leaf, darkened endpapers with foxing and slight foxing throughout. Mott's book was stunning for the period in its attempt to humanize people of color through short biographies, stories demonstrating the humanity of blacks, and evidence of their creativity through poetry. Her sketches range internationally in scope (Sierra Leone, the Caribbean, Liberia, the US), including the well-known (Toussaint L'Ouverture, Phyllis Wheatley), the obscure (Poor Sarah. Billy and Jenny), and Native Americans (Good Old Ruth the Pequot, Margaret Ann Crutchfield). This edition was published during a period of intense violence against abolitionists, particularly women. Mott agreed to have the book's design geared to classroom use.
Abigail Field Mott (1766-1851) lived in Westchester County, NY before moving to Burlington, NJ. She was an observant Quaker and aunt by marriage to abolitionist and feminist Lucretia Coffin Mott. In this book, she sought "to encourage virtue and morality in the different classes of society; and by bringing into view the effects which a system of slavery has on the human mind, and the dreadful consequences of that arbitrary power invested in the slaveholder over his fellow-being, to show how it hardens the heart and petrifies the feelings."