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Inventory of the Thomas Clarkson Papers, 1787-1847
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Subject matter
  • Persons represented by 3 or more pieces
  • Some important or interesting items

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Thomas Clarkson Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1787-1847
    Creator: Clarkson, Thomas, 1760-1846
    Extent: Number of pieces: 210
    Repository: The Huntington Library
    San Marino, California 91108
    Abstract: The papers include drafts of Clarkson's letters to the Comte de Mirabeau and others on slavery; several reports and speeches; and letters addressed to Clarkson from persons in the United States and Great Britain regarding anti-slavery activities.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Larger portion purchased from Eric M. Bonner, 1949; further purchase from Maggs Bros. (Cat. 811, items 298-300), 1952.


    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL .

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Thomas Clarkson Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Thomas Clarkson (1760-1846), the English philanthropist, devoted the major portion of his life to the cause of the abolition of slavery. His energy in organizing anti-slavery societies throughout England helped to arouse the attention of the English people to the inhumanity of the institution of slavery. The present small group of papers may be looked upon as a supplement to the collection of Clarkson Papers in the British Museum (Add. Mss. 41262-41267). Both groups of papers were consulted by Earl Leslie Griggs in the preparation of his biography of Clarkson published in 1936.

    Subject matter

    • I. Slavery
      • A. In Africa
        • 1. Slave trade
        • 2. Sierra Leone colony
      • B. In Great Britain: the activities of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society
      • C. In the United States
    • II. Thomas Clarkson and family

    Persons represented by 3 or more pieces

    BEAUMONT, John
    8 pieces
    BULLER, Charles
    3 pieces
    CHAPMAN, Maria Weston
    5 pieces
    CLARKSON, Thomas
    48 pieces
    GRÉGOIRE, Henri, Constitutional Bp. of Blois
    4 pieces
    JAY, William
    3 pieces
    SMITH, Gerrit
    6 pieces
    SOUL, Joseph
    4 pieces
    STURGE, Joseph
    15 pieces
    TAPPAN, Lewis
    3 pieces
    WRIGHT, Henry Clarke
    8 pieces

    Some important or interesting items

    • CLARKSON, Thomas. Account of efforts, 1807-1824, to abolish the foreign slave trade and slavery in the British colonies. c.1839
    • _____ Speech used in forming anti-slavery committees. 1823-1824
    • _____ A letter to the Clergy and slave holders in the Southern parts of the United States of America. 1841
    • _____ To Comte de Mirabeau. Nov. 13, 1789. The story of an African sold into slavery
    • _____ To Roberts Vaux. Mar. 8, 1819. Regarding the settlement of free negroes from the United States in Haiti.
    • _____ Report on Sierra Leone. c.1792
    • CRIPPS, William Buck. New Brunswick, Nov. 30, 1822. Re: conditions of settlers and prospects for newcomers
    • GARRISON, William Lloyd. Aug. 19, 1846. On slavery in the U.S.
    • JAY, John. Sep. 1, 1788. To Thomas Clarkson, making him an honorary member of the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves
    • KEY, Francis Scott. Nov. 8, 1817. Re: Americans who plan to visit Sierra Leone
    • PENNINGTON, J. W. C. Sep. 25, 1844. A free negro minister's report
    • SHARP, Granville. Oct. 13, 1788. On the formation of the settlement at Sierra Leone
    • THOMAS, Philip Evan. To James Cropper. Baltimore, Aug. 22, 1822. Re: slave labor in the U. S.
    • WHITTIER, John Greenleaf. July 10, 1844. Progress of anti-slavery movements in the United States
    • WORDSWORTH, Dorothy. To Catherine (Buck) Clarkson. May 10, 1808