Author: Allen, William (1792-1864) and Thomas Richard Heywood Thompson
A Narrative Of The Expedition Sent By Her Majesty's Government To The River Niger In 1841. Under the Command of Captain H.D. Trutter and T.R.H. Thomson. M.D. Surgeon. R.N.
Publisher: Richard Bentley
2 volumes; xviii+509 pages with frontispiece portrait, 2 folding maps, music scores, 5 plates (one folding); many wood engravings and appendix; viii+511 pages with frontispiece, 7 plates, many wood engravings, music scores and appendix. Royal Octavo (9" x 5 3/4") bound in blue leather with five raised spine bands, gilt lettering to spine. First edition.
William Allen (1793–1864) was a British naval officer, explorer, musician, artist, and anti-slavery activist, who published works on his various expeditions to Africa and the Middle East, as well as presenting his own strategy for ending the slave trade. Under the auspices of the Society for the Extinction of the Slave Trade and for the Civilization of Africa, Allen published A Narrative of the Expedition sent by H.M.’s Government to the River Niger in 1841, following up on his earlier pictorial publication, Picturesque views on the river Niger. Allen described these particular expeditions as “desirable for nobler ends than the acquisition of wealth”, with a pledge to help eradicate the persistent and pervasive slave trade network. In 1846 he published a pamphlet on ‘Mutual Improvement,’ a Utopian-like recipe for moral development and social compassion. In 1849, his Plan for the immediate Extinction of the Slave Trade, for the Relief of the West India Colonies was a provocative scheme to have slave-dependent nations transition their slaves into short-term binding apprenticeships with fixed end-dates for release and economic freedom. Allen also traveled through Syria and Palestine, and published these results in The Dead Sea, a New Route to India, with other Fragments and Gleanings in the East, in which he promoted the construction of a canal between the Mediterranean and Red Sea.
Volume one lacks plate between pages 280 and 281, light foxing at end papers else a very good to fine copy.