On a quest for some Fourth of July inspiration, I began browsing the thousands of volumes that comprise our rare book collection when I found a copy of Thomas Jefferson’s A Summary View of the Rights of British America, his lesser known indictment of British transgressions of colonial rights written in 1774—a time when Jefferson, among other future revolutionaries, still felt possible “fraternal love and harmony throughout the whole [British] empire.”
Bound with A Summary View are several other political tracts from the revolutionary era, The Justice and Necessity of Taxing the American Colonies, Demonstrated, 1766; An Answer to the Declaration of the American Congress, a British response to the American Declaration of Independence; and, finally, Letters from General Washington to Several of his Friends in the Year 1776, published in 1777.
My interest in this modest volume was piqued by the gilt-stamped initials “J. G.” found on the cover and the name “J. Gillespie” scrawled on the title page. Could this J. Gillespie be North Carolina’s own revolutionary, James Gillespie? James Gillespie was born in 1747, owned a plantation in Kenansville, North Carolina, and, during the American Revolution, fought with a N.C. militia regiment. He later served in the state senate, attended the state’s constitutional conventions, and later sat in the U.S. House as a Federalist.
If you are also in need of a dose of revolutionary spirit come to the RBMSCL (tomorrow—we’re closed today!) and explore the ideological origins of the American Revolution through these tracts, the same ones that were perhaps perused by a revolutionary North Carolinian.
Post contributed by Josh Larkin-Rowley, Research Services Assistant.
Search The Devil’s Tale
Tag Cloud2011acquisitions 2012acquisition 2013acquisition advertisements advertising African American history archives artistsbooks civilwar conservation diaries digitization documentary dorisduke dukehistory durham durhamhistory economists events film fullframe games Haiti Heschel holidays human rights letterhead literature longcivilrights madmen Mad Men madmenmondays medicine movediary move prep movinghom photography recipes renovation rubensteinstaff scrapbooks sports students women's history zines
The Devil’s Tale Archive
- Yahya Jongintaba journals, 2005-2006. September 12, 2014
- Stone Circles records September 9, 2014
- Mattie U. Russell collection on William Faulkner, 1919-1987. September 4, 2014
- Early Essays of Poetry, 1849-1869. September 2, 2014
- Internationalist Books and Community Center records, 1960s-2011. August 26, 2014
- Opusculum Raymundinum de auditu kabbalistico siue ad omnes scientias introductorium : incipit libellus de kabbalistico auditu in via Raymundi Lulli. September 3, 2014
- Toad of Toad Hall : a play from Kenneth Grahame's book 'The wind in the willows' September 3, 2014
- The young lady's oracle : a fireside amusement. September 2, 2014
- Apatsʻoytsʻkʻ krōnitsʻ : tghotsʻ ew astuatsabanutʻean antegheak eghoghnerun hamar September 2, 2014
- The dollar : from death to birth September 2, 2014
- The First Presbyterian Church, Asheville, N.C., 1794-1951 September 11, 2014
- St. Bartholomew's parish, Pittsboro, N.C., 1833-1933 September 11, 2014
- St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 1753-1953 September 11, 2014
- Semi-centennial history of First Methodist Church, Forest City, North Carolina, 1889-1939 September 11, 2014
- First Baptist Church, Charlotte, N. C., 1832-1916 September 11, 2014