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Qui abolit l’esclavage des nègres dans les colonies, Paris 1794.

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€6.500,00 EUR
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€6.500,00 EUR

Declaration of the first abolition of slavery in the modern world: the first edition


France. National Convention (1792-1795).

Décret de la Convention Nationale, du 16.e jour de pluviôse, an 2.e de la République Française, une & indivisible, qui abolit l’esclavage des nègres dans les colonies.

[colophon:] Paris, De l'Imprimerie nationale exécutive du Louvre, An IIe. de la République [1794].

4°. 2, [2 blank] pp. Printed to right of caption title: No. 2262.

Signed in ink at the end: “Baurez[?] certifié”

On February 4, 1794, France abolished slavery, specifically targeting the enslavement of black people in its American colonies, thus becoming the first modern nation-state to do so. Following the drafting of the decree, the signed manuscript text was promptly printed as "Decrèt no. 2262" in Paris, at the national press located in the Louvre. This printing was swiftly followed by several presses in provincial capitals across the country. The copy we offer here is the first edition printed at the national press in Paris.
The 1794 decree enacted by the National Convention in France was the first significant legislative act to abolish slavery in a major nation-state. It was a pioneering effort in terms of a government taking official action to end the institution of slavery within its jurisdiction. While there were earlier abolitionist efforts and decrees in various regions, the French decree of 1794 was among the first of its kind on a national scale.

Condition: untrimmed. Inscription in ink at top of title and pencil numbering in blank corner. Slight browning at the edges and minor faint foxing. Otherwise in very good condition.

Literature: Patrick Baradeau, Le Code noir: et autres textes de loi concernant l'esclavage en France, XVIIe siècle-XVIIIe siècle. Bègles, l'Esprit du temps, 2019.

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