The Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library at Emory University in Atlanta, has acquired a rare first edition of David Walker’s book Appeal, in Four Articles, Together With A Preamble to the Colored Citizens of the World, But in Particular, and Very Expressly to Those of the United States of America.
The book was written and published in 1829 by Walker, a self-educated African American merchant. It is one of the earliest known written indictments of the institution of slavery. Reportedly, many early abolitionists thought that Walker’s treatise went too far. The book was banned throughout the South and when copies were found they were destroyed.
The first-edition acquired by Emory University is one of only a half dozen copies known to exist. The Emory book has the distinction that it was once owned and is signed by W.E.B. Du Bois.
Pellom McDaniels III, curator of the African American collections at the Rose Library and an assistant professor of African American studies at Emory University, stated that “the book is a landmark of political protest and eloquent articulation of the demand for freedom for people of African descent in the United States. It is demand for freedom and a call to arms.”
Dr. McDaniels is a graduate of Oregon State University. He played for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons of the National football league for nine seasons. Dr. McDaniels then earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in American studies from Emory University.