1830 WILLIAM WILBERFORCE. Important ALS on the Authority of Scripture and the Providence of God
1830 WILLIAM WILBERFORCE. Important ALS on the Authority of Scripture and the Providence of God

1830 WILLIAM WILBERFORCE. Important ALS on the Authority of Scripture and the Providence of God

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Alas, where has the other page of this letter gone!? I’m torn between being outraged that half is missing and rejoicing that half is preserved!

Previously unpublished, a wonderful partial ALS between two of the most important proponents of the Abolition of Slavery, i.e. William Wilberforce and Thomas Fowell Buxton Esq.

Buxton, born in 1786, played a critical role in the abolition of the slave trade. Through a shared interest in the Gospel and in the plight of the slave, he became friends with the Gurney family. Joseph John Gurney and Elizabeth Fry’s sister Hannah Gurney became Buxton’s wife in 1807, only intensifying his energy in the direction of abolition.

Like Wilberforce, his desires for the marginalized extended beyond slavery to child labor, women, prostitution, penal reform, etc. Wilberfoce and Buxton were such close allies and friends that upon Wilberforce’s retirement from Parliament in 1825, Buxton was tapped by WW to spearhead the continuing battle for the evil’s complete eradication.

During 1830 Wilberforce himself as going through intense personal challenges and Buxton’s wife had become very ill. The Buxton household was not unused to loss. Of their 8 children, 5 had died in adolescence.

Wilberforce writes affirming the surety of the authority of Scripture and the comforts of the providence and reign of such a kind Saviour. A touching, personal effect.

Postmarked May 20, 1830

“Would to God that I could secure for your dear wife as much comfort as I wish her to enjoy. All the mysteries of the divine dispensations will be one day elucidated & it is reasonable to believe on the sure authority of the Word of God that these very events which are at the time the most painful will prove in the end to have been productive of the greatest amount of lasting happiness.

Farewell dear friend. Give my affectionate remembrances to Mrs. Buxton & believe me Ever your sincere and faithful friend,
WWilberforce”

This would be a $3,000-$4,000 letter if complete.