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Reply to Bobalition of Slavery.

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One of several racist parodies of black American illiteracy, dialect, and manners issued in Boston at various times between 1819 and 1832. Others in the series are "Grand Bobalition or Great Annibersary Fussible" (no. 1821-1), "Grand and Splendid Bobalition of Slavery" (1822, Collections of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania), "Grand Celebrashun ob de Bobalition of African Slabery!!!" (no. 1825-1), "Dreadful Riot on Negro Hill!" (no. 1827-1), and "Bobalition of Slavery" (no. 1832-3). For their apparent range of production dates these are all suspiciously similar in style, language, subject, and typography.

The broadsides are in the form of burlesque reports and letters relating to the annual July 14 celebrations, among Boston's black residents, of the anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade. (The American slave trade was actually abolished on January 1, 1808, but was celebrated in July by many American blacks for some time). In his use of black stereotypes, the producer anticipates Edward Williams Clay's "Life in Philadelphia" series of 1828-29.

The "Reply to Bobalition" text comprises a "Dialogue between Scipio and Cato, and Sambo and Phillis, occasioned by reading the account of Bobalition proceedings, as detailed in a letter from Cesar Gobbo, to his friend Marco Mushy . . ." Above, two vignettes illustrate the respective conversations, the conversants portrayed as well-dressed, free blacks.

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