The Triumph of Liberty, and Peace with America: A Poem Inscribed to General Conway (London: Printed for J. Walker, Pater-Noster Row, 1782) 26 pp,8 x 10. Our anonymous author notes in the introductory “Advertisement” that, “The following little Poem owes its birgh to the virtuous efforts of the friends of the constitution of this country. Its Glory as an Empire, and its Interest as a Commercial State; and is intended to commemorate this auspicious moment, and prove, that Unanimity of Sentiment, with steady Perseverance, is sufficient to constitute the Glory of a State, and the Happiness of a People, which are inseparable, and can never be preserved independent of each other.”
HENRY SEYMOUR CONWAY (1721-1795) to whom the author dedicated this poem, was a career officer and Member of Parliament who opposed the Stamp Act and the efforts of Charles Townshend to enact further taxes on the American colonies. When the ministry of Lord Rockingham came to power in 1782 with a mandate to end the Revolutionary War, Conway became Commander-in-Chief of British forces.
The piece was published in May 1782 “by way of exultation on the prospect of peace…The Author is to be considered rather as a prophet than a poet…” (Griffiths, The Monthly Review, or Literary Journal, 1783, 68:185) Negotiations between the United States and Britain began in April 1782, soon after the start of the second Rockingham on March 27, 1782. The preliminary articles were drafted in November 1782 and the final treaty was signed in September 1783.
The anonymously published poem reads, in very small part:
“…Kings are but men; nature will ever reign,
Rouse all the husband, father, in his heart.
Pain war before him with its horrid train.
Brunswick shall willing drop the hostile dart…
England can ne’er be conquer’d but at home.
Let princes keep in mind the awful sound;
Her strength, her safety from herself must come,
And if she falls, herself first gave the wound…”
Extremely Rare. No other example of the poem has been offered for sale in fifty years. Only five copies could be found in institutional holdings.
Toning to the right margin and heavy toning to the bottom right corner continuing throughout. Some damp staining. Chipping to the final page, which is detached but present. A fine example of Revolutionary War history.
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