1896 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOUNG MUSLIM MAN WHO WITNESSES THE DEATH OF HIS FATHER AT THE HANDS OF THE SULTAN'S SOLDIERS, HIS MOTHER BY ROBBERS AND HIS SUBSEQUENT ENSLAVEMENT AS A GUNMAKER AND TRAINING AT AMERICA'S WINCHESTER ARMS FACTORY

By: UNKNOWN.

Price: $21,255.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Very Good


On offer is a simply sensational, riveting, original, very intriguing significant manuscript autobiography dated Dec. 27, '96 (1896) of a young Muslim boy who recounts over 69 or so pages his birth on the sands of the desert near Fez and his enslavement and eventual repatriation. The details of his life a nothing short of remarkable for readers in the 21st Century: his parents; a father of immense piety, his mother, an outcast of her tribe and himself a young boy who would eventually watch his father and his mother be murdered separately. Historians and researchers will find a fascinating and arguably an unparalleled first-hand account of this boy's life under Islamic Code and his utterances provide a full understanding of his beliefs and the guidance they provide his humanity. Even a casual read reveals an eyebrow raising narrative: after the murder of his father by the Sultan's soldiers and his mother by robbers he was taken captive as a slave and apprenticed to a gunsmith who finished guns for the Sultan's army. The unidentified author and some other slaves were apprenticed to the Sultan's gunsmith and were at one time sent to America where they were to work in what appears to be the Winchester Gun Factory in order to learn the art of gun making - to provide better guns for Sultan's army. The details of travels, suffering, and cruelty, are all related, but in a quick paced to the point manner. After returning from his training he was returned to his master at Casablanca. It appears that the author escaped slavery around this time and eventually returned to his homeland in the Sahara Desert where he had a deep religious experience and felt the call of Allah on his life to become a hadji like his father. With this call he sought out the place where his father had lived, to claim that dwelling as his own. The manuscript begins: "I was born on the sands of the Sahara where the caravans come up from Timbuctoo. The white sands that stretch away from the mountains on the West toward the end of the world behind these mountains there is nothing and no one has been there, but towards the East one may go as far as Mecca and become a Hadji as was my father. All this is the land of the true believer where he may hear and obey the call of the Prophet and live in the true faith. The sun shines there always and there are no rains as in other lands to torment the faithful. If clouds come it is but to chase their shadows on the sunlit sand. My father was a saint and lived in a white tomb overlooking the plain and near the ___(?) of the great caravan . . . . He was a holy man who made the journey to Mecca many times. Sickness and death did not molest him so that he knew he was accepted of Allah and waited only the call of the Prophet. . . . . It was caravans from the south that were the most interesting for thy brought the slaves that should serve the faithful at Fez and Wazan. As true believers we could rejoice at their captivity for they would be converted. They were mostly in chains each with a heavy ring about his neck from which a chain extended to a ring upon the neck of his neighbour and there were always some rings without necks by counting which you might know how many had died in coming through the desert. My father thought that all should be killed as infidels, hateful to Allah, intolerable to the faithful, but the people of the caravans thought not so claiming the example of Mohamad who spread the faith by conquest." We learn that his father's piety was also his downfall as he was enraged by an infidel Englishman travelling under the Sultan's protection and after he raised a knife to attack the infidel he was summarily destroyed by the Sultan's troops. His mother died within days at the hand of robbers who stole the camel she was given as a blood libel payment. The boy's description of the Englishman's attitude of the blood libel payment is near comedic if it was not so insensitive to the local custom. Toward the conclusion of the 69 page manuscript is the following interesting statement regarding the author's account of his experiences. After describing his having found a place of safety in the mosque of Edris he writes, "Not far away is the house of the books of a thousand years near which dwells the scribe who has written this for me to send to the head man a Lida (?) Winster (Winchester?) gun house. A gun maker in the old street goes shortly to see Caid Cobb at Cassablanca. I know not why he has promised to give the Caid this writing to be sent to the head man also to say to the Caid that the man who made it was dead." The work closes with the following: "Soon the rains will be over and then I will walk southward to the place where my father dwelt and seize the tomb in which he lived for it is my right. There only is the land of the true believer where he may hear and obey the call of the prophet. There he needs neither mosque nor Caid for he has the protection of the white sand of the desert and its rainless sky." We note there is what we believe is a later ownership inscription with the name J.G. Bennett 258 Church Street. Research suggests this was likely the noted Islamist John Godolphin Bennett who may have received the book after as the book relates it was sent to the head man at Winchester. The manuscript is written in a ledger style book with black boards and red morocco spine cover and corners. The spine cover is missing. Wear to extremities and fading in one area on the upper front panel corner. The early pages are alphabetized followed by 245 pages of very thin paper. The biographical account is written on the first 69 pages are upon this thin stock. With a few exceptions the back of each page is blank. The work is entirely in pencil with corrections made here and there as will be noted in the accompanying scans. The pages are all intact, with only the first page showing a small separation from the inner hinge. The last page, (blank) is mostly missing---no writing evident on this page. The covers are loose and there is weakness in the spine but nothing that affects the text. Occasional light brown age spots otherwise the pages are quite clean. Overall G.; Manuscript; 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall; KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, J.G. BENNETT, 258 CHURCH STREET, JOHN GODOLPHIN BENNETT, MUSLIM SLAVE BOY, RABAT, FES, MEKNES, SLAVERY, WINCHESTER FIREARMS, 19TH CENTURY SLAVERY, TRUE TALES OF BONDAGE, SLAVING, SLAVE MASTER, LIFE IN BONDAGE, GUNS, GUN MAKING, WINCHESTER GUN FACTORY, SAHARA, NORTH AFRICA, MOROCCO, WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS COMPANY, NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT, FEZ, ISLAM, ISLAMIC, ISLAMISTS, SHARIA,NOMADS, NOMADIC PEOPLES, NOMADIC TRIBES, BEDOUIN, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, AUTOGRAPHED, AUTHORS, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, KEEPSAKE, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, PERSONAL HISTORY, ARCHIVE, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNAL, LOG, PRIMARY SOURCE, FIRST HAND ACCOUNT, SOCIAL HISTORY, PERSONAL STORIES, LIVING HISTORY, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL,BIOGRAPHY BIOGRAPHICAL AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY PERSONAL NARRATIVES

Title: 1896 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOUNG MUSLIM MAN WHO WITNESSES THE DEATH OF HIS FATHER AT THE HANDS OF THE SULTAN'S SOLDIERS, HIS MOTHER BY ROBBERS AND HIS SUBSEQUENT ENSLAVEMENT AS A GUNMAKER AND TRAINING AT AMERICA'S WINCHESTER ARMS FACTORY

Author Name: UNKNOWN.

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 19th Century Diary, All, 19th Century Manuscript,

Publisher: FEZ MOROCCO CASABLANCA SAHARA DESERT NORTH AFRICA, 1896

Book Condition: Very Good

Seller ID: 0002337

Keywords: Keywords: History Of J.g. Bennett 258 Church Street John Godolphin Bennett Muslim Slave Boy RABAT FES MEKNES SLAVERY