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Fundraiser Turns Up Rare Book On Slavery

Books To Benefit
Wilberforce's work on ending the slave trade is often cited by early abolitionists in the U.S.

A local nonprofit organization has found a new home for a rare, historical text from the 19th century.
Books to Benefit President Jackie Langhoff said the group chose to place its first edition copy of William Wilberforce's "A Letter on the Abolition of the Slave Trade" with Illinois Wesleyan University because of its social justice library collection.

"Their social justice area is a big archival piece. They will revere it, preserve it and keep it. We're excited. And we're excited it will stay local," said Langhoff.

Books to Benefit sells donated books to support literacy in the community.

Langhoff said sometimes people donate books without knowing the value.

"A lot of times people don't know when they have first editions. That's when it becomes critical for us to have a vintage expert to go through these things and say, you've got a treasure here," said Langhoff.

Wilberforce's letter on the slave trade was influential in both Britain and the U.S. in bolstering the abolition movement, though England abolished slavery decades before the American Civil War.

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Dania is a reporter at GLT, as well as a student at Illinois State University.
WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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