Lot 6 of 575:
1873 ex-slave's extraordinary life  

Click image to enlarge
Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$120
$200 - $300

The Life of James Williams, Better Known As Professor Jim, For Half A Century Janitor Of Trinity College

Proctor, C.H.





79pp.  Illustrated with tissue-guarded frontis engraving of Williams. 7x4½”, original cloth with gilt lettering on spine. First Edition. 

Williams, born a slave in New York while George Washington was President, was affectionately called “Professor Jim” by the students of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where he was a custodian for some 50 years.

Williams' menial position at Trinity belied his amazing life – as a sailor during and after the War of 1812 who traveled the world from South America to China, finally settling into his janitorial job in Hartford, where, over 50 years, he witnessed the graduation of 650 young men while serving as preacher in an A.M.E. church he helped found. He came to be so genuinely revered by his college that in 1867, when the students, moved by the oratory of Boston eccentric Daniel Pratt, “nominated” Pratt for the US Presidency with “Professor Jim”, newly-enfranchised by the 14th Amendment, as his Vice Presidential running-mate.

Lot Amendments

Spine frayed at bottom and missing top ¼"; front hinge cracked and light foxing to prelims; very good.

Item number:
Shipping info:

We have a full service shipping department to ensure proper packing and safe delivery of purchases at reasonable cost. We are specialists at packing and shipping books and works on paper.   All lots purchased by the same client are combined for shipping in order to keep the cost as economical as possible.  Our preferred method for domestic shipments is UPS Ground but we can also ship via FedEx or USPS Priority Mail. We do NOT ship USPS Media Mail under any circumstances.For international orders we select the most appropriate carrier depending on the value and weight of the items purchased.  We are happy to accommodate special arrangements by request.

Invoices are sent out the day following the auction and include a minimum $10 handling fee plus actual shipping and insurance charges.

Shipping estimates can be obtained  by contacting [email protected] prior to the auction.


Terms and conditions


All accepted bids are contracts and are considered final and non withdrawable.


A buyer's premium of 20% will be applied to all purchases.


The person posting the bids online has to be the person who has registered for the auction.