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JAMES RAMSAY2 Seaman, Priest, Surgeon and Englishman By Rory
LIFE BEFORE ABOLITIONISM Born in Fraser burgh, Scotland, to William Ramsay and Margaret Ogilvie. Educated at King’s College in Aberdeen. Before he became a fierce Abolitionist, James Ramsay was a Sailor in the Navy. When his Ship intercepted a Slaver, and found over a hundred slaves living in inhumane conditions, Ramsay was effected for life. Later, he suffered a fracture to his thigh bone while working at sea, and retired from the Navy, remaining lame for the rest of his life. Afterwards, he took up Priesthood, and journeyed to the Caribbean Isle of St Christopher. 3
ABOLITIONISM There, his Abolitionist work would begin. He made considerable efforts to better the lives of the Slaves there, leading to him being the subject of much antagonism by the local Slavers, due to his apparent ‘Disruption’ of the Work. Afterwards, when he left St Christopher, he published a novel about the horrors of Slavery he had witnessed, entitled: An Essay on the Treatment and Conversion of African Slaves in the British Sugar Colonies and joined an anti-Slaving group of influential politicians, philanthropists and clergy, based out of Teston. After the publishing of his book, he was repeatedly the victim of slander, with many accusations from threatened Slavers being thrown against him. He met with the Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger, on several occasions. He did not live to see Slave Trade abolished, as he died in 1789, and was buried at Teston. However, his Legacy lives on in the 4 common belief that he attributed to the eventual abolition more than any other one person.
TOUSSAINT LOUVERTURE By BenToussaint had a large influence on the end of slavery in the BritishEmpire. He was the leader of historys largest slave revolt thattransformed the French colony of St Domingue into theindependent country of Haiti. 5
Toussaint LOuverture was initially against the rebellionand the bloodshed. In fact he protected his master’splantation and helped him escape. When a slave revoltbroke out in the Northern Province in August 1791, hetravelled to the camp. He found the rebels veryunorganised. He trained a guerrilla force of his own. In1793, he became an aide to Georges Biassou (an earlyleader of the 1791 slave rising). His army provedsuccessful against the European troops. When Franceand Spain went to war in 1793, his army joined theSpaniards. 6
THE SLAVE TRADE In 1793, at war with France, Britain tried to capture St Domingue. The attempt ended in a costly and humiliating failure. By forcing British troops to withdraw in 1798, LOuverture showed British officers what determined military opponents enslaved people fighting for their freedom could be. Of the more than 20,000 British soldiers sent to St Domingue during five years of fighting, over 60% died during the conflict. Some of the surviving officers returned home as abolitionists 7
TOUSSAINT L’OUVERTURE Although there is a large bodyof visual materials depicting theHaitian revolution, there are noexisting portraits drawn from life of Toussaint LOuverture, the hero of the revolution. 8
James Stephan by AliJames Stephan is a politician who was born in the year 1758, 30th of June.James Stephan started out as a reporter on parliamentary proceedings.He then visited Barbados and witnessed the trial of 4 black slaves for murder, the menwere sentenced to death by burning. James Stephan thought this was wrong, and heswore to himself that he will never keep a slave. He then allied with the abolitionistmovement.Stephan was a skilled lawyer whose specialty was the laws governing Great Britainsforeign trade. He defended the mercantilist system. In October 1805, his bookappeared It called for the abolition of neutral nations carrying trade, meaningAmericas carrying trade, between France’s Caribbean islands and Europe, includingGreat Britain. Stephens arguments two years later became the basis of Great Britainsorders in council, which placed restrictions on American vessels. The enforcement ofthis law by British warships eventually led to the war in 1812, even though the Orderswere repealed in the same month that America declared war.James’s second wife was called Sarah, and because of this marriage, he becameacquainted with many of the figures in the anti slavery movement. Several of hisfriendships were made in Clapham, he also had a few other connections in the villageof Stoke Newington, a few miles north of London.James Stephan became the chief architect of the slave trade act 1807, providingWilliam Wilberforce with the legal mastermind he needed for drafting. 9
• Mary Prince (c. 1788-c. 1833) was a woman who was put into the slave trade and wrote a book during and about her experience. It came out in 1831, two years before her death.• No images exist of her, but many illustrations of other subjects are in her book.• She was born to slaves in Bermuda, and was first the property of Charles Myners, then, when he died, Captain Williams.• She worked domestically and in fields.• Mary quotes: “To strip me naked - to hang me up by the wrists and lay my flesh open with the cow-skin, was an ordinary punishment for even a slight offence.”• She was then sold to John Wood for $300, and attended meetings at the Moravian Church: “The Moravian ladies (Mrs. Richter, Mrs. Olufsen, and Mrs. Sauter) taught me to read in the class; and I got on very fast. ”• She then escaped, worked under Thomas Pringle, and became a leading activist for the anti-slave trade movement.• Little is known about how she died, and all that is known of her life is contained in that little book. 10 By Billy
Elizabeth Heyrick (1789-1831): The Radical Campaigner by Courtney• Elizabeth Heyrick was born Elizabeth Coltman, in 1789, in Leicester. She married a Methodist, John Heyrick, who died eight years later. Elizabeth became a member of the Society of Friends and devoted herself to social reform.• As well as becoming a prison visitor, she wrote political pamphlets about a range of issues, from the Corn Laws to the harsh treatment of vagrants. However, her overriding interest was in the abolition of slavery in the British colonies. Heyrick began campaigning for a new sugar boycott in Leicester, with the help of Lucy Townsend, Mary Lloyd, Sarah Wedgwood and Sophia Sturge.• She visited all of the citys grocers to urge them not to stock slave-grown goods. Her message was clear cut. She described the West India planters as being like thieves and those who bought their produce, like receivers of stolen goods. She asked, why petition Parliament when we can take swifter action ourselves? She wanted all slavery ended forever. She criticized the mainstream anti-slavery figures for being slow, cautious and accommodating.• In 1824, she published her pamphlet Immediate not Gradual Abolition. This differed from the official policy of gradual abolition and William Wilberforce gave out instructions for leaders of the movement not to speak at womens anti-slavery societies, most of which supported 11 Heyrick.
Elizabeth Heyrick (1789-1831): The Radical Campaigner by Courtney• However, her pamphlet was distributed and discussed at meetings all over the country. In 1830, the Female Society for Birmingham submitted a motion to the National Conference of the Anti-Slavery Society calling for it to campaign for an immediate end to slavery in the British colonies. Below are some extracts from her 1824 pamphlet:• "The perpetuation of slavery in our West India colonies is not an abstract question, to be settled between the government and the planters; it is one in which we are all implicated, we are all guilty of supporting and perpetuating slavery. The West Indian planter and the people of this country stand in the same moral relation to each other as the thief and receiver of stolen goods."• "The West Indian planters have occupied much too prominent a place in the discussion of this great question. The abolitionists have shown a great deal too much politeness and accommodation towards these gentlemen. "Why petition Parliament at all, to do that for us, which we can do more speedily and effectually for ourselves?"• Elizabeth suggested that the womens associations should withdraw their funding for the Anti-Slavery Society, if it did not support this resolution. As the Female Society for Birmingham was one of the largest donors to central funds, it was influential across the whole network of ladies associations, which supplied over a fifth of all donations.• At the conference in May 1830, the Anti-Slavery Society agreed to drop the words "gradual abolition" from its title and support the Female Societys plan for a new campaign calling for the immediate end to slavery. Elizabeth Heyrick died in 1831 and therefore did not live to see the passing of the 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act. 12
As well as bringing to public notice the debate about the slavetrade. He contributed several further publications to thecampaign, including An Inquiry into the Effects of Putting aStop to the African Slave Trade, published 1784Ramsay became part of the group of influential politicians,philanthropists and churchmen based at Teston, and waspersuaded by Lady Middleton, the wife of Charles Middletonand others to publish his account of the horrors of the slavetrade. They met at Barham Court. This was the first time thatthe British public had read an anti-slavery work by amainstream Anglican writer who had personally witnessedthe suffering of the slaves on the West-Indian plantations. 14
Quobna Ottobah Cugoano by Guilhem• Ottobah was born in 1757 in Ghana and captured in 1770 to become a slave. He was taken to the West Indies and spent a nearly a year in Grenada as a slave. In 1772 he was bought by an English merchant and taken to England. Here, he changed his name and became free. In 1784, he was employed as a servant by artist Richard Cosway. It was here that he began to learn about British politics and abolitionists.• He joined the Sons of Africa abolitionist group and worked with Olaudah Equiano and other Africans to stop slavery. In 1786 he was involved with the Henry Denme case, a black man who had been kidnapped and being sent to the West Indies. Ottobah managed to stop the ship from departing at the very last minute.• In 1787, Ottobah published his book. He was the first African to write a critique about slavery. It demanded that slavery was to be completely destroyed and slaves should be freed. It said that Africans also had their right to resist against slavery.• Still no one listened to him and slavery continued. In 1791, he wrote a smaller book that told the idea of Britain building schools just for Africans and other ideas against slavery.• People do not know what happened to him after the release of his second book… 15
Anthony Benezet (1713-1784) by Will• From the 1750s, Benezet became an avid opponent of slavery, He insisted on the equality of all people and pointed out the high level of culture, intelligence and industry of the native Africans. He wrote:• "To live in ease and plenty by the toil of those whom violence and cruelty have put in our power, is neither consistent with Christianity nor common justice..."• "I can with truth and sincerity declare, that I have found amongst the negroes as great a variety of talents as amongst a like number of whites; and I am bold to assert, that the notion entertained by some, that the blacks are inferior in their capacities, is a vulgar prejudice, founded on the pride of ignorance of their lordly masters, who have kept their slaves at such a distance, as to be unable to form a right judgment of them."• In 1754, he left the Friends English School to set up the first public girls school in America. He was motivated by a genuine concern to do the best for all his pupils. In an age intolerant of disabilities, Benezet was compassionate enough to devise a special programme for one deaf and dumb girl enrolled in his school, so she could share in the fellowship of the school. He continued to teach black children from home until1770 when, with the support of the Society of Friends, he set up a school for them at Philadelphia. 16
The Quakers by Kat• The Quakers fought against slavery by organising anti slavery committees across the country.• They joined forces with the Anglicans to gain public attention.• Thomas Clarkson • Joseph Sturge went to the organised the committees West Indies to investigate and Quaker merchants and the conditions. business men provided the • Sophia Sturge personally movement’s financial advised 3,000 households support. not to buy slave-grown sugar. 17
Thomas Clarkson by Lauryn• Thomas Clarkson was a abolitionist and a leading campaigner against the slave trade in the British Empire. In his later years Clarkson campaigned for the abolition of slavery worldwide. In 1840, he was the key speaker at the Anti-Slave society (today known as Anti-Slavery International) conference in London, which campaigned to end slavery in other countries.• Thomas Clarkson was absolutely central to the anti-slavery movement. He helped organise the first meeting of the abolition committee in London in 1787 and worked more than half a century after that against the slave trade and slavery.• He travelled and shared the news about slavery and told lots of people about the situation. As he saw people he would give them a book or would talk to them when he travelling around countries. He did this because he didnt agree with slavery. He was against it . He organised a campaign. He wanted slavery to stop. 18
Mary Prince by MeganMary Prince was born in 1788 in Bermuda. She was born intoenslavement and she worked for a series of masters from the age of ten.She was forced to work waist deep in salt ponds, where she sufferedfrom sun blisters, boils and sores on her legs. She was brought fromAntigua to England by her owners, Mr and Mrs John Wood, in 1828.Slavery wasn’t legal though in England so she went to the Anti-SlaverySociety. In 1829 she tried to set up a petition so she could go back toAntigua to live with her husband withoutbeing enslaved, but she was unsuccessful.Her life story was published by abolitionistsympathisers in 1831. It was called‘The History of Mary Prince’ and it attracted abig readership. Nobody knows if Mary Princewas allowed to go back home to her husband,or if she died in Britain. 19
Elizabeth Heyrick (1789-1831) by Morwenna• In the early 1820’s British anti-slavery campaign started and the leaders (all men) were very cautious in making rules and regulations in enslaving people throughout the slave trade. Elizabeth Heywick thought differently and thought that people should take action straight away. In 1824 she sent out a leaflet about ‘Immediate, not Gradual Abolition.’ This sold thousands over Britain.• Elizabeth, A former school teacher from Leicester shocked lots of people by honestly sympathising with the slave revolts. She claimed to the people that it was self defence from the slave traders. Her bravery in being so open touched a nerve and British Women’s anti-slavery societies started nationwide. She campaigned with her societies to start a boycott on sugar that was grown by slaves and visited all groceries to urge the not to stock slave-grown products. She wrote even more leaflets and pamphlets’ advertising what was happening in the slave trade. She did everything she could to help the slave trade.• She did this until she died in 1831.• I think that she made a major difference to how people saw the slave trade worked and stopped grocery shops to stop buying and selling slave-grown products. 20
James Ramsey By Nic• On November 27th 1759 a slave ship asked for help. A dysentery killed many people including the doctor and James Ramsay was the only volunteer.• He saw the slaves in agony and their blood on the decks.• I guess he pitted them because he went to America and became a minister and campaigned against slavery. 21