British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

VI
HUMANITARIAN PRINCIPLES AND COLONIAL POLICY

A. THE SLAVE TRADE, AMELIORATION AND EMANCIPATION

1
WILLIAM PITT TO LORD HAWKESBURY 30 January 17881

. . .The subject of the papers enclosed in your letter which I have just received is one on which I shall be very glad to converse with your Lordship. The stopping a practice which has subsisted so long as the slave trade, and which is connected with so many other objects, may certainly lead to very serious consequences; and if the measure should take place, it will be a very serious and anxious part of our duty to endeavour to diminish the inconvenience. I own however that whatever that inconvenience might be, I am at a loss to find arguments which can justify the admitting such a plea against the measure itself. I will not trouble you by going into more particulars till we have an opportunity of talking over the subject, which I wish to do very fully before it is discussed. . . .


2
REPRESENTATIONS TO THE COMMITTEE FOR TRADE BY THE COMMITTEE OF MERCHANTS TRADING TO AFRICA, 19 February ,17882

African Office.

[The Committee for Trade have referred a number of queries relating to the slave trade to them.]

. . . They take the liberty, in obedience to their Lordships' desire, to represent for their information:

That the trade from this country to Africa was in a very flourishing

____________________
1

Liverpool Papers, Add. MSS. 38,192, f. 58. For the beginning of the antislave-trade campaign see Lord North's answer to the Quaker Petition, Parl. Hist., vol. xxiii ( 1783), 1026-7.

2
Report of the Lords of the Committee of Council appointed for the Consideration of all Matters relating to Trade and Foreign Plantations, submitting . . . Evidence . . . collected in consequence of an Order in Council, 11 February 1788, concerning the present state of . . . the Trade in Slaves: Paper No. 1 of detached pieces of evidence.

-525-

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