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Week 14: Abolition and the Popular Press

Seminar Questions

  • How was information used in the campaign for the abolition of slavery?
  • Why did abolitionists publish a monthly periodical?
  • Who was the audience for the Anti-Slavery Reporter?
  • How do slave voices appear in the Anti-Slavery Reporter, and to what effect?

Seminar Readings

** ‘Address to Anti-Slavery Associations’, Anti-Slavery Monthly Reporter, 2 (1825), 1-2

** ‘Brief Sketch of Colonial Slavery’, Anti-Slavery Monthly Reporter, 2 (1825), 2-8

** ‘Demerara’, ‘Trinidad’, ‘Mauritius’, ‘Aberdeen Anti-Slavery Society’, Anti-Slavery Monthly Reporter, 3 (1825), 17-24

** ‘Formation of Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Associations’, Anti-Slavery Monthly Reporter, 4 (1825), 32

** ‘Berbice – Fiscal’s Returns’, Anti-Slavery Monthly Reporter, 5 (1825), 33-48

** ‘Picture of Slavery by the Colonists’, Anti-Slavery Monthly Reporter, 6 (1825), 49-56

** ‘Publications’, Anti-Slavery Monthly Reporter, 6 (1825), 59-60

** ‘Jamaica Advertisements’, Anti-Slavery Monthly Reporter, 9 (1825), 94-96

* Lambert, David, ‘Sierra Leone and Other Sites in the War of Representation over Slavery’, History Workshop Journal, 64 (2007)

Additional Readings


Clarkson, Thomas, Thoughts on the Necessity of Improving the Condition of Slaves in the British Colonies (London, 1823)

Macaulay, Zachary, Negro Slavery, Or a View of the More Prominent Features of that State of Society as it Exists in the United States of America (London, 1823)

The Tourist: A Literary and Anti-Slavery Journal, 1 (1833)


Drescher, Seymour, ‘Whose Abolition? Popular Pressure and the Ending of the British Slave Trade’, Past & Present, 143 (1994)

Drescher, Seymour. ‘People and Parliament: The Rhetoric of the British Slave Trade’, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 20 (1990)

Dumas, Paula, ‘The Edinburgh Review, The Quarterly Review, and the Contributions of the Periodical to the Slavery Debates’, Slavery & Abolition, 38 (2017)

Dumas, Paula, Proslavery Britain: Fighting for Slavery in an Era (Basingstoke, 2016)

Hall, Catherine, Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination 1830–1867 (Cambridge, 2002)

Hall, Catherine, Macaulay and Son: Architects of Imperial Britain (New Haven, CT, 2012).

Holt, Thomas, ‘Explaining Abolition’, Journal of Social History, 24 (1990)

Huzzey, Richard, ‘The Moral Geography of British Anti-Slavery Responsibilities’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 22 (2012)

Huzzey, Richard, Freedom Burning: Anti-Slavery and Empire in Victorian Britain (Ithaca, NY, 2012)

Lambert, David, ‘The Counter-Revolutionary Atlantic: White West Indian Petitions and Proslavery Networks’, Social & Cultural Geography, 6 (2005)

Lewis, Andrew, ‘“An Incendiary Press”: British West Indian Newspapers during the Struggle for Abolition’, Slavery & Abolition, 16 (1995)

Oldfield, J. R, Popular Politics and British Anti-Slavery: The Mobilisation of Public Opinion against the Slave Trade 1787-1807 (Manchester, 1995)

Turley, David, The Culture of English Antislavery, 1780-1860 (London, 1991)

Seminar Handout

Week 14 - Handout

Seminar Powerpoint

Week 14 - Powerpoint