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David Dabydeen

Slave owner, instigator of the ‘coolie trade’, and father of the British prime minister William Ewart Gladstone (1809–98). Sir John Gladstone was a leading member of the West Indian Association of Liverpool, a group of plantation owners and merchants trading with the West Indies in slave‐produced commodities. He owned sugar estates in Jamaica and British Guiana and was a passionate opponent of abolition. In 1830, in a series of last‐ditch attempts to persuade the government not to end West Indian slavery, Gladstone (then a member of Parliament and spokesman for the West India interest) argued that slavery was normal in primitive societies, and that West Indian Blacks had peculiar constitutions, enabling them to work easily under a tropical sun. He held up the dreadful prospect of freed slaves slaughtering the smaller white populations.

In 1833 Gladstone was deputed by Liverpool's West Indian interest ...

Article

Assan Sarr

, notable Gambian slave trader, was a free black woman and a relatively wealthy merchant who visited the American South in the second half of the eighteenth century, largely but not exclusively to trade in slaves and other things. She was partner to an English merchant with the last name of Lawrence. Fenda Lawrence traveled to the British North American colonies (now the United States) with respect and status as a person of color. At the time she was described in some European sources as a considerable trader in the River Gambia on the Coast of Africa.

Fenda Lawrence most likely met Englishman Lawrence (first name unknown) when he came to the Gambia River to trade. Her status was similar to that of other female merchants in precolonial Gambia (then Senegambia) of the time who had European partners. Like many of these signares as they were called she had ...

Article

John Gilmore

Clergyman of the Church of England who led what he later considered to be a reprobate youth and worked in the slave trade. It was while on a slaving voyage (1748–9) that he experienced a religious conversion. Nevertheless, he continued to work in the slave trade, and made three more voyages before retiring from the sea in 1754. He became widely known as an evangelical Christian, and was eventually ordained as a clergyman of the Church of England in 1764, serving first in the parish of Olney in Buckinghamshire, and later, from 1780 until his death, at St Mary Woolnoth in London.

At Olney, Newton became a close friend of the poet William Cowper, and together they wrote the collection known as the Olney Hymns. Newton's own contributions include the words to some of the best known hymns in the English language ...

Article

wealthy Luso-African merchant, moneylender, entrepreneur, and slave trader in Angola, was born early in the nineteenth century, the daughter of a Portuguese father and a mestiza or mulatta mother. Ana Joaquina dos Santos e Silva, a mulatta or mestiza, became the wealthiest woman merchant and possibly the wealthiest of all merchants in her day in Angola, a colony of Portugal. Little is known of her early years, except that she married in succession two successful Portuguese merchants, both slave traders. When they died, their widow, Ana Joaquina, inherited their properties and became a wealthy entrepreneur on her own.

In the early decades of the nineteenth century Angola s largely coastal colonial society composed of two nuclei at Luanda and Benguela featured an Atlantic slave trading economy This traffic was dominated by merchants of Portugal Brazil and Angola although the wealthiest merchants were Brazilian Luanda s population consisted of ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

runaway slave and slave-raiding warlord, was born with the name Koko around 1750 in the town of Kalangba, later located in the Gbendembu-Gowahun chiefdom in the Sierra Leonean district of Bombali. He belonged to the Loko ethnic community.

According to oral and written accounts Smart accidentally killed one of his brothers and had to flee from Kalangba as a result A group of raiders seized the young man and sold him off to British traders based at Bunce Island on the coast of Sierra Leone Instead of being sold to the Americas like so many unfortunate Africans who were kept in bondage on Bunce Island Gumbu ended up working for British traders His English masters were so impressed by his trading skills that they dubbed him Smart and he used this name for the rest of his life The English traders regularly advanced Smart trade goods such as cloth and ...

Article

a slave trader born in Brazil, lived a half-century in coastal West Africa. He allied himself to Dahomey’s King Gezo (c. 1818–1858 whom he helped to power and fostered a Portuguese speaking community that had close links to Brazil and played key roles in nineteenth and twentieth century Dahomey Benin Gezo gave Souza the nickname Chacha which evolved into an inherited title still in use in Bénin Made sole commercial agent for the king in the port of Ouidah Whydah he developed a lifestyle comparable to that of big men or caboceers in the kingdom and for a time was immensely wealthy though he died deeply in debt In part because he so thoroughly embraced local culture and in part because he spawned an influential family that continues to be active in West African politics intellectual life and commerce Souza and his history are typically told with adjectives such ...

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John Gilmore

Poet born in Jamaica, the son of John and Dorothy Williams, who were free black people. John Williams was a former slave who had been freed by the will of his master, Colonel John Bourden (a prominent local figure who died in 1697), and who subsequently became a successful merchant, whose activities included moneylending on an extensive scale, and trade between Jamaica and Britain.

As a young man, Francis Williams lived in Britain, possibly for several years, and may have been entrusted with the British end of his father's business concerns. On 8 August 1721 he was admitted as a member of Lincoln s Inn while there is no evidence to suggest that he was ever called to the Bar or practised as a lawyer the Inns of Court often functioned in this period as a sort of finishing school for young men of gentlemanly status who ...

Article

Lois Kerschen

Austin Woolfolk was the most infamous member of his family of slave traders in the minds of the abolitionists of his time, with six or seven of his kin also living in Maryland. Born and reared in Georgia, Woolfolk came to the Baltimore area as a young man in about 1819. Since Woolfolk's business was located in Baltimore, it was natural for Frederick Douglass's owners to use his services. Woolfolk sold Douglass's aunt Maryann and his cousin Betty to southern slaveholders in 1825, the same year that he paid out $22,702 (almost $377,000 in 2005 currency) to Talbot County slave owners for the sale of their human property. Douglass commented in his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845 that if a slave was convicted of any high misdemeanor became unmanageable or evinced a determination to run away he was brought immediately to ...