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Gordon Haigh

Gordon Haigh

Dissenting Missionaries and the Campaign against British Colonial Slavery: 1823-38.

Discipline/professional area

Outline of research project

This thesis explores the contribution made by some Non-conformist missionaries to influencing British public opinion on slavery between 1823 and 1838.

Colonial authorities and planters were suspicious that these missionaries, who worked amongst the plantation slaves in the British colonies of the Caribbean, were agents of the British anti-slavery movement which, two decades earlier, had successfully campaigned to end the slave-trade. As the abolitionists’ main aim was to secure the eventual emancipation of slaves, the planters’ suspicion of the missionaries led to them being blamed for inciting various slave uprisings.

However, interest in the discrimination of the missionaries had heightened British public opinion on colonial slavery which led to emancipation legislation being passed. In exploring how missionaries influenced public opinion, the thesis considers the missionaries’ relationship with the various British and colonial bodies, and addresses such questions as to whether the abolitionists exploited the missionaries’ experiences in their anti-slavery campaign.

Key References

da COSTA, Emilia Viotti, Crown of Glory, Tears of Blood: The Demerara Slave Rebellion of 1823, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).

HALL, Catherine, Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination, 1830-1867, (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007).

JAKOBSSON, Stiv, Am I not a Man and Brother? British Mission and the Abolition of the Slave Trade and Slavery in West Africa and the West Indies 1786-1838, (Uppsala, Sweden: Gleerup, Almquist & Wilsells, 1972).

MATTHEWS, Gelien, Caribbean Slave Revolts and the British Abolition Movement, (Louisiana State University: Baton Rouge, 2006).

PORTER, Andrew, Religion Versus Empire? British Protestant Missionaries and Overseas Expansion, 1700-1914, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004).

TURNER, Mary, Slaves and Missionaries, The Disintegration of Jamaican Slave Society, 1787-1834, (Kingston, Jamaica: The Press University of the West Indies, 1998).

Director of studies
Dr Alison Twells

Professor Clare Midgley

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