Papers, presented pursuant to address, relating to the Island of Trinidad
@ Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division. The New York Public Library
Woodford, Ralph James Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons
DescriptionCollection of four folio volumes of Parliamentary acts and colonial reports on slavery in Britain's Caribbean colonies, printed by order of the House of Commons from Feb-May 1823, providing precise documentation on the registration, sale, and manumission of slaves - men, women, and children - an official record of births and deaths, imprisonments, attempted escapes, and transport on slave ships, altogether an implicit and chilling record of slavery's human history. By the early 1800s, "the British Empire was, overwhelmingly, an empire of soldiers and... nearly a million Caribbean slaves." In the years between Britain's passage of the 1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade Act and its 1834 Act abolishing slavery through much of its empire, Parliament continued to debate the mans and will to govern slavery. Realizing the inadequacy of the 1807 Act, in 1815 the House of Commons passed a bill requiring the establishment of registries to monitor legally held slaves. Abolitionists such as William Wilberforce argued for "a bill relative to the registry and regulation of slaves," hoping to expose the planters' continuing inhumane treatment, but opposition denounced this "interference with the local legislation of the colonies". After much contest, the 1819 Slave Registration Act was passed, requiring a central record of any commercial transaction or transport between Caribbean islands involving slaves to be sent to the London registry. The Colonial Secretary also issued additional instructions to its governors, whose effect is seen in these four important folio volumes, ordered published by the House of Commons.These works contain...
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