Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Fantastic Find: Legacies of British Slave-Ownership

Via an article in The Guardian (which you should definitely read) I discovered that the University College London (UCL) has been studying the impact slavery has had on British history.
[Caribbean Sugar Plantations – Slavery in the Caribbean from a piece on the Transatlantic Slave Trade at PilotGuides.com]

Here's what UCL has to say in its introduction to the project which includes a database of the 46,000 people throughout Britain who owned 800,000 slaves in the British Caribbean at the time of slavery's abolition on August 1, 1834 and were compensated for their loss by the government.*
Colonial slavery shaped modern Britain and we all still live with its legacies. The slave-owners were one very important means by which the fruits of slavery were transmitted to metropolitan Britain. We believe that research and analysis of this group are key to understanding the extent and the limits of slavery's role in shaping British history and leaving lasting legacies that reach into the present. The stories of enslaved men and women, however, are no less important than those of slave-owners, and we hope that the encyclopaedia produced in the first phase of the project, while at present primarily a resource for studying slave-owners, will also provide information of value to those researching enslaved people.
The project also has a blog with more information.

*Researchers were surprised to discover that people all over Britain were slave-owners, not just in locales like Liverpool, London and Bristol. And a lot of them owned only a few enslaved persons and rented them out to others.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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