cover of book

London, Metropolis of the Slave Trade
by James A. Rawley
foreword by David Eltis
University of Missouri Press, 2003
eISBN: 978-0-8262-6452-7 | Cloth: 978-0-8262-1483-6
Library of Congress Classification HT1164.L66R39 2003
Dewey Decimal Classification 380.14409421


"The recognition that ordinary people could and did trade in slaves, as well as the fact that ordinary people became slaves, is, indeed, the beginning of comprehending the enormity of the forced migration of eleven million people and the attendant deaths of many more."

In London, Metropolis of the Slave Trade, James A. Rawley collects some of his best works from the past three decades. Also included in this volume are three new pieces: an essay on a South Carolina slave trader, Henry Laurens; an analysis of the slave trade at the beginning of the eighteenth century; and a portrait of John Newton, a slave trader who became a priest in the Church of England and composer of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” as well as an outspoken opponent of the trade.
In these essays Rawley brings together new information on individuals involved in and opposed to the slave trade and shows how scholars have long underestimated the extent of London’s participation in the trade.

Rawley draws on material from the year 1700 to the American Civil War as he explores the role of London in the trade. He covers its activity as a port of departure for ships bound for Africa; its continuing large volume after the trade extended to Bristol and Liverpool; and the controversy between London’s parliamentary representatives, who defended the trade, and the abolitionist movement that was quartered there.

Sweeping in scope and thorough in its analysis, this collection of essays from a seasoned scholar will be welcomed by historians concerned with slavery and the slave trade, as well as by students just beginning their exploration of this subject.

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