View details for: Reference No. A/AOQ/1/3
Reference No:A/AOQ/1/3
Title:Alistair Hood interviewing Reverend Dr Iain Whyte, The Scottish Dimension of Slavery (Part 1 and Part 2)
Extent:2 compact disks
Description: Recorded: circa March 2008Attendees: J Alistair Hood and Rev. Dr Iain Whyte (date of birth 03.09.1940), author of 'Scotland and the Abolition of Black Slavery: 1756-1838'Venue: interviewee's home in North Queensferry [For Part 2 see Track 1 disk labelled A/AOQ/1/4]Project Title: "Carry Me Home" - SlaveryTopics covered include: Background to Dr Iain Whyte; Scottish connections to slavery in Africa; Glasgow wealth through slavery; prominent Scottish figures in abolition movement; significant cases brought to appeal against slavery.Born in Stirling in 1940, Dr Iain Whyte spent most of his life in London; graduated from Oxford with Degree in History; studied Theology at Glasgow University.Interested in slavery, particularly pre-Civil War American history; lived and worked in Africa; summer of 1964 worked in American states (Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi); participated in civil rights campaign; interviewed Martin Luther King.Spoke about Scotland's connections with slavery and how Glasgow prospered through sugar/cotton/tobacco trade; the strong abolition movement in Scotland against slavery.Many prominent figures in abolition movement were Scots:-James Steven, educated in Aberdeen; drafted the Abolition Bill; influenced by James Beattie (Scots philosopher) who taught him and lectured on anti-slavery; Steven went to West Indies; appalled after seeing a slave trial and returned to then become one of Wilberforce's right hand men; came up with idea of Bill of Neutral Flags during the war with France, the idea being to stop France trading with American ships which were carrying the neutral flag and this had the effect of cutting down 75% of the slave trade.Zachary Macaulay from Inveraray shipped to West Indies to work as an overseer; Macaulay's sister married one of Wilberforce's associates, Thomas Babington. McCauley went to Sierra Leone; became governor of the only freed slave colony at that time; provided information to Wilberforce to strengthen his case; provided first hand accounts and evidence in the House of Lords Enquiry into the slave trade.William Dixon (one of the least recognised abolitionists); secretary to the Governor of Barbados; wrote books on the realities of slavery.Ralph Wardlaw, Congregational Minister in Glasgow; key figure at the end of the abolition of slavery; President of the Glasgow Emancipation Committee.Andrew Ross in his biography of David Livingstone said that Livingstone had walked from Blantyre into Glasgow to hear his anti-slavery lectures and was influenced by him.1788 - First mass campaign of petitions to parliament against the slave trade.1792 - Thomas Clarkson sent William Dixon back to Scotland on a campaign against slavery; travelled on stage coaches throughout Scotland lobbying key figures in Scotland by providing evidence the abolitionists were presenting to Parliament on the realities of the slave trade; aim was that these people would take notice and help their cause. Thomas Clarkson dedicated his life to abolition movement; stayed with James Ramsay, a naval surgeon from Fraserburgh who was also a minister in St Kitts but forced to leave the church because of his objections to the inhumane treatment of slaves. Key Scottish figures supporting abolition movement:-" Reverend Robert Walker - and in 1788, he moved that the Presbytery in Edinburgh should petition Parliament against the slave trade." John Erskine, Minister in Greyfriars, who baptised Robert Burns; " Lord Hopetoun" Hercules Ross, Landowner and close friend of Lord Nelson" Campbell Halliburton, Secretary of the Scottish Committee" Earl of Selkirk " Sir Charles Middleton, MP, prominent naval commander" Andrew Thompson, prominent church figure, opposed resolution to abolish slavery because he felt it did not go far enough.Public meeting held in the circus in Leith, Edinburgh with over 10,000 petitions; eventually Dundas had to give way.Wilberforce against women participating in the abolition movement.Iain Whyte believes that if the slave owners had not taken such a strong line in opposing the demands, then the abolition of slavery would have taken much longer.Eric Williams, became Prime Minister for Trinidad and Tobago, wrote book Capitalism and Slavery; argued that the abolition of slavery did not come about purely for humanitarian reasons but also economic reasons; slavery became unmanageable and unsustainable because of all the subsidies on sugar.It is an opinion that without the abolitionist's sustained campaign, it would never have been achieved.Iain Whyte stressed that the African slave trade could not have gone on without the collusion of the local chiefs; many African historians deny the complicity of the chiefs; known that European traders made pacts with the chiefs to bring an agreed number of slaves and often traded in arms.Significant cases:1759 - Jamie Montgomery, slave brought from Virginia by Robert Sheddon to Beath, Ayrshire; trained as joiner; Sheddon planned to sell him for higher price as a skilled craftsman; Montgomery baptised by Reverend John Witherspoon and is given a certificate of Christian conduct signed by the minister indicating he was moral, upright citizen and commended him to any Christian community; absconds but is arrested and dies in prison.1769 - case in Fife - David Dalrymple bought a slave "Black Tom" from the Hume family in Grenada and brought him to Wemyss; the slave asked to be baptised in Wemyss Parish Church and Dalrymple agreed; baptised by name of David Spence by Harry Spence, Minister of Wemyss; discovers Dalrymple intended returning him to West Indies to be sold; Elder of the Kirk, John Henderson protected him and gets assistance from lawyers who prepared speech saying he had the right to freedom and would prosecute if they tried to return him to the West Indies; jailed in Dysart; lawyers drew up writs for wrongful arrest; Dalrymple dies so he is freed on this basis; parish records reveal that several congregations did collections and supported him.1772 - Charles Scott from Orkney brought a slave back from Virginia; Scott attempted to take him back to Virginia against his will; Granville Sharp, great pioneer of abolition took up his case and succeeded.1778 - Joseph Knight, Sir John Wedderburn's slave brought to Scotland. Wedderburn arranged for him to be taught to read and he married a servant on the estate, Annie Thomson. Joseph Knight's wife had to return to Dundee and he wanted to join her. After reading Charles Scott/Annie Thomson case, he took his appeal to the magistrates, then to the Sheriff of Perthshire and he too won his case.January 1778 a decision was made by a 7:4 majority that the law of Jamaica did not apply in Scotland.
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