Martha Gurney and the Anti-Slave Trade Movement, 1788–94

Timothy Whelan

in Women, Dissent, and Anti-Slavery in Britain and America, 1790–1865

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199585489
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728969 | DOI:
Martha Gurney and the Anti-Slave Trade Movement, 1788–94

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This chapter explores the work of Martha Gurney (1733–1816), a staunch Baptist and the leading woman bookseller and publisher in London in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, during the first decade of the abolitionist movement in England. The chapter examines the fourteen abolitionist pamphlets Gurney published or sold between 1787 and 1794 and their place within the abolitionist movement, with special attention to An Address to the People of Great Britain, on the Propriety of Abstaining from West-India Produce (1791) by William Fox. The Address, the most widely distributed pamphlet of the eighteenth century, created widespread support for a nationwide boycott of sugar from the West Indies. Though Gurney and her pamphleteers were unable to persuade parliament to end the slave trade at that time, they laid the groundwork for the later work of Elizabeth Heyrick and the boycott movement of the 1820s.

Keywords: Martha Gurney; Baptist; boycott movement; abolitionist pamphlets; William Fox; woman bookseller; London; abolitionist movement

Chapter.  11445 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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