Chapter

“Themselves Under this Very Predicament”

Travis Glasson

in Mastering Christianity

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199773961
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919017 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199773961.003.0008
“Themselves Under this Very Predicament”

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After decades of working to convert slaves, from the 1760s the SPG became embroiled in new trans-Atlantic debates about abolition and emancipation. While some accounts have seen statements made by some figures associated with the SPG as contributing to the development of abolitionism, this chapter reconsiders the SPG’s engagement with antislavery campaigners. It examines the multiple proslavery and pro-slave trade texts produced by SPG affiliates to reveal the depth of support for the institution within the Society. It also considers how the Society’s ongoing ownership of several hundred people gave it a prominent place in national debates about slavery’s history and future. It is a testimony to the strength of the Society’s embrace of slavery that its members remained unwilling to change their corporate position on slavery until forced to do so by the legal enactment of emancipation around the British Empire.

Keywords: abolition; abolitionism; emancipation; slave trade; antislavery; proslavery; Parliament; Codrington; British Empire; West Indies

Chapter.  15455 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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