Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species …

AS we explained the History of Slavery in the first part of this Essay, as far as it was necessary for our purpose, we shall now take the question into consideration, which we proposed at first as the subject of our inquiry, viz. how far the commerce and slavery of the human species, as revived by some of the nations of Europe in the persons of the unfortunate Africans, and as revived, in a great measure, on the principles of antiquity, are consistent with the laws of nature, or the common notions of equity, as established among men.

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The second is the This gentleman resided for many years in the in the clerical office. He perused all the colonial codes of law, with a view to find if there were any favourable clauses, by which the grievances of slaves could be redressed; but he was severely disappointed in his pursuits. He published a treatise, since his return to England, called which I recommend to the perusal of the humane reader. This work reflects great praise upon the author, since, in order to be of service to this singularly oppressed part of the human species, he compiled it at the expence of forfeiting that friendship, which he had contracted with many in those parts, during a series of years, and at the hazard, as I am credibly informed, of suffering much in his private property, as well as of subjecting himself to the ill will and persecution of numerous individuals.

essay which began his lifetime's work

This commerce of the human species was of a very early date. It was founded on the idea that men were and, as this idea was coeval with the first order of slaves, it must have arisen, (if the date, which we previously affixed to that order, be right) in the first practices of barter. The Story of Joseph, as recorded in the sacred writings, whom his brothers sold from an envious suspicion of his future greatness, is an ample testimony of the truth of this conjecture. It shews that there were men, even at that early period, who travelled up and down as merchants, collecting not only balm, myrrh, spicery, and other wares, but the human species also, for the purposes of traffick. The instant determination of the brothers, on the first sight of the merchants, and the immediate acquiescence of these, who purchased him for a foreign market, prove that this commerce had been then established, not only in that part of the country, where this transaction happened, but in that also, whither the merchants were then travelling with their camels, namely, Ægypt: and they shew farther, that, as all customs require time for their establishment, so it must have existed in the ages, previous to that of Pharaoh; that is, in those ages, in which we fixed the first date of servitude. This commerce then, as appears by the present instance, existed in the earliest practices of barter, and had descended to the Ægyptians, through as long a period of time, as was sufficient to have made it, in the times alluded to, an established custom. Thus was Ægypt, in those days, the place of the greatest resort; the grand emporium of trade, to which people were driving their merchandize, as to a centre; and thus did it afford, among other opportunities of traffick, the that is recorded, for the sale of the human species.

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An Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species, Particularly The African, Translated from a Latin Dissertation, which was honoured with First Prize in the University of Cambridge for the Year 1785, With Additions. MDCCLXXXV1 (1786) Printed by J. Phillips, George-Yard, Lombard-Street.Notes: 1st Edition copy of Clarkson's original essay which began his lifetime's work.

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An Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species, Particularly The African, Translated from a Latin Dissertation, which was honoured with First Prize in the University of Cambridge for the Year 1785, With Additions. MDCCLXXXV1 (1786) Printed by J. Phillips, George-Yard, Lombard-Street.

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