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I was an Eye-witness John Newton Anthony Benezet and the Confession of a Liverpool Slave Trader.pdf (1.73 MB)

‘I was an Eye-witness’: John Newton, Anthony Benezet, and the Confession of a Liverpool Slave Trader

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-21, 09:26 authored by John Coffey

This article investigates a forgotten moment in the pre-history of British abolitionism: the publication of an anonymous ‘Relation’ written by a penitent Liverpool slave trader and printed in Anthony Benezet’s A Short Account (1762). The article suggests that the Philadelphia Quaker acquired the Liverpool ‘Relation’ via the London Dissenting publishers of Two Dialogues on the Man-Trade (1760). Identifying close parallels between events described in the ‘Relation’ and the voyage of the Brownlow in 1748-49, it argues that the former slave trader was probably John Newton, subsequently famous as a pastor, hymnwriter, and abolitionist. The conclusion considers potential implications for our understanding of Newton’s career and the origins of the British abolitionism.

History

Alternative title

'Anthony Benezet, John Newton, and the Liverpool Slave Trade'

Author affiliation

School of History, Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Slavery and Abolition: a journal of slave and post-slave studies

Volume

44

Issue

1

Pagination

181-201

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

issn

0144-039X

Acceptance date

2022-06-25

Copyright date

2022

Available date

2023-11-21

Language

en

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