The Amboyna trial was a famous conspiracy case that took place in 1623 when a group of Japanese mercenaries were accused of plotting with English merchants to seize control of a Dutch fort on a remote island in Southeast Asia. Despite occurring thousands of miles away in an unfamiliar part of the world, the trial on Amboyna swiftly escalated to become one of the most famous legal cases of the... Read More »
In this excerpt, Rainsford describes the divisive effects of the Declaration of Rights of the Blacks among the various racial/social groupings.
Better known for her defense of the rights of women, Olympe de Gouges defended the rights of the downtrodden in general. Here she points out the cruelty of slavery and expresses the hope that the slave trade will be abandoned.
In this article, the influential newspaper The Revolutions of Paris asks if Africans and their descendants are "Born to Slavery?" as part of a general consideration of the situation in the French colonies.
During the explosion of newspaper publishing after 1789, the Revolutions of Paris consistently supported radical positions, including the abolition of slavery in articles like this one entitled "No Color Bar."
In this excerpted source, Venture Smith recalls his experiences in the slave trade as a child. This source is especially important, as Smith gives a very vivid account of slave raiding, a common practice that took place during the peak years of the slave trade in the 18th century. Smith, the son of a Guinean Prince, was sold into slavery at the young age of three by his own mother. Unable to... Read More »
In 1753, 15 year old Mary Jemison was captured by Indians along the Pennsylvania frontier during the Seven Years' War between the French, English, and Indian peoples of North America. She was adopted and incorporated into the Senecas, a familiar practice among Iroquois and other Indian peoples seeking to replace a lost sibling or spouse. Mary married and raised a family in the decades before... Read More »
Baptiste–Henri Grégoire was a parish priest who was elected to the National Assembly by the clergy of Lorraine. He championed the rights of minorities both before the Revolution and in the legislature. The most noted beneficiaries of his attention were Jews and free blacks. He thought giving rights to Jews would encourage assimilation, while giving free blacks a greater stake in society would... Read More »
E. J. Wakefield was 19 years of age when he sailed from England, in 1839, on the New Zealand Company vessel, Tory, as secretary to his uncle, Colonel William Wakefield. Wakefield was to oversee the foundation of a Company settlement in the Cook Strait region, where the country's capital city, Wellington, is now located. Land purchases from tribal owners were a priority for the colonizing... Read More »