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A Person of Rank in Congo carried by his Slaves
This abolitionist poem uses the voice of the planters to detail the terrible conditions on Caribbean sugar plantations and their various justifications for the continuation of colonial slavery. It concludes with an appeal to the buy West Indian sugar. Slavery existed in many African societies. Rich and powerful rulers demonstrated their status by retaining large numbers of slaves in their households, who performed the roles of servants, craftsmen and even political advisors. Internal African slavery was often a form of social hierarchy, with slaves permitted to rise up the social ladder and even acquire slaves of their own. This was unlike the slave-holding European colonies in the Americas, where slaves were considered as 'chattel', the legal property of their 'owners'.
William Marshall Craig
- Image reference: F2258
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Michael Graham-Stewart Slavery Collection. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund