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Henry Smeathman, the FlycatcherNatural History, Slavery, and Empire in the Late Eighteenth Century$
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Deirdre Coleman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940537

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786940537.001.0001

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Conclusion: Legacies

Conclusion: Legacies

Chapter:
(p.238) Conclusion: Legacies
Source:
Henry Smeathman, the Flycatcher
Author(s):

Deirdre Coleman

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781786940537.003.0010

Smeathman dies in London from a ‘putrid fever’ in July 1786. The Committee for the Black Poor sully his posthumous reputation, possibly because of his support for a mixed-race constitution in Sierra Leone. They fail to see that Smeathman’s scheme for commercial agriculture, powered by the labour of redeemed slaves, presented a small step forward in recasting the relationship between forced labour and empire. Smeathman’s essay on the West African termite has many afterlives, especially in terms of its engravings, but the big book on Africa and the West Indies—his ‘Voyages and Travels’—is never published.

Keywords:   Jonas Hanway, Committee for the Black Poor, Mixed-race African settlement, Olaudah Equiano, ‘Voyages and Travels’, Smeathman insects in Sydney, Australia

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