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Britain's History and Memory of Transatlantic Slavery$
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Katie Donington, Ryan Hanley, and Jessica Moody

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781781382776

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781382776.001.0001

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From Guinea to Guernsey and Cornwall to the Caribbean

From Guinea to Guernsey and Cornwall to the Caribbean

Recovering the History of Slavery in the Western English Channel

(p.21) 1 From Guinea to Guernsey and Cornwall to the Caribbean
Britain's History and Memory of Transatlantic Slavery

Brycchan Carey

Liverpool University Press

This chapter synthesises evidence from a wide range of primary and secondary sources concerning slavery and the slave trade in the Western English Channel. It argues that Cornwall and the Channel Islands, despite their special claims to distinctiveness and detachment from the slave trade, were not in fact innocent bystanders, remote from the centres of trade and power, but were instead as fully involved in the slave economy as any other part of the British Isles. It shows that enslaved and free Africans visited both regions, and that Channel Islanders and Cornish people invested in the slave trade, owned slaves, participated on both sides of the abolition debate, and wrote about slavery in a wide variety of literary and other publications. It concludes that the experience of Cornwall and the Channel Islands serves as a powerful reminder that no region or community in Britain had a special exemption from the nation’s imperial project.

Keywords:   Slavery, abolition, Cornwall, English Channel, Channel Islands, Equiano

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