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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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‘There to sing the song of Moses’

‘There to sing the song of Moses’

John Jea’s Methodism and Working-Class Attitudes to Slavery in Liverpool and Portsmouth, 1801–1817

(p.39) 2 ‘There to sing the song of Moses’
Britain's History and Memory of Transatlantic Slavery

Ryan Hanley

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines how the African Methodist preacher John Jea adapted his spoken and written discourse to appeal to different working-class audiences in Liverpool and Portsmouth during the first two decades of the nineteenth century. When Jea lived and preached in Liverpool between 1801 and 1805, the slave trade was at its height, generating sorely-needed employment for the local working-class community. Conversely, when he lived and preached in Portsmouth, after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the town was the sole home base for the Royal Navy’s suppression of the now-outlawed transatlantic slave trade – a source of significant local pride. These local contexts affected both Jea’s treatment of slavery and his deployment of sensational, ‘American-style’ Methodism, in each location.

Keywords:   Liverpool, Portsmouth, Slavery, Abolition, Methodism, black history, port towns, War of 1812, local history, black Atlantic

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