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Talk: Cornwall and Devon in the Age of Transatlantic Slavery With Dr Richard Anderson, University of Aberdeen

A Historical Association & University of Plymouth History department talk 


Dr Anderson’s talk will explore the historical connections between Cornwall and Devon and the history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the African Diaspora. Beginning with the African presence in South West England from the 16th Century onward, it will look at Plymouth’s role in the foundation of the British slave trade and the interconnectivity of South Western ports, West Africa and the Americas. The talk will consider Cornwall and Devon’s connections with both the histories of slavery and abolition. How did residents in both counties mobilise in the late 18th Century to petition for the abolition of the British slave trade? Who benefited from the £20 million in compensation, paid by British taxpayers to the former slave-owners, which made colonial abolition possible in 1833? Finally, how is this history commemorated today in light of current debates about the legacies of Britain, Africa, and trans-Atlantic slavery? 


Richard is a lecturer in Colonial and Post-Colonial History and his research on aspects of black history has focused on West Africa, various parts of the New World, slavery, emancipation and more recent events. His recent book, Abolition in Sierra Leone: Re-Building Lives and Identities in Nineteenth-Century West Africa (Cambridge University Press), contributes to British anti-slavery writing in a new way, emphasising the linkages between emancipation, colonisation and identity formation in the Black Atlantic’.