Anti-Slavery Papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

58 separate items, dated 1774-1891, of which 3 are dated before 1800 while 15 relate to the anti-slavery campaign prior to the 1833 act prohibiting slavery in British colonies, or to the act itself. Other items relate to the slave trade in Africa.

The manuscript items comprise an album, entitled 'Anti-Slavery Movement, 1833' containing correspondence and papers chiefly addressed to the Revd John Beetham, Secretary of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, 1831-1855; a similar file of letters and papers, dated 1836-1861 and a memo book belonging to W Fergusson, dated 1840, containing a manuscript copy of a narrative by James Will of quot;the land of Akne' in Africa about his life before and during captivity.

Printed items include a copy of John Wesley’s Thoughts upon Slavery published in 1774, An address to the people of Great Britain on the utility of refraining from the use of West India sugar and rum published in 1791, a printed letter from the London Female Anti-Slavery Society, dated 1833, Hymns adapated to the celebration of the Negro’s Jubilee, dated 1834; A Narrative of the Travels etc., of John Ismael Agustus James, an African of the Mandingo tribe who was captured, sold into slavery, and subsequently liberated by a benevolent English Gentleman published in 1836 and undated items issued by the African Aid Society.

Administrative / Biographical History

A collection of manuscript and printed material, including Parliamentary Papers, dated 1774-1891 and entitled Anti-Slavery Papers formed and kept as a collection in the offices of the Methodist Missionary Society. The Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, later the Methodist Missionary Society, had had a presence in the Caribbean since the late 18th century and became closely involved in the campaign to end slavery in those islands as in all British colonies. The Secretary of the WMMS in the years leading up to the Emancipation Bill of 1833, and afterwards, was the Revd John Beecham (1787-1856). The WMMS also participated in campaigns to stamp out the African slave-trade.

Conditions Governing Access

Unrestricted but only to be viewed on microfiche.

Acquisition Information

Deposited with the archive of the Methodist Missionary Society in 1978.

Other Finding Aids

Handlist of items available for consultation in the Special Collectiuons Reading Room in SOAS Library.

Archivist's Note

This description compiled by Rosemary Seton, Archivist, SOAS

Conditions Governing Use

No publication without prior written permission. Apply to SOAS Archives in first instance.