Letters of Thomas Clarkson

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 GB 162 Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House MSS. s. 495
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      24 ff.

Scope and Content

Letters written to Thomas Fowell Buxton concerning proposed parliamentarymeasures for the abolition of slavery in the West Indies, 1825-1828.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Clarkson (1760-1846), anti-slavery agitator, was born in Wisbech,Cambridgeshire, and married Catherine, daughter of William Buck. He diedat Playford Hall, near Ipswich, Suffolk. Throughout his life, Clarkson wasa tireless campaigner against slavery. He was one of the founder membersof a parliamentary committee established in 1787 for the suppression of theslave trade, and became vice president, with William Wilberforce, of theAnti-Slavery Society after its formation in 1823. He published a large numberof works, largely on the subject of slavery, and made several campaigningjourneys not only in England but also abroad, meeting members of theFrench government in Paris in 1789 and the Emperor of Russia at Aix-la-Chapellein 1818. He was awarded the freedom of the City of London in 1839.

Access Information

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Collection level description created by Paul Davidson, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Other Finding Aids

Listed as no. 573 in Manuscript Collections in Rhodes House Library Oxford, Accessions 1978-1994 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1996).

Conditions Governing Use

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.

Related Material

The papers of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, 1st Bart., 1804-1847 (ref. MSS. Brit.Emp. s. 444); letters from the Marquis de Lafayette to T. Clarkson relating to the slave trade, 1798-1829 (facsimiles) (ref. MSS. Brit. Emp. r. 1); letters fromthe Comte de Mirabeau to T. Clarkson, 1789 and James Munroe, 1817 on slaveryand the slave trade (ref. MSS. Brit. Emp. r. 1*); transcript of Clarkson's diarydescribing his tour through Wales on behalf of the Anti-Slavery Society, 1824(ref. MSS. Brit. Emp. r. 16); records of the Anti-Slavery Society, 1820-1951 (refs. MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 16-24; Micr. U.S.A. 187-188; MSS. Amer. r. 1).