Biographies of key figures in the history of the transatlantic slave trade

There were many figures in Britain, West Africa and the Caribbean who played a key part in supporting and abolishing the transatlantic slave trade. Each biography is listed below.

Quobna Ottobah Cugoano (born 1750s)
Cugoano was kidnapped in Ghana, Africa, at about the age of 13. He was enslaved for two years in the West Indies before being brought to England by his master in 1772. He obtained his freedom and found a job as a house servant for a husband-and-wife team of high society portrait painters. He was baptized as John Stuart in 1773.
He published the first directly abolitionist book in English by an African in 1787,


Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (1757 - 1806)
Daughter of the first Earl Spencer, she married William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire, in 1774 at the age of 17. Georgiana was a great beauty, leader of fashion and socialite and she had an eventful life full of scandal. The journal she kept, along with her letters, particularly to her mother, provide an intriguing snapshot of Georgian high-life. Georgiana was always interested in politics and supported the Whigs. In 1784 she became the first woman to campaign in an election, using all the tactics her wealth and sex offered in support of Charles James Fox. Georgiana supported the campaign to abolish the slave trade, and in 1799 wrote the words to


Alexander Falconbridge (dates unknown)
Alexander Falconbridge was a surgeon on slaving ships from Bristol but left the trade on principle. He was persuaded by Clarkson to give evidence on the inhumanity of slavery. He was interviewed by Richard Phillips, a committee member from the Anti-Slavery Society, who wrote up the account as a short book,


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