The Horrors of Slavery and Other Writings by Robert Wedderburn

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The Horrors of Slavery vividly records the history, ideas, and rhetoric of Robert Wedderburn, a Scottish-West Indian slave offspring, who was a leader in the movement to abolish slavery in the West Indies. Wedderburn lived an extraordinary life in the slums of Georgian and Regency London during the insurrectionary ferment of the French wars and Reform agitation, working successively as a sailor, tailor, thief, prophet, blasphemous preacher, revolutionary conspirator, and bawdy-house keeper. His publications had an enormous effect in his time, and now for the first time are collected in book form. Its unique documents - including abolitionist autobiography, prophetic piety, pungent radical journalism, and fiery colloquial speeches transcribed by government spies and undercover policemen - are echoes from the criminal and political underworld, enabling us to reconstruct the culture and mentality of a poor, unlettered immigrant black. They disclose the rough, rich, and creative political expressions of a desperate mulatto radical whose tavern oratory, blasphemous preaching, burlesque theatricality and revolutionary rhetoric aimed to liberate the enslaved in the West Indies and Britain, and to turn the world upside down in the manner of Cromwell's preachers. Wedderburn provoked and endured the repressive wrath of the British government and helped to convince London's artisan ultra-radicals of the affinities between black West Indian and British working-class revolution.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558760516
  • Publisher: Wiener, Markus Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/1991
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 154
  • Sales rank: 688,973

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
Pt. I The Crucible of Slavery
1 The Horrors of Slavery; exemplified in the Life and History of the Rev. Robert Wedderburn, 1824 43
Pt. II The Making of a Radical Prophet
2 Robert Wedderburn, Truth Self-Supported; or A Refutation of Certain Doctrinal Errors Generally Adopted in the Christian Church, [c. 1802] 65
3 Robert Wedderburn to Francis Place, Giltspur St prison, 22 March 1831. British Library, Add. MS. 27, 808 (Place Papers), fo. 322 78
Pt. III Jamaican - British Revolutionary
4 The Axe Laid to the Root, or A Fatal Blow to Oppressors, Being an Address to the Planter and Negroes of the Island of Jamaica. No. 1 [1817] 81
5 The Axe Laid to the Root, No. 2 [1817] 89
6 The Axe Laid to the Root, No. 4 [1817] 96
7 The Axe Laid to the Root, No. 6 [1817] 105
Pt. IV Insurrectionary Preacher
8 'Can it be Murder to Kill a Tyrant?', Handbill, Hopkins Street chapel, August 1819 113
9 PRO HO 42/195, Hopkins Street chapel, [9 Aug. 1819] 114
10 PRO HO 42/191, [Rev. Chetwode Eustace], [10 Aug. 1819] 116
11 PRO TS 11/45/167, Rex vs Wedderburn, Deposition of Richard Dalton, 13 Oct. 1819 118
12 PRO TS 11/45/167, Rex vs Wedderburn, Examination of William Plush 120
13 PRO TS 11/45/167, In the Kings Bench Sittings after Hilary Term Middlesex, The King against Robert Wedderburn for Blasphemy, Brief for the Crown 123
14 PRO HO 42/196, Richard Dalton, 'Wesleyan Methodists - Hopkins Street Chapel', 10 Nov. 1819 126
15 PRO HO 42/199, fo. 134, John Davis, 21 Nov. 1819 128
Pt. V Infidel
16 The Address of the Rev R. Wedderburn, to the Court of King's Bench at Westminster, on appearing to receive Judgement for Blasphemy . . ., Edited by Erasmus Perkins, [1820] 131
17 Rev R. Wedderburn, Cast Iron Parsons, or Hints to the Public and the Legislature, on Political Economy, [1820] 142
18 The Lion, 21 March 1828, 'The Holy Liturgy, or Divine Service, upon the principle of Pure Christian Diabolism . . .' 153
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