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James Wright Handbill

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It is thought that Quaker Merchant James Wright (1739 - 1811), of Haverhill, Suffolk issued this handbill around 1791 informing his customers that he would no longer be selling sugar.

Being impressed with a sense of the unparalleled SUFFERINGS of our FELLOW-CREATURES, the AFRICAN SLAVES in the WEST-INDIA ISLANDS, and also with the abominable Means practiced in procuring them, and towards them after they are procured; the Accounts of the Robberies, Murders, burning of Towns, stirring up and exciting the Natives to make War and Depredations on each other, in order to obtain Captives to sell to European Traders in the Human Species; and also the extreme Cruelties and unchristian Treatment that is exercised towards them after captivated, and on Board the Slave Ships, with the Brandings, Whippings, and cruel Torturings that are inflicted after their Arrival at the Place of Destination, the mere Recital of which is shocking to Humanity; which Accounts appear so indisputably authenticated, that even those Men concerned in this unrighteous Traffic have not disproved: - Therefore being impresses (as I have said) with the Sufferings and Wrongs of the deeply injured People, and also with an Apprehension, that while I am a Dealer in that Article, which appears to be a principal Support of the Slave-Trade, I am encouraging to be a principal Support of the Slave-Trade, I am encouraging Slavery; I take this Method of informing my Customers, that I mean to discontinue selling the Article of SUGAR, (when I have disposed of the Stock I have on Hand) 'till I can procure it through Channels less contaminated, more unconnected with Slavery, and less polluted with Human Blood - My Motive for publishing the above was, least some of my Customers, whose Favours I have experienced many Years (and yet earnestly solicit a Continuance of, for such Articles that I am free to deal in) should be at a loss to account for my Conduct in this Matter.

With kind permission of 'The Library of the Religious Society of Friends.'

15th Jan 2008 by Diane Earl

Citizenship, History

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