Saturday, March 24, 2007

End of British slave trade commemorated on new stamps

The BBC and several newspapers report that Royal Mail has just issued a set of six stamps commemorating the end of the Atlantic slave trade in 1807.

Shown here is one of the stamps featuring Granville Sharp, whose chance encounter with an African slave led him to become a key campaigner against slavery.

MP William Wilberforce, slave Olaudah Equiano, campaigner Thomas Clarkson, writer Hannah More and trader Ignatius Sancho are also depicted in the set.

The East End Advertiser quotes Royal Mail's Melanie Corfield a saying, "The Abolitionists galvanised people from all walks of life. Their struggle led to an Act of Parliament in 1807 which brought an end to an inglorious period in history."

According to the write-up on the BBC website, "More than three million Africans were shipped across the Atlantic in the 18th Century, before Parliament passed the 1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, banning the trafficking of Africans as slaves."

However, it goes on to say Britain's act to abolish slavery itself was not passed until 1833.

For more on Sharp and the new stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM