The present state of the anti-slavery question in Tunis and Algiers: in a letter addressed to Thomas Clarkson Esq., president of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society; by a correspondent of the same society
Smith, Elder & Co.
Abolition Campaigns
Goldsmiths' Library of Economic Literature, University of London
Slavery Abolition Tunisia Bey Algeria North Africa Transaharan Trade British Foreign Anti-Slavery Society Letter Clarkson
This letter from a correspondent of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society accuses the French of encouraging slave trading in Algeria under their colonial rule, contrasting this practice with the progress made towards the abolition of slavery by the Bey of Tunis, "the friend and liberator of the African Slave" (6), and by the British Consul in Tunis. Anti-slavery principles are closely connected with nationalist rhetoric in the letter, which suggests that Tunisia is "following the glorious example of Great Britain" (8). In contrast, France is portrayed as an obstacle to both the abolition of slavery and the establishment of British interests in North Africa. The correspondent attempts to stir up abolitionist zeal by writing to Clarkson, and by making clear reference to the campaigns against the transatlantic slave trade: "this middle passage of the ocean of sands" (16).
The writer deliberately chooses to refer to French sources, anticipating criticism of national bias by referring to : "a source not English, and therefore an apparently better authority on a French question" (14-15). He cites the Mémoire of M. Subtil, published in the Revue de l'Orient (October 1844) on the transaharan slave trade, and Desjobert's Algérie en 1844.