George William
Observaçaos sobre a escravatura e commercio de escravos dirigidas as Cortes e a’ nação Portugueza
F. C. A. Ruado
Abolition Campaigns
Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal. Goldsmiths' Library of Economic Literature, University of London.
Observations Slavery Slave Trade Parliament Politics Portugal Nation British Abolitionism
Published in Portugal, and addressed to the Parliament and the Portuguese nation, this pamphlet by the British abolitionist George Alexander targets the major remaining slave-trading nation in "civilised" Europe. Alexander's hard-hitting pamphlet accuses Portugal of allowing "horrendous abuses" (18) to take place, as slave ships "literally packed with human bones" crossed the Atlantic for the benefit of the "ferocious animals" of both the old world and the new (15). Supported by figures collected by John Scoble and the arguments of Thomas Fowell Buxton, whose book, The African Slave Trade and its remedy (1840), had detailed the damage done to Africa by the trade, Alexander's pamphlet concludes by calling on the Portuguese government to take decisive action against the illegal slave trade. He also asks the Portuguese nation to set up a national abolitionist movement based on the principles of "humanity and justice", citing the example of those already existing in Britain, the United States, France and the Netherlands.
Dated "Lisbon, 5 May 1842".