Alphonse de
Sur l'abolition de l'esclavage. Discours prononcé au banquet donné par la société française de l'émancipation de l'esclavage, aux délégués des sociétés anglaise et américaine, à Paris, le 10 février 1840
Abolition Campaigns
Bibliothèque Nationale de France
click here
Abolition Slavery Speech Banquet French Society Slave Emancipation British American Paris
In this speech, addressed to British and American abolitionists visiting Paris in 1840, Lamartine begins by toasting "to the abolition of slavery throughout the universe" (441). He describes the British abolition of slavery as a religious mission, which had been actively misconstrued in the French press due to nationalist rivalries. He calls for the abolition of colonial slavery, the costs of which, he argues should be met be the three main beneficiaries: the state, the colonists, and the slaves themselves. The visiting abolitionists are promised that legal slavery will be abolished in the French colonies within three years. Lamartine is eager to promote a "European fraternity" of shared ideals between France and Britain, seeing them as the twin protectors of human rights, granted by Providence "a mission of freedom, civilisation and development" (446-47).
In Œuvres complètes de M.A. de Lamartine (Paris: Charles Gosselin, Furne & Co, Pagnerre, Dufour, Mulat, 1850), vol. IV, 441-48.