J. C. L. Simonde de
De l'intérêt de la France à l'égard de la traite des nègres
Genève & Paris
J. J. Paschoud
Abolition Campaigns
Bibliothèque de la Société de l'histoire du Protestantisme français, Paris. Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Goldsmiths' Library of Economic Literature, University of London. Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal.
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Interest France Slave Trade Congress Vienna Peace Abolition Saint Domingue Haiti Colony Africa
This pamphlet by the abolitionist Simonde de Sismondi examines France's political and economic position on the issue of the slave trade at the coming Congress of Vienna. Praising the "glorious unanimity" (4) of the British, and the intervention of "Europe's hero" (5), Alexander I of Russia, in the debate over the slave trade, Sismondi attempts to convince French readers of the need for the nation to abandon the trade of its own volition, by stressing the damage it had done in the past. He appeals to national honour by calling slave trading a form of torture which is unworthy of Frenchmen. He also questions the planned destination of the enslaved Africans, commenting that plans to re-colonise St. Domingue with a new population of African slaves would mean first conducting a genocidal war against Haiti, and then risking the nation's capital by reinvesting in a lost colony to satisfy the nostalgia of its former rulers - money which, Sismondi argues, would be better spent founding a new French empire in South America or in Senegal (30), or investing in India.
Three editions of this pamphlet published in 1814. Sismondi also published a second pamphlet on the slave trade in 1814, entitled Nouvelles réflexions sur la traite des nègres (Genève & Paris: J. J. Paschoud, 1814). Correspondence between Simonde de Sismondi and William Wilberforce from October 1814 is held in the Wilberforce Collections of the Bodleian Library, Oxford.