Diary of a visit to Scotland 5 January - 19 March 1792 on behalf of the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade
Abolition Campaigns
Friends House Library, London
Diary Scotland Campaign Tour Abolition Slave Trade Britain Clarkson
Scottish abolitionist William Dickson was sent by the London Committee of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade on a campaigning tour of Scotland in 1792. He was instructed by Clarkson to distribute copies of the Abstract of the Evidence against the slave trade (1791), and to prepare Scotland to undertake a petition campaign. He distributed the Abstract, along with Wedgewood abolitionist cameos, and wrote asking for copies of reports on the work of the Sierra Leone Company, due to public interest in Scotland. He also collected eye witness testimonies of Scots who had spent time in the West Indies and witnessed cruelty to slaves on the plantations. The tour was undertaken in a climate of concern over radical politics and the French revolution, and Scottish radical supporters were carefully vetted, as in Dickson's account of a meeting with two "hearty" abolitionists in Portsoy: "Neither of them have any connection with the French Revolutionary Club here, and I charged them to beware of any allusions to it, or even to liberty".
A map of Dickson's tour can be found in Iain Whyte, Scotland and the Abolition of Black Slavery, 1756-1838 (Edinburgh University Press, 2006), 92.