Précis sur la traite des noirs
Paris, Rouen & Le Havre.
Brissot-Thivars. Plancher (Paris). Bechet. Bureau de la Nacelle (Rouen). Chapelle (Le Havre).
Abolition Campaigns;Travel Writings
Bibliothèque Nationale de France
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Summary Slave Trade Ship Abolition Brazil Poetry French Portuguese Spanish Guilt Human Rights
Published as an epilogue to a collection of Brazilian poems by the French naval captain and writer Édouard Corbière, this short essay describes the slave trade as the "most horrendous violation of human rights" (45). Corbière had himself made many transatlantic crossings, both in the navy and on trading ships, and his vivid description of the voyage shows the inhuman treatment of the slaves and the dangers for all on board. He describes the Portuguese and Spanish ships in particular as operating with "something worse than inhumanity" (54). The introduction to this collection rages against the "cesspit of vices" and "excesses" (2) exported from Europe to the Americas, including the slave trade, and asks whether it is possible for Europeans to continue to travel there without overwhelming guilt. Corbière went on to publish his novel, Le Négrier, (The Slave Ship) in 1832, and became a well-known French maritime writer.
In Édouard Corbière, Élégies brésiliennes, suivies de poésies diverses, et d'une notice sur la traite des noirs (Paris, Rouen & Le Havre: Brissot-Thivars et al, 1823), 45-56. Corbière claims to have collated these Brazilian Indian songs and elegies, with titles such as 'Suicide', 'Delirium', and 'Tombs', from original sources during his voyage to Brazil. The collection also includes a number of his own poems. It is dated June 1823.