Rafael de
Discurso sobre la abolición de la esclavitud en Inglaterra pronunciado por D. Rafael Marta de Labra, en el Ateneo Mercantil, el dia 19 de Diciembre de 1879
Alfonso Rodero
Abolition Campaigns
Biblioteca Nacional de España
Speech Abolition Slavery England Merchants Society Meeting Madrid Spanish
In a speech addressed to the Ateneo Mercantil (the centre of commerce in Madrid) the Spanish abolitionist Rafael de Labra recounts the history of slavery and abolition in the UK. He compares the period of apprenticeship imposed on former slaves in British colonies in the 1830s to similar Spanish plans for Cuba half a century later, suggesting that Spain should learn from Britain's past mistakes. The editor's introduction stresses the international significance of this policy: "the civilised world is watching us to see if the Spanish people are worthy of entering the concert of nations marching at the forefront of progress" (4).
Appendix - contains a letter from the Ateneo Mercantil of Madrid to the Spanish government, calling for the total and immediate abolition of slavery.