Filed under slavery

How to Create a Perfect Wife

How to Create a Perfect Wife

This is an intriguing book by Wendy Moore, a journalist and author who I’d never heard of. The story fills in a lot of gaps in my historical knowledge, especially featuring the poet Thomas Day who I knew from his famous abolitionist poem The Dying Negro and his book on child centred education. He was … Continue reading

Feeding the Poor, 1795 England

I’ve been dipping into Humphrey Jennings’ wonderful collection of historical sources, Pandaemonium. It’s a huge tome and was as major inspiration to Danny Boyle and his colleagues in staging the opening for the 2012 London Olympics. I seem to be doing a similar thing here – presenting documents as images to – I hesitate to … Continue reading

Roger Casement and Africa

The i paper and the Independent have a lot of award winning journalists, but sometimes they publish personal stories by them which are often more interesting than the regular news. Patrick Cockburn is a brilliant writer on the Middle East, but here’s his take on a matter closer to home, that of Roger Casement, executed … Continue reading

Restrictions on Wife Sales

Here’s another piece of the article on wife sales in The Review of Behavioural Economics 2014 in which it raises an interesting point relating to wives being willing to be sold. I thought it was purely to do with the nature of the commercial contract, but the authors suggest another aspect which ties in with … Continue reading

Slave Reparation

I’ve done quite a bit of research into the minefield that is the slavery and abolition issue. It is generally assumed that slaves and ex-slaves never received compensation from their owners or their heirs. Here’a an article of a surprisingly early victory for a former slave, though she didn’t live long to benefit from it: … Continue reading

PT Barnum’s Career Began This is an article from JSTOR, describing how the great showman’s career was launched by an elderly African American women who claimed to have been about 160 years old. After death she was anatomised and her age was dismissed, but as I reported elsewhere, in England there was a woman who was accepted as … Continue reading

Naval Justice

The 18th century was a tough time to be a criminal, with many capital crimes entering the books, especially for misbehaviour at sea. Here’s an article from the Virginia Gazette of 8 June 1769: “On Friday the same court of Admiralty met for the trial of Stephen Porter, mariner, for the Murder of Capt John Westcot, … Continue reading

Italian Legacy

The British are often blamed for a lot of the social and political mess today, in particular, the resentment against ‘Western’ civilisation. But the Italians messed things up long before this. This is from The Medieval World Europe 1100-1350 by Frederick Heer: “The Italians left one dangerous legacy to Western Europe as a whole. The … Continue reading

Medieval Trade & Slavery

Whilst trawling for information on foundlings, I stumbled upon this story, which I had heard of, but knew nothing about. This is from The Medieval World Europe 1100-1350 by Frederick Heer: “The great economic and political power of Italian finance would have been impossible without overseas trade. From the mid-eleventh century the Italian maritime cities … Continue reading