Two Curates, Two Baptists, and a Poet: Olney and the Abolition of the Atlantic Slave Trade

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Slaves bound by chains, the sounds of creaking ship masts, and the barter of human flesh all seem alien to our impressions of eighteenth century Buckinghamshire. Yet Christians of Olney played an important role in the long campaign to abolish the Atlantic slave trade. Though they sometimes made their most dramatic impact upon English laws and society after leaving the county, their tranquil refuge by the Ouse nurtured contemplation and conviction and led to a profound change in all of England and even all the world. Regard for Olney’s curate, Revd. John Newton, led the great Parliamentary leader William Wilberforce (1759-1833) to take up the antislavery cause. A successor curate in Olney to Newton, Revd. Thomas Scott, had as profound an impact on Wilberforce and also on a young Baptist intern at Olney, William Carey, who would become a pioneer missionary to the far reaches of the globe. Carey’s Baptist mentor, John Sutcliff, spent 39 years as a pastor in Olney, and led the Northamptonshire Baptist Association of churches to bear united witness against the enslavement of Africans. Poet William Cowper, a friend of Newton and Scott and of Sutcliff, was acknowledged by famed Quaker abolitionist Thomas Clarkson to be ‘much admired… and a great co-adjutor’ in the cause.1 Together these men endow Olney with a just claim to fame. John Newton (1725-1807), curate of Olney from 1764 to 1780, was a spiritual father to Anglican antislavery activists. He helped convince Wilberforce to persevere in his calling to elected office when the MP was tempted to exchange it for the Christian ministry. Newton published eyewitness accounts of the African slave trade and even testified before Parliamentary and royal fact-finding commissions in the efforts to end it.2 Before John Newton became an advocate for the abolitionist cause in his later ministry,

Slaves bound by chains, the sounds of creaking ship masts, and the

barter of human flesh all seem alien to our impressions of eighteenth century

Buckinghamshire. Yet Christians of Olney played an important

role in the long campaign to abolish the Atlantic slave trade. Though

they sometimes made their most dramatic impact upon English laws

and society after leaving the county, their tranquil refuge by the Ouse

nurtured contemplation and conviction and led to a profound change in

all of England and even all the world.

Regard for Olney’s curate, Revd. John Newton, led the great

Parliamentary leader William Wilberforce (1759-1833) to take up the

antislavery cause. A successor curate in Olney to Newton, Revd. Thomas

Scott, had as profound an impact on Wilberforce and also on a young

Baptist intern at Olney, William Carey, who would become a pioneer

missionary to the far reaches of the globe.

Carey’s Baptist mentor, John Sutcliff, spent 39 years as a pastor in

Olney, and led the Northamptonshire Baptist Association of churches to

bear united witness against the enslavement of Africans. Poet William

Cowper, a friend of Newton and Scott and of Sutcliff, was acknowledged

by famed Quaker abolitionist Thomas Clarkson to be ‘much admired…

and a great co-adjutor’ in the cause.1 Together these men endow Olney

with a just claim to fame.

John Newton (1725-1807), curate of Olney from 1764 to 1780, was

a spiritual father to Anglican antislavery activists. He helped convince

Wilberforce to persevere in his calling to elected office when the MP

was tempted to exchange it for the Christian ministry. Newton published

eyewitness accounts of the African slave trade and even testified before

Parliamentary and royal fact-finding commissions in the efforts to

end it.2

Before John Newton became an advocate for the abolitionist cause in

his later ministry, such a role for him seemed highly unlikely. Born in

London, the son of a naval captain, Newton shared crowded slave ship

decks with white men of foul lips and hard hearts. He once became a

virtual slave of the black mistress to a slave trader on an island off the

coast of west Africa, later describing himself as a ‘servant of slaves’.

Ultimately freed by the interposition of a family friend he sailed

thrice as captain of a slave ship. He later become a priest through the

patronage of the Earl of Dartmouth, who had read the autobiographical

letters of Newton published in 1764 as An Authentic Narrative of Some

Remarkable and Interesting Particulars in the Life of [John Newton].3

The Earl arranged for him to settle in Olney as curate the same year.

When he had first begun to experience conviction of his sin John

Newton had put blasphemy, not involvement in the slave trade, at the

head of the list of sins which convicted him. He sought to reform his

life and to understand better the Word of God. As Dr Bruce Hindmarsh

has written, ‘participation in the cruelty of the slave trade did not yet

seem even to trouble his conscience’.4 Newton wrote of the experience:

‘For the space of about six years the Lord was pleased to lead me in a

secret way. I had learnt something of the evil of my heart. I had read the

Bible over and over, with several good books, and had a general view of

gospel truth. But my conceptions were in many respects confused, not

having in all this time met with one acquaintance who could assist my

inquiries’.5 Newton again wrote in 1763:

The reader may perhaps wonder, as I now do myself, that, knowing the

state of this vile traffic . . . I did not at the time [recoil] with horror at my

own employment as an agent in promoting it. Custom, example, and [self-]

interest had blinded my eyes. I did it ignorantly, for I am sure [that] had I

thought of the slave trade then as I have thought of it since, no considerations

would have induced me to continue in it. Though my religious views were

not very clear, my conscience was very tender, and I [would not have dared

to displease] God by acting against the light of my mind. . . . I should have

been overwhelmed with distress and terror, if I had known or even suspected,

that I was acting wrongly. I felt greatly the disagreeableness of the business.

The office of a gaoler, and the restraints under which I was obliged to keep

my prisoners, were not suitable to my feelings; but I considered it as the line

of life which God in His providence had allotted me, and as a cross which

I ought to bear with patience and thankfulness till he should be pleased to

deliver me from it.6

Three decades later, reflecting on his years in the slave trade, he wrote:

Perhaps what I have said of myself may be applicable to the nation at

large. The slave trade was always unjustifiable; but inattention and interest

prevented for a time the evil from being perceived. It is otherwise at present;

the mischiefs and evils connected with it have been, of late years, represented

with such undeniable evidence, and are now so generally known, that I

suppose there is hardly an objection can be made to the wish of thousands,

perhaps of millions, for the suppression of this trade, but upon the ground of

political expedience.7

Newton initially left the slave trade principally because of his health.

He spent years in Liverpool employed at the port, all the while teaching

himself theology and foreign languages before soliciting episcopal

ordination in the Church of England. Life sometimes is filled with

paradoxes. In 1793 he wrote:

I think my heart was never more warm and fixed, than during my two last

voyages to Africa, though I was engaged in a traffic, which I now see was

unlawful and abominable.8

On his own initiative in 1788, to expose mistreatment of slaves, he

published his recollections of ‘unmerciful whippings’ and ‘torture [of

slaves by] the thumbscrews’.9

A mate of a ship in a long-boat purchased a young woman with a fine child of

about a year old in her arms. In the night, the child cried much, and disturbed

his sleep. He rose up in great anger, and swore that if the child did not cease

making such a noise he would presently silence it. The child continued to

cry. At length he rose up a second time, tore the child from the mother, and

threw it into the sea.10

The eighteenth century was a time of great cruelty in many areas of

society. Criminals were kept in insanitary prisons with the insane and

debtors, child labour was commonplace, and animal mistreatment was

not only ignored but sometimes even celebrated. For a time there seems

to have been a widespread cultural deafness to matters which today we

would find appalling.

Newton’s repentance of his former ways grew to such total loathing

that he was unwilling to accept any credit for his antislavery activity

later in life, even though his proved to be vital opposition to the slave

trade. In a 1792 letter he wrote to a friend in Edinburgh:

I have been hurt by two or three letters directed to Dr. Newton. I beg you to

inform my friends in Scotland as they come in your way, that after a little

time, if any letters come to me, addressed to Dr. Newton, I shall be obliged

to send them back unopened. I know no such person, I never shall, I never

will, by the grace of God…. My youthful years were spent in Africa, and I

ought to take my degrees (if I take any) from thence. Shall such a compound

of misery and mischief, as I then was, be called DOCTOR? Surely not.11

Thomas Scott (1747-1821), curate of Olney from 1781 to 1785, helped

shape public opinion and encouraged both William Cowper and William

Carey in the antislavery cause. While in Olney he led Carey to his

evangelical faith, and after leaving Olney he wrote a Bible Commentary

which contained important antislavery sentiments and became the most

widely read in nineteenth-century America. Scott also had a profound

influence on English society. In 1807 he wrote:

I feel [proud now] that [more than] twenty years ago I withstood with all my

energy [the recommendation of one] who advised Mr. W[ilberforce] to retire

from public life. Had that counsel been followed, the slave trade might have

been continued to future generations.12

Wilberforce knew Thomas Scott for 35 years, heard his preaching

regularly in London, and wrote of

…[his] extensive acquaintance with scripture, [his] accurate knowledge of

the human heart, and [his] vehement and powerful appeals to the conscience,

with which all his sermons abounded to a greater degree than those of any

other minister I ever attended.13

In 1807 Scott received a ‘mark of esteem and regard’ from the other

side of the Atlantic Ocean. Because of his Commentary on the Whole

Bible Dickinson College awarded him the degree of DD14, no doubt also

in part because of his fearless anti-slavery stand. Scott’s Commentary

had a widespread influence and from 1808 to 1819 more than 25,000

copies and eight editions were printed in the United States.15 One

unfriendly critic had to admit that by 1864 it was the most popular Bible

commentary in America.16

John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States, was a

devoted reader of Scott’s Commentary.

[Adams] had been minister to five different European courts, senator of

the United States, appointed to the Supreme [Court], had been eight years

Secretary of State, and four years President. His opportunities were great, his

advantages rare, his natural abilities strong.17

A professor at Harvard University from 1806 until 1809, he must have

noticed republication in 1809 in Cambridge, Massachusetts (where

Harvard is located) of an edition of Scott’s Essays on the Most Important

Subjects in Religion, written in Olney and published first in Britain in

1785. In one of those essays Scott asks:

What then shall we think of the accursed slave trade, which will surely bring

vengeance on this nation, if much longer tolerated! Even laws . . . [protect]

the persons concerned in this enormous guilt; and they, who should punish

the murderer and yet suffer him to escape, will be numbered among the

abettors of his crime at God’s tribunal.18

After a year as President, Adams, a regular student of Thomas Scott’s

works, wrote in his diary for 31 December 1825,

I rise usually between five and six – that is, at this time of the year, from an

hour and a half to two hours before sun. I walk by the light of the moon or

stars, or none, about four miles, usually returning home in time to see the sun

rise from the eastern chamber of the House. I then make my fire, and read

three chapters of the Bible, with Scott’s and Hewlett’s Commentaries.19

His family and political supporters discouraged Adams from any

involvement in the slavery debates, but Adams had a conscience no

doubt sensitised by his daily reading of the Bible and Thomas Scott’s

Commentary. In his last years he was urged to represent a group of

helpless black Africans who after being rescued from a Spanish slave

ship, the Amistad, which had made its way to the coast of Connecticut,

yet were threatened with deportation to forced labour in the Spanish

Caribbean plantations. The case of their liberation by the United States

Supreme Court became an American landmark in jurisprudence.20

Adams made the following entry in his diary for March 29, 1841:

I am yet to revise for publication my argument in the case of the Amistad

Africans; and . . . I find impulses of duty upon my own conscience which

I cannot resist, while on the other hand are the magnitude, the danger, the

insurmountable burden of labor to be encountered in the undertaking to

touch upon the slave-trade. No one else will undertake it; no one but a spirit

unconquerable by man, woman or fiend can undertake it but with the heart

of martyrdom. The world, the flesh, and all the devils in hell are arrayed

against any man who now in this North American Union shall dare to join

the standard of Almighty God to put down the African slave-trade; and what

can I, upon the verge of my seventy-fourth birthday, with a shaking hand,

a darkening eye, a drowsy brain, and with all my faculties dropping from

me one by one, as the teeth are dropping from my head – what can I do for

the cause of God and man, for the progress of human emancipation, for the

suppression of the African slave-trade? Yet my conscience presses me on; let

me but die upon the breach.21

The impact of Thomas Scott of Olney upon John Quincy Adams

profoundly affected the course of American jurisprudence.

John Sutcliff (1752-1814), a minister of the Baptist church in Olney from

1775 to 1814, was Carey’s mentor and a leader in the Northamptonshire

Baptist Association, the fraternal fellowship of churches which financially

supported London’s Anti-Slavery Committee. A letter from Sutcliff’s

church in 1792 to fellow-Baptists gave expression to his views:

…we tenderly feel for those who are groaning under the scourge of tyranny,

or suffering in the cause of liberty; while we reprobate the conduct of those

who are engaged in the wicked business of enslaving others, and sympathize

with such as fall into their merciless hands.22

After Sutcliff came to Olney in 1775 he assumed shared leadership not

only of the local Baptist congregation but also of the larger body. It was

the practice of the Baptist Association to receive annual letters from

member churches which were read at Association meetings, and then

printed in a ‘Circular Letter’. The 1787 Circular Letter mentions that it

was

Agreed, …That as we are informed of an intended application to parliament

for an abolition of the slave trade, we will use all lawful means for the

promoting of so just and humane a design.23

The 1791 Circular Letter records that for the 6 a.m. Thursday morning

meeting, after prayer and the reading of reports, the meeting attended to

the business of the Association fund, and

It was unanimously voted that five guineas should be sent up to the Treasurer

of the Society for procuring [John Newton’s] Abolition of the Slave Trade,

that we might shew our hearty abhorrence of that wicked and detestable

merchandize; the reception of which sum has been since acknowledged in the

most obliging manner, by Granville Sharp, Esq. Chairman of the Committee;

who assures us, that the Committee ‘are now more animated, if possible, than

ever, against the iniquitous and disgraceful practices of Slave-dealers and

Slave-holders, and are firmly determined (as by an indispensible [sic] duty to

God and man) to persevere in their endeavours, by all legal means, to effect

the abolition of such enormities’.24

In 1792 another five guineas were ‘[v]oted for the Committee [f]or the

repeal of the slave trade’ by the Association ‘to be transmitted by the

moderator, to the Chairman of the Committee for procuring the abolition

of the inhuman and ungodly Trade in the persons of Men’.25 The antislavery

expenditure was the largest single contribution made.

At the very meeting when a call for missionaries to the utmost corners

of the earth was made, the messengers voted also to send substantial

financial contributions to the Anti-Slavery Committee, headed by

Anglican Granville Sharp, as evidence of the Baptists’ commitment

to the cause. The Baptists viewed both anti-slavery efforts and foreign

mission work as their responsibilities, and John Sutcliff led them.

William Carey (1761-1834), whose family came from Olney and who

served from 1785 to 1787 as an intern pastor and member of the Baptist

Church in Olney, was an ardent abolitionist. With his tract, An Enquiry

Into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of

the Heathens, he inspired a veritable army of linguists, teachers, and

physicians who went to the ends of the earth, almost as a penance for the

evils of the slave trade. Often called the father of the modern missionary

movement, Carey also was a ‘whole-souled Emancipationist’.26

The name Carey appears 60 times in the Olney parish register during

the century before his birth.27 Carey studied under John Sutcliff in Olney

for two years and afterwards was called to Leicester. A deacon of the

Baptist church in Leicester once said he ‘never heard Carey pray without

remembrance of the slaves’.28 It was part of Carey’s ‘own response to

the slave trade . . . to abandon the use of sugar that he might cleanse his

hands of blood’29. William Cowper’s poem, ‘Pity for Poor Africans’,

exclaimed sarcastically:

I pity them greatly, but I must be mum

For how could we do without sugar and rum?

Especially sugar, so needful we see?

What! give up our desserts, our coffee and tea?30

Carey once wrote from the Serampore mission in India: ‘If there be

any thing of the work of God in my soul, I owe much of it to [Thomas

Scott’s] preaching, when I first set out in the ways of the Lord.’31

In 1791 William Carey composed An Enquiry Into the Obligations

of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens – one

hundred pages which changed the world. Permeated with anti-slavery

sentiment and fired with the missionary spirit, he wrote: ‘Is it not the

duty of Christians to attempt to do something toward spreading the

Gospel in the heathen world?’

The Northamptonshire Baptist Association had requested him to draw

up an essay on the need for prayer, the needs of the heathen around the

world, and the need to consider the times. One of Carey’s arguments

for missionary endeavour was this: ‘have not English traders, for the

sake of gain, surmounted all those things which have generally been

counted insurmountable obstacles in the way of preaching the gospel?

Witness . . . even the accursed Slave-Trade on the coasts of Africa. Men

can insinuate themselves into the favour of the most barbarous clans,

and uncultivated tribes, for the sake of gain; and how different soever

the circumstances of trading and preaching are, yet this will prove the

possibility of ministers being introduced there.’32

If slaves could be imported, why could not the gospel be exported?

The Northamptonshire Baptist Association resolved to send William

Carey to establish schools in India, translate the Bible into its native

languages, and plant a beachhead which remains even to the present

day.

In his Enquiry Carey remarks that

a noble effort has been made to abolish the inhuman Slave-Trade, and though

at present it has not been so successful as might be wished, yet it is to be

hoped it will be persevered in, till it is accomplished. In the meantime it is a

satisfaction to consider that the late defeat of the abolition of the Slave-Trade

has proved the occasion of a praiseworthy effort to introduce a free settlement,

at Sierra Leona, on the coast of Africa; an effort which, if succeeded with a

divine blessing, not only promises to open a way for honourable commerce

with that extensive country, and for the civilization of its inhabitants, but may

prove the happy means of introducing amongst them the gospel of our Lord

Jesus Christ.33

In Carey’s view, the abolition of the slave trade was a motivation for

the missionary calling, and was clearly tied to its purpose at its very

inception.

Carey from his conversion was fierce against [slavery]. His sisters never

heard him pray without reference to this traffic ‘so inhuman and accursed.’

Under the influence of Cowper he watched the collaboration of Clarkson,

Wilberforce, Macaulay, and Sharp; the Commons faced with the question;

Fox’s stand for abolition; Wilberforce’s superb effort in the House in 1789,

and the [sub]sequent mitigation of the transport atrocities; then, alas, in 1791,

the Trade’s smashing triumph, [in] spite of Wesley’s dying entreaty, through

Parliament’s reaction [to] the turbulence of France.34

Upon passage of the emancipation law in 1833, news travelled quickly

to India. The introduction of steamboats meant that news from London

to Calcutta, via Egypt, could then travel in a mere 64 days! In those last

months of Carey’s life, a Danish physician at the Serampore mission read

to him a letter which had been mailed from London. It reported that ‘the

cabinet meant to . . . emancipate the West Indian slaves.’ ‘This…news’,

says J.C. Marshman, ‘has rejoiced us all, but especially Carey. For many

years, in his every prayer, he has been pleading for the destruction of

slavery. In no public question has he taken a deeper interest. When the

particulars of the measure were [read], with tears in his eyes he thanked

God.’35

William Cowper (1731-1800), who lived in Olney for 18 years (1768-

1786), took up writing poetry while there and became one of the greatest

poets England has produced. His work was a precursor to the dawning

of the Romantic movement and he ‘was one of the most prolific and

influential antislavery poets of the eighteenth century…. During the

1780s [he] introduced powerful antislavery passages into his long

meditative poems and published shorter abolitionist lyrics in newspapers

and magazines.’36 Cowper ‘was one of the earliest, if not the first [to

have] expressed their detestation of the diabolical [slave] traffic’.37

Cowper showed great versatility in writing poems and songs to suit different

eyes and ears combatting slavery…. [He] used his influence with his old

[friends from London] to promote the anti-slavery cause, and he was careful

to solicit the attention of his Whig relations who had still an important voice

in the affairs of the nation.38

The important Quaker abolitionist leader Thomas Clarkson warmly

acknowledged Cowper’s contribution to his cause. Clarkson wrote:

The last of the necessary forerunners and coadjutors of this class, whom I

am to mention, was our much admired poet Cowper; and a great co-adjutor

he was, when we consider what value was put upon his sentiments, and the

extraordinary circulation of his works.39

When it was rumoured that Cowper had refused to sign an anti-slavery

petition because he had changed his mind, he denounced the report

vehemently. In a letter from ‘Oulney’ dated 16 February, 1788, he stated:

‘I have already borne my testimony in favour of our Black Brethren, […]

I was one of the earliest, if not the first of those who have in the present

day, expressed their detestation of the diabolical traffic in question[…].

On all these accounts I judged it best to be silent, and especially because I

cannot doubt that some effectual measures will now be taken to alleviate

the miseries of their condition, the whole nation being in possession of

the case, and it being impossible also to alledge an argument in behalf of

Man-merchandize that can deserve a hearing.40 Later, in 1792, he wrote

to a minister friend, ‘I think it would be better the negroes should have

eaten one another than that we should carry them to market.’41

Cowper had no good reason for being optimistic in 1788. Not until

20 years later would the slave trade be outlawed and not for another 25

years after that would emancipation finally be achieved. However, he

was right in his judgment that poetry has a faculty to change the heart

even more than the preached word. He once wrote, ‘It is a noble thing

to be a poet; it makes all the world so lively. I might have preached

more sermons than ever Tillotson did, and better, and the world would

have been still fast asleep; but a volume of verse is a fiddle that puts the

universe in motion.’42

In one of his most widely admired poems, Cowper described African

slavery with great sadness:

I would not have a slave to till my ground,

To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,

And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth

That sinews bought and sold have ever earn’d.

No: dear as freedom is, and in my heart’s

Just estimation priz’d above all price,

I had much rather be myself the slave

And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.

We have no slaves at home.- Then why abroad?

And they themselves once ferried o’er the wave

That parts us, are emancipate and loos’d.

Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs

Receive our air, that moment they are free,

They touch our country and their shackles fall.

That’s noble, and bespeaks a nation proud

And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then,

And let it circulate through ev’ry vein

Of all your empire. That where Britain’s power

Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.43

Copyright

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Footnotes

The Cowper and Newton Journal includes scholarly articles, notes and reviews on Cowper, Newton and their contemporaries, as well as more general articles from the 18th century.

Joint Editors

Professor Vincent NeweyTony SewardDr William Hutchings

Editorial Board:

Dr Ashley Chantler (University of Chester), Dr Michael Davies (University of Liverpool), Kate Bostock (Museum Trustee), Professor Martha J. Koehler (University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, PA), Professor Bob Owens (University of Bedfordshire).

Reviews Editor: Tony Seward

The predecessor to The Cowper and Newton Journal was The Cowper and Newton Bulletin.  Published in 8 volumes from 2002-2009, it contained museum news in each issue as well as one or more full-length scholarly articles and shorter notes.

References

1 Clarkson, Thomas, History of the Rise, Progress, and Accomplishments of the

Abolition of the Slave Trade, London, 1808, p.109.

2 Colquhoun, John Campbell, Wilberforce: His Friends and His Times,

Longmans, Green, Reader and Dyer, London, 2d ed., 1867, pp.100-102.

3 republished in, inter alia, Cecil, Richard, The Life of the Rev. John Newton,

Rector of St. Mary Woolnoth, London. Written by Himself to A.D. 1763, and

Continued to his Death in 1807, American Tract Society, New York, n.d..

4 Hindmarsh, D.Bruce, John Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition,

William B. Eerdmans Pub.Co., Grand Rapids (Michigan), 2001, at p.58.

5 quoted in Bull, Josiah, John Newton of Olney and St. Mary Woolnoth: An

Autobiography and Narrative Compiled Chiefly From His Diary and Other

Unpublished Documents, Banner of Truth, Edinburgh, 1998, at p.58.

6 quoted in Bull, Josiah, op.cit., pp.60-61.

7 Newton, John, Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade, reprinted in, inter alia,

The Posthumous Works of the Late Rev. John Newton, Philadelphia, W.W.

Woodward, 1809, vol. ii, p.231.

8 Newton, John, Letters and Conversational Remarks of the Rev. John Newton

during the last eighteen years of his life [addressed to and] edited by the Rev.

77

John Campbell, (hereinafter cited as Letters and Conversational Remarks)

London, Religious Tract Society, n.d. (1808), Letter xi, p 18.

9 Newton, John, Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade, p. 236. Written to

provide the public with understanding of the slave trade, the essay, Newton

told Cowper, had been written ‘without solicitation’. Martin, Bernard and

Spurrell, M. (eds.), The Journal of a Slave Trader, John Newton (1750-1754),

Epworth Press, London, 1962, p. xv.

10 Newton, John, Thoughts on the African Slave Trade, p. 238.

11 Newton, John, Letters and Conversational Remarks, Letter iv, pp. 5-6.

12 Scott, John, Life of Thomas Scott, D.D., W.W. Woodward, Philadelphia, 1823,

p. 387.

13 Scott, John, op.cit., pp. 564-566.

14 Scott, John, op.cit., p. 274.

15 Wilson, Daniel, Two Sermons Occasioned by the Death of the Rev. Thomas

Scott, London, 1821, p. 28.

16 Hopkins, John Henry, A Scriptural,Ecclesiastical ,and Historical View of

Slavery ,From the Days of the Patriarch Abraham, to the Nineteenth Century.

Addressed to the Right Rev. Alonzo Potter, D.D., Negro Universities Press,

New York, 1969, p. 142.

17 Blaine, James G., Twenty Years of Congress from Lincoln to Garfield, with a

review of the political events which led to the Revolution of 1860, Norwich,

Henry Bill Publishing Co., 1884, vol. i, p. 69.

18 Scott, Thomas, Essays on the Most Important Subjects in Religion, Cambridge

(Massachusetts), Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (2d Amer. ed.)

1809, pp. 66-67.

19 Nevins, Allan, ed., Diary of John Quincy Adams (1794-1845), Charles

Scribners’ Sons, 1951, New York, p. 354.

20 United States v. Libellants and Claimants of the Schooner Amistad, 40 U.S.

518 (1841). Ironically, Amistad is Spanish for ‘Friendship’!

21 Nevins, Allan, ed., op.cit., p. 519.

22 Letter from the Baptist Church at Olney to the Northamptonshire Baptist

Association dated 29 May 1792; preserved in the Northamptonshire Public

Record Office. Northampton, England.

23 Circular Letter from Baptist Ministers and Messengers, preserved in

Northamptonshire Public Record Office, Northampton, England.

24 Circular Letter from Baptist Ministers and Messengers, preserved in

Northamptonshire Public Record Office, Northampton, England.

25 Minutes of Northamptonshire Baptist Association Meeting, 1792, preserved in

Northamptonshire Public Record Office, Northampton, England.

78

26 Carey, S.Pearce, William Carey D.D., Fellow of Linnean Society, Hodder &

Stoughton Ltd., London, 1923, at p. 8.

27 Carey, S.Pearce, op.cit., p. 17.

28 Carey, S.Pearce, op.cit., p. 63.

29 Carey, S.Pearce, op.cit., p. 8.

30 Fladeland, Betty, Men and Brothers: Anglo-American Anti-Slavery

Cooperation, Urbana (Illinois), University of Illinois Press, 1972, p. 61.

31 Scott, John, op.cit., p. 172. Scott moved from Olney the same year that Carey

was admitted to membership in the Olney Baptist Church. However, as a

friend Carey must have heard Scott in at least one of his ‘irregular’ services

in private homes or halls, or perhaps at the 1782 Northamptonshire Baptist

Association meeting which was held at Olney.

32 Internet 4/12/04; http://www.grace.org.uk/mission/enquiry1.html

33 Internet 4/12/04; http://www.grace.org.uk/mission/enquiry5.html

34 Carey, S.Pearce, op.cit., p. 8.

35 Carey, S.Pearce, op.cit., p. 383.

36 Basker, James G., Amazing Grace: An Anthology of Poems about Slavery,

1660-1810, Yale University Press, New Haven (Connecticut), 2002, p. 294.

37 King, James and Ryskamp, Charles, eds., The Letters and Prose Writings of

William Cowper, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982, vol. III, p.103; cited in Ella,

George, William Cowper: The Man of God’s Stamp, Joshua Press, Dundas,

Ontario, 2000, at p.118.

38 Ella, George, op.cit., p. 118.

39 Clarkson, Thomas, History of the Rise, Progress, and Accomplishments of the

Abolition of the Slave Trade, p. 109.

40 King, James et al, op.cit., vol. III, p. 103, cited with minor variations in Ella,

op.cit., p.118. The Clarendon Press edition includes this footnote: ‘C[owper]

is referring to lines 137-243 from ‘Charity’, and to sentiments such as

these (lines 137-140): “But, ah! what wish can prosper, or what pray’r,/ For

merchants, rich in cargoes of despair,/ Who drive a loathsome traffic, gage, and

span,/ And buy, the muscles and the bones of man?”’ fn 2, p.103, vol. III.

41 Fladeland, op.cit., p.61, citing Cowper’s letter to Rev. J. Jekyll Rye dated Apr.

16, 1792, printed in Wright, Thomas, ed., The Correspondence of William

Cowper, 4 vols., London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1904, vol. IV, pp. 189-191.

42 Verney, Margaret, Bucks Biographies, pp. 177-178.

43 Cowper, William, The Task, Book II, ll.29-47, 1785.

Book Museum Tickets

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