Olaudah Equiano and the Abolitionist Debate

Below are two satirical cartoons on the transatlantic slave trade, one from 1826 by Robert Cruikshank (top) and one from 1832 by an unknown artist (bottom).  What is being argued in these cartoons?  Are they pro-slavery or anti-slavery?  How can you tell?  Click images to enlarge.

For next Friday (3/17), students will place Olaudah Equiano’s narrative in dialogue with ONE of these satirical cartoons, keeping in mind that his book was reprinted and widely read well into the nineteenth century in Britain and its colonies (or former colonies, like the U.S.).  Provide a focused close reading of ONE textual passage from Equiano’s narrative that confirms, contradicts, refutes, or qualifies the message conveyed in these cartoons.

Please categorize your post under “Transatlantic Slavery” and don’t forget to create specific and relevant tags.  The post is due by Friday (3/17) 1pm, but students have the option to revise it until 6pm that day.  And please sign your posts so that your TA, Hannah, and I know who wrote what.  Warning: blank or filler “placeholder” posts submitted after the deadline will not receive a grade!

John Bull clear view

The British Library - pp5369 plt 32 (det)


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