The painting above by Robert Cruikshank is neither pro-slavery nor anti-slavery because it portrays the slaves as happy people living a care-free life on one side of the river and on the other slaves being treated poorly. The “abolitionist,” on the other hand, are seen with signs protesting the purchase of goods, like East India sugar. This painting is a commentary on how people portray themselves to be anti-slavery when they support the economic interests slavery brings.

In Olaudah Equiano’s narrative, he mentions that in Barbados “where slaves meet with the best treatment and need fewest recruits of any in the West Indies, yet this island requires 1000 negroes annually to keep up the original stock, which is only 80,000. So that the whole term of a negro’s life may be said to be there but sixteen years!” (108).

-Natalia Alvarado


One thought on “Abolitionist

  1. I like that you can see the economic interests in those that are protesting. It would be nice to see the inserted quote be supported.

    EC 21/25


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