Portrait of Thomas Clarkson

Thomas Clarkson on the “glorious” victory of the abolition of the slave trade in England (1808)

Found in: The History of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, vol. 2

Thomas Clarkson, in his History of the Abolition of the Slave Trade (1808), concludes with the following optimistic view of the possibilities of human reason and sympathy:

Colonies, Slavery & Abolition

Thus ended one of the most glorious contests, after a continuance for twenty years, of any ever carried on in any age or country. A contest, not of brutal violence, but of reason. A contest between those, who felt deeply for the happiness and the honour of their fellow-creatures, and those, who, through vicious custom and the impulse of avarice, had trampled under-foot the sacred rights of their nature, and had even attempted to efface all title to the divine image from their minds.