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The abolition of the slave trade

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1868,0808.6179

  • Title (object)

    • The abolition of the slave trade
  • Description

    The deck of a slave-ship showing the stern, the lower part of a mast and sail. A negro girl is suspended by an ankle from a rope held over a pulley by a sailor (right), who hauls at it, leaning back, and saying, "Dam me if I like it I have a good mind to let go". Two other sailors on the extreme right walk away, saying, "My Eyes Jack our Girles at Wapping are never flogged for their modesty," and, "By G-d that's too bad if he had taken her to bed to him it would be well enough, Split me I'm allmost sick of this Black Business." The captain (Kimber) stands on the left looking at the spectator with a grinning leer, his hands to his chest as if laughing; in his right hand is a whip. Two scourges lie on the deck. In the background three naked negroes are sitting. Beneath the title is etched: 'Or the Inhumanity of Dealers in human flesh exemplified in Captn Kimber's treatment of a Young Negro Girl of 15 for her Virjen Modesty.' 10 April 1792.
    Hand-coloured etching

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  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1792
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 250 millimetres
    • Width: 350 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title, text within, artist's name and publishing details: '[I. Cruikshank.] Pub April 10 1792 by S W Fores N 3 Picca...'
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
    This brutality was described by Wilberforce in the House of Commons on 2 April, and in response of cries from all parts of the House of 'Name!', he gave that of Captain Kimber, 'Parl. Hist.' xxix. 1070-1. Kimber was tried at the Admiralty on 7 June 1792 on a charge of murdering a negro girl by terrible punishments for refusing to join the other negroes in dancing. The evidence was that of the ship's surgeon Dowling and the mate, who were both committed for perjury, Kimber being honourably acquitted. Dowling had given evidence before the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, without speaking of this 'murder', but had 'mentioned' it to Wilberforce the day before his speech for abolition. 'Trial of Captain John Kimber' and 'Lond. Chronicle', 9 June 1792. Wilberforce, however, believed Kimber substantially guilty, and thought the witnesses 'scandalously used'. When released Kimber demanded 'a public apology, £5000 in money, and such a place as will make me comfortable'. 'Life of Wilberforce', i. 356 - 9. Cf. BMSat 8081. For the slave trade see BMSat 7848, &c.

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  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 8079 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British XVIIIc Mounted Roy)

  • Exhibition history

    2007 April-May, Hull, Ferens AG (Sth Bank Tour), Blake
    2007/8 Nov-Jan, Glasgow, Burrell Coll (Sth Bank Tour), Blake
    2008 Jan-April, Manchester, Whitworth AG (Sth Bank Tour), Blake

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1868

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1868,0808.6179

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat).  10 April 1792.  Hand-coloured etching

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 10 April 1792. Hand-coloured etching

Image description

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