The Slavery of the British West India Colonies Delineated: As it Exists Both in Law and Practice, and Compared with the Slavery of Other Countries, Antient and Modern

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The lawyer and leading abolitionist James Stephen (1758-1832) published Volume 2 of The Slavery of the British West India Colonies Delineated in 1830. The volume is an exposure of the cruel and oppressive practice of slavery in the British West Indies. It investigates the living conditions, feeding and clothing of slave populations; the brutal practices, such as 'slave driving', involved in forcing labour; and, by comparisons of forced and free labour, argues for the complete abolition of slavery. Stephen had been the legal mastermind of the Slave Trade Act of 1807, which abolished the slave trade in the British Empire but not slavery itself. This important work was influential in directing public opinion against slavery and helped lead towards the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act. It is a key text of the nineteenth-century abolitionist movement and is vital for understanding the arguments and debates that led to abolition.