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Bristol and the Slave Trade

Much of the wealth of Bristol was gained by exploiting African peoples, transporting them across the Atlantic Ocean in horrific conditions, and selling them into slavery in the new world.
In addition significant numbers of African people were brought to Britain from the West Indies (a voyage of double horror) to be sold in Bristol (although this was against English law) and forced into service in merchant's and aristocrat's households.

Bristol is still in some denial about the facts and horrors of the slave trade. In October 1998, I was privileged to participate in a piece of "guerrilla theatre" at the Georgian House (built by a slaver called John Pinney). This performance aimed at going some way to redress the lack of information publicly available about the slave trade in city museums. This piece, If The Georgian House Could Speak, was written and performed by members of the Miss Evers' Boys company, then appearing at Bristol Old Vic.

Below are some links to sites about the slave trade organised loosely into categories. Most of these links will lead you to much, much more. You will be able to find other links by doing searches on Altavista or Google, using keywords such as "slave trade", "bristol", "trans atlantic trade", "middle passage". If you wish to suggest links or report broken ones, please mail me at: slavetrade@hotwells.freeserve.co.uk

Slave being branded on the African Coast - artist unknown - WPA book 1940

Bristol

Slave Trade and Slavery

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