History : Oct-Nov 2015
14 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2015 MILESTONES later, his owner recognized Strong, arranged to sell him, and had him seized. Outraged, Granville went to court to stop the sale, and Jonathan Strong was set free. Granville was a devout Christian with liberal and democratic ideals typical of the Enlightenment thought popular in Europe at the time. Con- vinced that slavery was not only im- moral but actually prohibited under English law, he decided to help other black slaves who were calling for their I n 1765 a bewildered black teenager from Barbados arrived in London. Jonathan Strong was a slave, the legal property of his owner who could do with him as he wished. The man beat Jonathan almost to death, abandoning his battered body in the street. He was rescued by Granville Sharp, whose brother William was a doctor with a reputation for treating the poor and misfortunate of London. William took the boy in and helped him to recover and find a job. But two years freedom. In 1772 Granville support- ed James Somerset, an escaped slave who had been recaptured in England. In a landmark case Somerset was freed, and it was widely, though mistakenly, interpreted as a sign that slavery was illegal in Britain. It was believed that there would be no more need for posters advertising silver shackles for Negros or dogs, and the poet William Cowper wrote, “Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs receive our air, that moment they are free.” Britain’s Battle to Abolish the African Slave Trade In the 18th century a few devoted abolitionists turned the British public against the trade in human beings. But even then, they faced a long, difficult, and dangerous fight to win slaves their freedom.
Dec 2015-Jan 2016