Frederick Johnson MP
House of Commons
SW1 15th March 1800
Dear Mr Johnson,
I am writing to you today because we want you to join our campaign against the slave trade. Britain has been active in the slave trade for over 100 years with about 47,000 slaves travelling to America from Africa with our ships every year and on average 1 slave ship sailed every week from a British port. From 1698-present around 18 million slaves have been taken against their will and this is what we want to stop. I feel very strongly against the slave trade as I have read some first hand accounts of the terrible manner in which the slaves are being treated. Let me give you some insight into how these men are being treated, first of all on a ship it is very dark and you see people die everyday, it smells of urine and sweat and slaves are not allowed to go to the toilet, they are chained tightly side by side and when they go up on deck saltwater is thrown over them to sting their cuts from the whips and they are forced to dance in front of the crew for their entertainment, they get fed nothing more than gruel just enough to keep them alive twice a day. I have a story I would like to share with you about the horrible people involved in the slave trade. On September 6th 1781 the slave ship Zong sailed from Africa bound for Jamaica in the West Indies, on board were 17 crewmen and 440 slaves. By the end of November the Zong was nearing Jamaica, however 7 of the crew and more than 60 slaves had died and others were badly ill, instead of sailing top speed to Jamaica the ship’s captain, Collingwood, turned around because he knew no one would want to buy his slaves and therefore the ship owners would lose money. He also knew that the slaves were insured but the insurance wouldn’t pay if they died of natural causes, so Collingwood had a thought if his crew threw the sick slaves overboard he...
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