3 minute read


Tactics, Organizations, And Individuals In Africa

Following the end of the Revolutionary War, many slaves and free people of African descent, as well as some American and British whites, began to question the slaves' future, especially in terms of achieving full citizenship rights and economic independence. Colonization was used as a strategy to end slavery, and Freetown in Sierra Leone was established as a colony in 1787. The American Colonization Society was formed in 1816, followed by the colonization of Liberia in 1847. Individuals of African descent who advocated colonization included Paul Cuffee, who was independently wealthy and free. He made two trips to Sierra Leone with financial backing from the British government—one in 1811 to inquire about the feasibility of African emigration and another in 1815 when he took thirty-eight free Africans with him. Others who shared these beliefs included Joseph Brown Russwurm, Martin Delany, Edward Blyden, and Thomas Peters from Nova Scotia, Canada, who petitioned the British government for assistance. They believed that human dignity, justice, hard work, and the rule of law could be put into practice in the new settlements and that this would prove that these outcasts and marginalized individuals could be given a second chance in life. These philosophical ideas were often intertwined with religious ideas that appealed to ex-slaves because they espoused the importance of God's authority and individual freedom that allowed them to employ petitions, preaching, and the print media as tactics. In addition, a number of Africans, people of African descent, Europeans, and Americans believed that worldwide emancipation would not be achieved as long as there remained a supply and demand for slaves. Therefore, to contain slavery at its source, the campaign against slavery had to shift from the West to the African continent. To do this, Africans, former slaves, and re-captives were mobilized to advance the idea that if slavery were to end, the antislavery movement had to be based on the African continent and Africans and people of African descent on the continent had to be in the forefront of the antislavery movement.


Azevedo, Celia M. Abolitionism in the United States and Brazil: A Comparative Perspective. New York and London: Garland, 1995.

Baronov, David. The Abolition of Slavery in Brazil: The "Liberation" of Africans through the Emancipation of Capital. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2000.

Bender, Thomas, ed. The Antislavery Debate: Capitalism and Abolitionism as a Problem in Historical Interpretation. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992.

Corwin, Arthur F. Spain and the Abolition of Slavery in Cuba, 1817–1886. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967.

Eudell, Demetrius L. The Political Languages of Emancipation in the British Caribbean and the U.S. South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.

Newman, Richard S. The Transformation of American Abolitionism: Fighting Slavery in the Early Republic. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.

Oostindie, Gert, ed. Fifty Years Later: Antislavery, Capitalism, and Modernity in the Dutch Orbit. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996.

Sanneh, Lamin. Abolitionists Abroad: American Blacks and the Making of Modern West Africa. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999.

Schmidt-Nowara, Christopher. Empire and Antislavery: Spain, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, 1833–1874. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999.

Sernett, Milton C. North Star Country: Upstate New York and the Crusade for African American Freedom. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 2002.

Temperley, Howard, ed. After Slavery: Emancipation and Its Discontents. London: Frank Cass, 2002.

Williams, Eric. Capitalism and Slavery. 1944. Reprint, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.

Cassandra R. Veney

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: 1,2-dibromoethane to AdrenergicAbolitionism - Political Ideas, Colonization, Religious Ideas, Economic Ideas, Tactics, Organizations, And Individuals In The Americas