History of the Liverpool Privateers and Letters of Marque, with an Account of the Liverpool Slave Trade, 1744-1812
By 1783 three ports in England - London, Bristol, and Liverpool - accounted for over sixty per cent of privateering commissions. History of the Liverpool Privateers... is still considered to be the best source of information on privateering and the slave trade, from Liverpool or any other port. Gomer Williams worked as a journalist for the Liverpool Mercury and drew on newspapers, private correspondence and first-hand accounts of the slave trade to produce his book. Writing in 1897, Williams lamented the fact that Africans were still being threatened by the commercial interests of Europeans. This facsimile edition has a new introduction by David Eltis, a world authority of the slave trade, and includes appendices listing all the Liverpool vessels bound for Africa from the beginning of the trade to Abolition.
- Hardback | 740 pages
- 163 x 239 x 59mm | 1,082g
- 01 May 2004
- Liverpool University Press
- Liverpool, United Kingdom
Table of contents
Part I: Privateering; Chapter I A Peep Behind The Scenes - The Ancient Mariner and The Ancient Merchant; Chapter II The Story of Captain Fortunatus Wright and Selim, The Armenian Captive; Chapter II Privateers Of The Seven Years' War; Chapter IV Privateers of The American War of Independence; Chapter V Liverpool Privateers and Letters of Marque Ships During The Wars of The French Revolution; Chapter VI Liverpool Privateers During The Second War With America; Part II - The Liverpool Slave Trade; Chapter I The Liverpool Slave Trade, How It Originated and Thrived; Chapter II Captain John Newton; Chapter III The Massacre at Old Calabar; Chapter IV The Abolition Movement; Chapter V Horrors of The Middle Passage; Chapter VI Emoluments of The Ventures - A Millionaire's Ventures; Chapter VII The Corporation and The Slave Trade; Chapter VIII Captain Hugh Crow; Appendix To Privateers. No. I - List of Vessels Trading To And From Liverpool captured by The Spaniards And French, In The War Of 1739-1748. No. II - The Enterprise Privateer, Cost Of Outfit, List Of Owners, Officers, Etc. No. III - List Of Vessels Trading To And From Liverpool, Captured By The Enemy during the Seven Years' War, 1756-1763. No. IV - List Of The principal Liverpool Privateers and Letters of Marque, In The War With America, France, Spain and Holland, 1775-1783. No. V - Copy of The Letter of Marque against the French, Granted in 1796 To Captain John Maciver, Commander of The Swallow, private ship of war, of Liverpool. Appendix To Slave Trade; No. VI - List of The Company of Merchants Trading to Africa, belonging to Liverpool, in The Year 1752. No. VII - List of Guineamen belonging to Liverpool, in the year 1752, With Owners' and Commanders' Names, and the number of Slaves carried by each. No. VIII - The Number of Ships which cleared out from the Port of Liverpool, to the coast of Africa, from the earliest date to the time of the trade being abolished In May, 1807. No. IX -- List of Houses that annually imported upwards of 1000 Slaves, the Number of Ships employed, and Slaves by them imported, from 1783 to 1793, showing the proportion they held to all the slave-vessels that annually sailed from the port of Liverpool during that period. No. X - List of the Company of Merchants trading to Africa belonging to Liverpool, in the year 1807. No. XI - Comparative Statement of Ships cleared out from the ports of London, Liverpool, and Bristol, to the coast of Africa, from 1795 to 1804. No. XII -- Paid for a Negro man at Bonny, in 1801. No. XIII -- List of Guineamen belonging to the port of Liverpool which sailed for Africa, from the 5th of January, 1798, to the 5th of January, 1799, with Owners' and Commanders' Names and the complement of Slaves allowed to each. No. XIV -- Summary of the aggregated number of Liverpool ships employed in the Guinea Trade, together with the number and value of the Slaves imported to the West Indies from 1783 to 1793. No. XV -- Extract from "A Log of the proceedings on board the Brigg Mampookata, on a voyage to Ambrize, on the coast of Angola," in the year 1787. No. XVI -- Character of the Seamen in the Slave Trade. No. XVII -- Food of the Slaves.
Readers should not forget what is as hard to appreciate today in the case of slave trading as it was over a hundred years ago when Gomer Williams wrote his book - that it was a legitimate endeavour in the eyes of domestic and emerging international law, and, more important, was not viewed as in any way immoral: before the late eighteenth century, slave trading and privateering were seen as indistinguishable from trading in Baltic timber or Canadian furs. -- David Eltis