Abolitionists and Working-Class Problems in the Age of by Betty Fladeland

By Betty Fladeland

Publication by means of Fladeland, Betty

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Though all contribute differently, all are concerned with the profit of the whole, and, as in a pyramid, the multitudes of poor at the bottom support those above. Therefore thinking people must realize that attention to the needs of the people at the bottom is not simply charity. 57 In the Liverpool of 1790, nearly 7000 of the wretched poor were crowded into cellar dwellings - that is, they lived in the cellars which had once served as warehouses underneath the residences of merchants and tradesmen.

Sometimes it was necessary to persuade a customs officer to search a vessel, although convictions were difficult to obtain because offending ships evaded the law by carrying three captains, one British, one American and one Spanish, and three sets of papers. lo6 A Quartet of Liverpudlians 43 Roscoe's most successful intervention was in the case of the Monte de Carino, a Brazilian vessel which arrived in Liverpool with nine blacks, presumably part of the crew, but who had been slaves in Brazil. During the ship's stay, the Captain had these men arrested and held in jail on charges of debt to him; but when ready to sail again procured discharges for them in order to take them back.

They were doomed to succumb to African fevers, die and be abandoned in their graves far from home on Africa's shores. 27 Another, called 'Will Clewline', reprimanded, Ye statesmen, who manage this cold-blooded land, And who boast of your seamen's exploits Ah, think how your death-dealing bulwarks are manned, And learn to respect human rights. 28 Roscoe's botanical interests gave him an excellent opportunity to contact a ship's captain to ask him if he would bring back from Africa seeds or plants which might be grown in England.

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