Slavery and Revolution


Simon Taylor to Chaloner Arcedeckne, 23 September 1788

By Admms |

In September 1788, Taylor looked forward to the meeting of the Assembly, convened earlier in the year than usual to discuss the issues raised by British demands for the abolition of the slave trade. He also made some of his boldest statements about the prospect of abolitionism driving white West Indian colonists into a rebellion against the mother country.

[…] The Assembly will meet next Tuesday the 30, and I will send you an acct. of what they do. It seems to be that they really do mean to force us into a rebellion, and they forgett that Hispaniola is not more than 28 leagues from us, that St Jago de Cuba is not so much, and is only a nights run, they may know from the number of troops they lost here in the warr, how difficult a matter it is to keep up an army in the West Indies, what would it be if the inhabitants should drive away their cattle sheep & c. and refuse to supply them with provisions of any kind. Should they send out fleets, and any accident happens to them, they have not a port to go to but America, which bears them no good will, and to what purpose can all this oppression tend to, but to please the whim of a sett of fanaticks, mad priests, and a sett of vagabond negroes, and to alienate the minds and affections of, I will venture to say, of their best, and most usefull subjects. […]

(Vanneck-Arc/3A/1788/23, Simon Taylor to Chaloner Arcedeckne, Kingston, 23 September 1788)