Belfast and Slavery, 1613-1866

Tom Thorpe, BA, MA, PhD

New Year 2024

10 weekly sessions on Wednesdays 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm, starting 17 January

This course explores Belfast's involvement in the international transatlantic slave trade and its role as a centre of abolitionist agitation. It firstly examines how Belfast's merchant classes in the mid-18th century were involved in trade with the slave plantations in the West Indies. The course then examines how, by the 1790s, the city became increasingly known as a centre of radical thought fighting against the slave trade and the institution of slavery. The city hosted former slaves like Olaudah Equiano in 1791 and ‘fugitive slaves’ like Frederick Douglass and Samuel Ringgold Ward in the middle of the 19th century. Once slavery had been abolished in the British Empire in the 1830s, Belfast campaigners turned their energies to campaigning against slavery in the southern States of the USA.

Fee £116.00 (concession rate £86.00)

This class will take place on QUB campus

Concession: The concession rate is available for those who are in receipt of State Benefits (including pension), or are full-time students, part or full-time Queen’s students or are members of University staff holding a valid staff card:


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