Will you be remembered after you’re dead? The Z List Dead List is a comedy show about obscure people from history. Four guest historians champion a little known figure from history to be put on the Z List Dead List. Who wins? You decide.
A British-Owned Congo: Roger Casement’s Battle with Slavery in Peru (1910-1914) | Tuesday 1st December
Roger Casement was the twentieth century’s first outstanding humanitarian. Best known for his 1904 chilling report on conditions in King Leopold’s Congo, Casement continued his campaign for human rights in the Putumayo Valley bordering Peru and Colombia, where a rubber company with headquarters in London was abusing and murdering indigenous people on a massive scale – nearly thirty thousand workers had died for a few thousand tons of rubber. Casement’s 1912 Foreign Office published report made for disturbing reading. He was widely celebrated as a hero in his battle to expose widespread abusive labour regimes. In 1916, Casement was hanged on a charge of treason by the British Government.
George Hibbert was an early and powerful defender of the slave trade and later slavery. He was a Chairman of the West India Merchants Society, a Member of Parliament between 1806-1812, and Agent for Jamaica between 1812-1832. As early as 1790 he campaigned for the payment of compensation for those whose livelihoods depended on the labour of enslaved people. This talk will explore the different strategies used by Hibbert to delay the ending of slavery, as well as to ensure that the government compensated the slave-owners for their ‘property in people’.
This talk will discuss the parts played by freedom and liberty in developing England’s contribution to the trans-Atlantic trade in enslaved Africans. It argues that Britain’s relationship with slavery has largely been viewed in terms of Britain’s contribution to the abolition of the trade. It suggests that British identity, British ideas, British institutions did much to develop the trade in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It examines the political deliberations that surrounded the Royal African Company – a monopolistic trading corporation formed to develop England’s slave trade that would become, by the middle of the eighteenth century, associated with some of the earliest embryonic arguments for the abolition of the slave trade. The lecture will examine the role that Britishness and freedom played in developing the largest forced-intercontinental migration in human history.