The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade by the British Parliament (1808), Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 384 pages of information about The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade by the British Parliament (1808), Volume I.
assertions in it, which I did afterwards to his satisfaction.  He asked me if I could support it by any other evidence.  I told him I could.—­I mentioned Mr. Newton, Mr. Nisbett, and several others to him.  He took the trouble of sending for all these.  He made memorandums of their conversation, and, sending for me afterwards, showed them to me.  On learning my intention to devote myself to the cause, he paid me many handsome compliments.  He then desired me to call upon him often, and to acquaint him with my progress from time to time.  He expressed also his willingness to afford me any assistance in his power in the prosecution of my pursuits.

The carrying on of these different objects, together with the writing which was connected with them, proved very laborious, and occupied almost all my time.  I was seldom engaged less than sixteen hours in the day.  When I left Teston to begin the pursuit as an object of my life, I promised my friend Mr. Ramsay a weekly account of my progress.  At the end of the first week my letter to him contained little more than a sheet of paper.  At the end of the second it contained three; at the end of the third six; and at the end of the fourth I found it would be so voluminous, that I was obliged to decline writing it.

CHAPTER X.

Continuation of the fourth class of forerunners and coadjutors up to 1787—­Author goes on to enlarge his knowledge in the different departments of the subject—­communicates more frequently with Mr. Wilberforce—­Meetings now appointed at the house of the latter—­Dinner at Mr. Langton’s—­Mr. Wilberforce pledges himself there to take up the subject in parliament—­Remarkable junction, in consequence, of all the four classes of forerunners and coadjutors before mentioned—­commitee formed out of these on the 22d of May, 1787, for the abolition of the Slave-trade.

The manner in which Mr. Wilberforce had received me, and the pains which he had taken, and was still taking, to satisfy himself of the truth of those enormities which had been charged upon the Slave-trade, tended much to enlarge my hope, that they might become at length the subject of a parliamentary inquiry.  Richard Phillips also, to whom I made a report at his chambers almost every evening of the proceedings of the day, had begun to entertain a similar expectation.  Of course, we unfolded our thoughts to one another.  From hence a desire naturally sprung up in each of us to inquire, whether any alteration in consequence of this new prospect should be made in my pursuits.  On deliberating upon this point, it seemed proper to both of us, that the distribution of the books should be continued; that I should still proceed in enlarging my own knowledge; and that I should still wait upon members of the legislature, but with this difference, that I should never lose sight of Mr. Wilberforce, but, on the other hand, that I should rather omit visiting some others, than paying a proper attention to him.

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