This opinion may perhaps subject me to the animadversion of many worthy individuals; but I beg to assure them, that I am as zealous an abolitionist as any among my fellow subjects, although I widely differ from many of them, as to the means of effecting a measure, that embraces so large a portion of the human race; and I should contradict the conviction of my own mind, were I to utter any other opinion.
Rectitude of intention, a lively interest in the condition of the African, and a deep impression of the importance of this country to Great Britain, in a commercial point of view, have actuated me in obtruding myself upon the public; and before I take my leave, I earnestly entreat a deliberate investigation of the imperfect system of operation, I have recommended in the foregoing pages. If I have not been sufficiently perspicuous, I trust the shafts of criticism will be enfeebled by the consideration, that a commercial education and pursuit cannot claim a title to literary acquirements; but if in any instance I meet the judgment of a discerning public, and my suggestions excite more competent endeavours, I shall feel the highest pleasure, and satisfaction.
Into the hands of an enlightened legislature, and a beneficent public, I commit the Negro race; and may their endeavours be blest by Providence! may they tend to enlarge the circle of civilized and Christian society, and augment the commercial prosperity of the United Kingdom!
To the Right Honourable Lord Viscount Howick, his Majesty’s late principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; shewing at one View the most simple and ready Mode of gradually and effectually abolishing the Slave Trade, and eradicating Slavery, on the Eve of his Lordship introducing the late Bill into Parliament for the Abolition of the Slate Trade.
London, 5th February, 1807.
Stimulated by an ardent zeal for the political and commercial interests of my country, and animated by the principles of humanity, I venture to approach your Lordship upon a subject which, with every deference, I conceive to be of the most momentous consequence at the present conjuncture, namely, the existing state of Africa, and the relative importance of its trade to the United Kingdom.