Human Traffic Stopped by L. P. Fairfield

Human Traffic Stopped

Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels In the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves
by Adam Hochschild
Houghton Mifflin, 2005
(467 pages, $16.00, paperback)

reviewed by L. P. Fairfield

On March 25, 1807, King George III of England formally ratified a Parliamentary Act abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire. That infamous trade had carried more than three million Africans to misery and death in the Americas since the 1580s. A prominent English lord asserted in 1807 that the Abolition Bill was “the most humane and merciful Act which was ever passed by any legislature in the world.”

To be sure, the Abolition Act in 1807 merely ended the sl . . .