Give Back His Slave!
Title:Give Back His Slave!
Publication:The Bradford Observer
Date:January 17th 1861
This staunchly abolitionist poem gives some indication of the strength of feeling in many quarters in Britain relating to the subject of slavery. Canada was a well-known destination for escaped slaves, and as a British territory it was often a site of tension between the US and the UK. Abolitionist sentiment in Britain was often tied to a nationalist moral high ground, and was frequently referenced in more general criticisms towards American policy. However, although the UK abolished slavery from almost all of its colonies in 1833, the cotton manufacturing industry still relied heavily on slave labour at this point just before the outbreak of the Civil War. And towns like Bolton, where this poem was published, were almost completely reliant on the cotton industry. – SR