Mar 25, 2021 - Sale 2562

Sale 2562 - Lot 1

Price Realized: $ 500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) William & Samuel Hinde. Letter from a British slave-trading firm in the waning days of the legal slave trade. Autograph Letter Signed to P.M. Lucas & Co. in St. Vincent. 3 pages, 10 x 8 inches, on one folding sheet, with address panel and docketing on final blank; folds, seal tear slightly affecting text, 1 1/2-inch closed tear. With typed transcript. Liverpool, England, 18 August 1806

Additional Details

Brothers William Hinde (1773-1834) and Samuel Hinde (1778-1840) of Liverpool were sons of notorious slave trader Thomas Hinde, and as this letter shows, continued to pursue those profits after their father's 1799 death until the bitter end. This letter is addressed to their agent in the Caribbean. They quote their own 14 July letter advising him that "you will be able to effect advantageous sales, either there or at Tobago, where slaves are much liked. The late measures adopted by the legislature here for limiting the numbers of ships employed in the trade to those already engaged in it, and the pledge entered into by both houses to abolish the trade next sessions, are circumstances which in our opinion must tend to advance the prices with you." Still waiting for a reply, they clarified their instructions a month later. They urged Lucas to bring home "the ship to this port with quick dispatch, in order that we may get her cleared if possible on another voyage prior to the Act of Abolition being passed. It is of great consequence in a new and burthensome vessell like the Trafalgar that she should have a full freight" or "she will not make one farthing, owing to the very heavy expences on new ships, and the high rate of insurance paid on African risques."

The Slave Trade Act would indeed be passed in March 1807, banning any British ship from leaving on a slaving voyage after 1 May. This letter shows that the brothers Hinde were eager to squeeze every last drop of profit from this trade before it became illegal.