WILBERFORCE, WILLIAM, ET AL. An Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. Printed on pages 140 through 148 of the collected "Statutes of the United Kingdom" for the year 1807. 600 pages, plus index. Tall, thick 8vo, later red buckram. London: His Majesty's Law Printers, 25 March, 1807
the rare statute printing of this important law, banning the taking of africans from african soil. This statute is much more detailed than the law as it appeared as an "Act," printing I through XVIII of the provisions of the statute. The latter are vital to understanding just how the ban was enforced. Not only was it illegal to "carry away or remove, or knowingly and willfully to procure, aid, or assist in the carrying away or removing, as Slaves any of the Subjects or Inhabitants of Africa," but "of any Island, Country, Territory, or place in the West Indies or any other part of America whatsoever. . ." For this purpose, Great Britain had a small fleet of ships patrolling the coast of West Africa and the trade routes normally sailed by slavers. The 1807 ban also declared unlawful any and all insurance on ships or other property participating in any way relative to slavery; the fine to be 150 pounds and/or three times the amount paid on the premium. The abolitionists had won the first major battle of the war on slavery.
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