Nov 29, 2010
Slavery & Abolition
The trial of Captain John Kimber has received almost no scholarly attention despite a substantial newspaper record. Instead, scholars have focused on the slave ship Zong as the most evocative symbol of abolitionist discourse. This article examines the newspaper record of both events in order to understand their impact on the slave-trade debate in the late eighteenth century. The wealth of material on Kimber's trial makes it equally important to abolitionist discourse. Moreover, newspaper accounts of Kimber's arrest, trial, and the aftermath reveal the rich dialogue between proslavery and abolitionist writers as each sought to claim the idea of ‘humanity’.