Africa, the arrival of Europeans and the transatlantic slave trade

Slave whip

Date unknown
Rope and birch

Object number NMLH.1992.910
Given by Alderman Charles Pearce, 1980

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Slave whip

Britain abolished the slave trade throughout its empire in 1807, although slavery itself was not abolished until 1833. In North America's southern cotton states, however, slavery continued for several decades, as it did in many other parts of the world.

The use of shackles, handcuffs and whips in slave markets and on sugar and cotton plantations had always been one of the most shocking aspects of slavery for abolitionist Europeans and Americans. Such items were still in use in the early 1860s, on the eve of the American Civil War. Escape attempts were common and the use of shackles, whips, guns and dogs played a major part in ensuring the ongoing enslavement of black Africans.

This information was provided by curators from the People's History Museum.