The National Archives Podcast Series

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Listen to talks, lectures and other events presented by The National Archives of the United Kingdom.


William Hardin Burnley and Caribbean slavery

November 12th, 2013

Episode 320 of 474 episodes

William Hardin Burnley, the biggest slave owner in Trinidad, did everything in his power to prevent the emancipation of Africans in the colony. When slavery ended, he was convinced that only Africans who had tyrannical masters would benefit from emancipation. The rest, he opined, 'Were too ignorant to understand the real position in which they were placed.' This lecture examines Burnley's participation in slavery, his attempts to prevent Africans from being emancipated, his subterfuge to keep them enslaved under another guise called apprenticeship and his energetic efforts to recruit workers from outside of Trinidad to undercut the gains that former slaves had made in the post-apprenticeship period.

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