Slave Trade Abolished by Great Britain, 1807, medal

Medals carrying anti-slavery mottos and images were widely reproduced and distributed to celebrate the success of the abolitionist campaigns. This bronze medal shows an African and a European facing each other shaking hands. Behind them are huts, palm trees and people dancing and tilling the soil. The abolitionist hope was that ending the slave trade would lead naturally to slavery itself dying out and being replaced by a happy peasantry. It is inscribed ‘We are all brethren. Slave trade abolished by Great Britain 1807’. On the other side is an Arabic inscription, as the medal was produced for distribution to the African Islamic slave traders of Sierra Leone. It translates as ‘Sale of slaves prohibited in 1807, Christian era, in the reign of George the Third; verily, we are all brothers’.

© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK

Accession reference: National Maritime Museum, ZBA2808