Remembering Slavery

Why should we remember the slave trade?

The trans-Atlantic slave trade was the most extensive and brutal example of enslavement in the history of mankind. It involved the kidnap and sale of 10 to 12 million African people to European traders. The enslaved Africans were transported to the Caribbean Islands and North and South America where they were forced to work, usually on plantations. This vicious trade started in the 1400s, and by 1790 British people were playing a leading role in it.

What happened in 1807?

In 1807 a British Parliamentary Act was passed which stopped ships carrying enslaved Africans to British owned colonies. It was the start of a long journey to 1838 when most enslaved people in the British Empire were granted their freedom.

It took a further 50 years of resistance before slavery was abolished in the Americas. Since the end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade new forms of slavery have emerged across the world.

For more information about slavery around the world today consult

What is the Remembering Slavery project?

25th March 2007 marked the 200th anniversary of the British Parliamentary Act which stopped ships carrying enslaved Africans to British owned colonies. To commemorate this national anniversary, museums, galleries, libraries and archives across North East England put together a fascinating programme of events, exhibitions and lectures, for visitors of all ages and interests.

What were the North East connections?

New research has revealed that the North East was inextricably linked with the state-sanctioned traffic in human beings. At the same time others in the North East were playing a vital role in the anti-slavery movement. This website offers unique access to this pioneering research and the chance to see the archives and objects which document these hidden histories of North East people.

How can I find out more?

Buy the book

Buy your own copy of 'Hidden Chains: the Slavery Business and North East England' by John Charlton, published in 2008.

'John Charlton's account is pioneering and revealing: a bold statement of new findings', James Walvin.

Buy this book (£10)
Read the reviews: Museums Journal and Social History in Museums

Read the booklet

For a summary of the Remembering Slavery research, download the project booklet by John Charlton, published in 2007.

Download this booklet
245KB | 12 pages

Contact Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

Discovery Museum
Blandford Square
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne & Wear


Tel: (0191) 232 6789
Fax: (0191) 230 2614
Textphone: 18001 0191 232 6789

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