The Cornish-born traveller and writer James Silk Buckingham (1786-1855) campaigned energetically for social reform while a Member of Parliament during the 1830s. He later spent four years in the United States, and in 1839 travelled across the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, and Alabama to observe at first hand the inhumane treatment of slaves in a system that showed 'reckless indifference to human life'. Originally published in 1842, and dedicated to Prince Albert, this two-volume work documents Buckingham's findings and argues that the USA should follow Britain's example in abolishing slavery. Within the framework of a travel narrative recording climate, geography, flora and fauna, Buckingham describes the use of slaves in industries as diverse as gold mining, cotton manufacturing, railways, canals, and agriculture. He highlights the social and political issues surrounding free labour, and relations between the slaves and their employers. Volume 1 includes descriptions of Charleston, Augusta, and New Orleans.
James Silk Buckingham
Cambridge Library Collection
Date of Publication
History: Specific Subjects
Cambridge Library Collection - North American History