Image 'The abolition of the slave trade', 1792

TLF ID M008724

This is a hand-coloured cartoon print showing an African girl being hoisted by the ankle for a flogging on board the British slaving vessel Recovery. The vessel's captain John Kimber is seen on the left, whip in hand. The cartoon was drawn by Isaac Cruikshank and published by S W Fores in London on 10 April 1792. The alternative title for the print is 'Or the inhumanity of dealers in human flesh exemplified in Captn Kimber's treatment of a young negro girl of 15 for her virjen [sic] modesty'.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This print is one of the most important anti-slavery cartoons published during the long campaign in Britain to abolish the slave trade. It is a seminal image for the year 9 history depth study elective Movement of peoples (1750-1901), which studies the influence of the industrial revolution on the movement of peoples throughout the world, including the transatlantic slave trade.
  • The print refers to an accusation made by abolitionist William Wilberforce (1759-1833) in a speech to the House of Commons in 1792 that Kimber, captain of the slaving vessel Recovery, owned by Bristol merchants, had caused the death of a girl during a voyage from New Calabar in Africa to the West Indies in 1791. Wilberforce stated that she had died of injuries from a flogging inflicted because she had refused to dance naked on the deck of the ship.
  • By the 1780s the figure of the evil ship's captain was a standard inclusion in attacks on the transatlantic slave trade. Proponents of abolition argued that the trade dehumanised the enslaver as well as the enslaved. Kimber stood trial for the murder of this girl in the Admiralty court in 1792 and was acquitted, a jury finding that the girl had died of disease, not mistreatment.
Learning area
  • History
  • Studies of society and environment

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: The Library of Congress
  • Organization: The Library of Congress
  • Description: content provider
  • Address: UNITED STATES
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  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
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  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Commonwealth of Australia, 2011, except where indicated otherwise. You may copy, communicate and modify this material for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.