Source 9 - Elizabeth Heyrick

This was written by Elizabeth Heyrick who was one of the most prominent female abolitionist campaigners. She was a Quaker from Leicester who organised a mass sugar boycott.

This is her most famous and successful pamphlet: 1,500 copies were bought by the Anti-Slavery Society for distribution in 1828-9. However her views were more radical than those of the Anti-Slavery Society - they talked about the 'gradual' emancipation of slaves while she fervently believed in the immediate abolition of slavery.

In the 1820s to 1830s female campaigners played an increasing role in the fight for abolition. They had set up ladies anti-slavery associations in towns and cities around the country. This was unusual because women had traditionally been discouraged from any involvement in politics.

Their campaigning activities included petitioning, producing information pamphlets, door to door canvassing, fundraising and in the domestic sphere, abstaining from slave-grown sugar. However they still could not campaign on equal terms as men and played no part in the parliamentary campaign.

  • Why, according to Heyrick, are women in a unique position to help abolish slavery?
  • What does she suggest they do instead?
  • What would be the benefits from abstaining from West Indies sugar?

Taken from: Appeal to the hearts and consciences of British women.
Author / Creator: Elizabeth Heyrick
Publisher: A. Cockshaw, Leicester
Date: 1828
Copyright: By permission of the British Library Board
Shelfmark: 8156.b.16