Thomas Clarkson, a leading campaigner against the slave trade, published his essay against slavery, which had immediate impact, and won the first prize in the University of Cambridge. This enabled him to meet other emancipationists, such as Granville Sharp. In 1787, Clarkson and Sharp formed the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. The members published and printed many books, posters and pamphlets attacking the morality of slavery, to help gain awareness and supporters for the anti-slave movement. By informing the public, the Committee gained many members and support. They held lectures, anti-slave rallies and petitions were signed. Clarkson spread the word and aroused interest by travelling to the great ports and cities of England. Josiah Wedgewood produces anti-slave medallions which were worn by men and women and became part of general fashion. However, the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano gained huge popularity and publicity as it demonstrated literary skill from an African and many horrors of slavery. The publicity of the anti-slave movement was large, and the Committee helped persuade William Wilberforce, an MP, to take up the abolitionist cause, who offered them a link into the British Parliament. Wilberforce helped gain publicity by giving abolitionist speeches in the House of Commons.
SOCIAL BACKGROUND AND STATUS
Many emancipationists came from respectable backgrounds, Granville Sharp was an educated man, and eventually studied law which helped him free slaves such ad Jonathon Strong. His education and background helped him gain publicity in his law cases and was called ‘protector of the negro.’ Zachary Macaulay and William Wilberforce