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June 13, 1838

cover page of British Emancipator published on June 13, 1838

British Emancipator





Available years


The British Emancipator was founded as a mouthpiece for the Central Negro Emancipation Committee, an organization fighting for the abolition of the system of apprenticeship, which was put into place after slavery was abolished in the British Colonies. The Central Negro Emancipation Committee was a more radical offshoot of the Anti-Slavery Society, which had a long history of campaigning for the abolition of slavery and the improvement of conditions for slaves and indigenous populations.

The newspaper opened by stating that: ‘The fact cannot be concealed – Slavery has not been abolished! – the Demon has but changed its name; and, under its assumed disguise, it still revels in all its wonted recklessness of crime, and continues to inflict its countless wrong, its sufferings, and its brutal degradations on its hapless victims.’

It contained only news and information relating the subject of slavery and the apprentice system, but this included accounts of parliamentary debates and commissions, histories of slavery and the abolition movement, narratives of slaves and emancipated former slaves, and accounts from colonies in the Caribbean. It particularly focused on stories highlighting the worsening conditions of former slaves in the Caribbean under the apprentice system. When the Apprentice System was abolished in August 1838 the paper slightly lost its focus, but continued to report on the poor conditions of freed slaves in the colonies.

The newspaper ceased publication in January 1840, when a new journal The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Reporter was launched as the official organ of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. The first issue of the new journal was provided gratis to subscribers to the British Emancipator, and the editors urged their readers to continue to take the new journal.

Beth Gaskell, The British Library

For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:

  • 1837–40 The British Emancipator.

This newspaper is published by an unknown publisher in London, London, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in Apr 28, 2021 . The latest issues were added in Apr 28, 2021.