The Zong. Study the list of key words, dates and names. How many can you accurately complete? a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 180 _ 18 _ 3 p _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _t m _ _.

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The Zong

Study the list of key words, dates and names. How many can you accurately complete? a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 180 _ 18 _ 3 p _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _t m _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ o _ _ _ a _ _ i _ _ c _ _ _ _ _ _ w _ _ _ _ f _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ r _ _ _ e £ _ _ m _ _ _ _ _ q _ _ _ _ _ _ p _ _ _ _ _ _ n

AIMS: To examine the case of the slave ship Zong and the impact it had on the growing abolitionist movement. Success Criteria You can describe what happened on board the Zong You can evaluate the impact it had on the abolitionist campaign.

Case Study: The Zong On 6 th September 1781 the slave ship Zong sailed from Africa to Jamaica. There were 17 crew and 442 slaves on board. By November 7 of the crew and 60 of the slaves had died, many more of the slaves were ill, and the ship’s captain, Luke Collingwood, knew he would be unable to sell them.

THE PLAN The captain, along with the other officers, agreed a monstrous plan to kill the sick slaves and claim compensation from the ship’s insurance company for loss of cargo. The plan was to claim that the ship was running out of water and in order to save some of the slaves the sick ones had to be thrown overboard. Over the next few days at least 133 sick slaves some chained together, were thrown overboard. On 1 st December 42 slaves were thrown overboard but the next day it rained and when the Zong docked in Jamaica on the 22 nd it had 191 slaves and 420 gallons of fresh water left.

Key Terms: There was huge debate about which crime Luke Collingwood deserved to be charged with: Murder – to intentionally kill a person Manslaughter – the crime of killing a person when the person did not intend to do it Fraud – the crime of getting money by deceiving people.

The Ship’s owners claimed £30 for each dead slave, the insurance for the lost cargo, on the grounds that the ship had run out of water so some slaves had to be killed in order to save the crew and other slaves. The insurance company refused to pay and accused the ship’s owners of fraud and the case went to court. The owners’ lawyer said “ what is all this talk of human people being thrown overboard? This is a case of goods. It is a case about throwing over of goods. They (the slaves) are goods and property” The Judge decided the insurers had to pay up.

Influence on the abolitionist movement Brief reports of the case appeared in newspapers but, at first, it had very little effect on public opinion. The anti-slavery campaigner Granville Sharp tried, unsuccessfully, to have the ship's crew prosecuted for murder. He wrote to men in high positions – in politics, the law, the Church, anyone of influence – about the Zong case. Sharp was determined to expose the killings in the hope of ending slavery itself. Few bothered to reply.

However, Sharp did have some success. He sent an account of the Zong massacre to William Dillwyn, a Quaker, and shortly after, in 1783, the first anti slavery petition, signed by 273 Quakers, was submitted to parliament. Key Word: Petition A document signed by a large number of people demanding action from the government. In the following years, the case was referred to time and again when men wrote about the slave trade. The Zong killings offered a powerful example of the horrors of the trade and stimulated the development of the abolitionist movement in Britain, which dramatically expanded in size and influence in the late 1780s.

. Yet the deliberate killings of Africans during voyages of slave ships did not end following the Zong. Indeed they actually increased in the early 19th century. When Royal Navy vessels chased suspected illegal slave ships, the slavers' crews often threw Africans overboard rather than be caught with slaves on board and have the vessels impounded.

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