Source 2a

East African enslaved people released from a dhow by HMS Daphne, 1 November 1868 (FO 84/1310)

4. Look at Source 2a, b and c.

Having been the largest slaving nation, Britain became a determined abolitionist power after 1833, using the Royal Navy to stop ships suspected of being slavers. These photographs were taken about 1868, off the east coast of Africa. They form part of a Report from John Armstrong Challice, a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, working to abolish slavery in Zanzibar. Zanzibar did not abolish slavery until 1897.

  • We know very little about these pictures. Use the clues you can pick out from the photographs to suggest what they actually show
  • Write a brief description of the enslaved people – age, numbers, clothing, other conditions
  • These photographs were taken about 1869, in the Indian Ocean. How useful are they as evidence of the Atlantic slave trade before its abolition in 1807?
  • The ship on which these photographs were taken was the HMS Daphne, a British naval ship used to prevent the transportation of enslaved people. Do you think Britain had the right to act as the world’s police, stopping and searching ships of other nations? (Remember that Britain had been a large slave trading nation until 1833.)