Saartjie Baartman on Display


This document is the first of two on this page relating to the case of Saartjie Baartman, the 'Hottentot Venus'. In 1810 Zachary Macaulay, merchant, anti-slavery campaigner and Secretary of the African Institution in London, applied to the Court of King's Bench to return Baartman to her home in South Africa.

In his deposition, Macaulay describes the young woman's features and states that her exhibitor charged spectators money and invited them to touch her. According to Macaulay, the exhibitor commanded Baartman in Dutch to parade for the viewers 'in the same manner that any animal of the brute creation would be exhibited'.

KB 1/36/4, f. 117 (17 Oct 1810)

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