|Written a decade after the Slave Emancipation Act of 1833, which
gave slaves throughout the British empire their freedom, this document
is an appeal to the British government for assistance from Liverpool
planters and merchants with interests in the West Indies. It is interesting
mainly because it indicates the social changes that had taken place
since the freeing of the enslaved population. According to the authors,
emancipation had led to a labour shortage and a fall in profitability.
Although they probably exaggerated the 'distressed condition'
of their enterprises, it is clear that many former slaves had left
the plantations by this date. In this document the term 'West
Indians' refers to White property owners, not the Black population.
CO 318/160, no. 1502 (9 August 1843)