Thursday, 19 July 2007

Ipswich- Abolitionists remembered.

In March, I mentioned how Ipswich should be proud that one of the leading activists in the abolition of slavery movement was Thomas Clarkson who spent much of his life here.
I also thought the council should have made more of the Ipswich link with the abolition of slavery, the local council are (and rightfully so) spending time and money celebrating that it was an Ipswich Naval Captain (Bartholomew Gosnold) that helped start the first permanent settlement in the New World 400 years ago - Jamestown in Virginia but I feel as much should have been spent on those who helped stop the slave trade, I mentioned in March that as well as Clarkson Street there were also other Ipswich streets named after activists in the abolition movement.
Well thanks to the Ipswich Society Newsletter , I can inform you that we have 9 roads close to the town centre that are named in memory of those who fought to stop this vile trade:
Clarkson Street- named after Thomas Clarkson
Wilberforce Street - after William Wilberforce
Benezet Street - after Anthony Benezet, (picture above)a Quaker whose writings influenced Clarkson
Dillwyn Street- after William Dillwyn, an American Quaker who moved to England and campaigned from 1774
Elliot Street- after Edward James Eliot, MP friend of Wilberforce and Pitt
Emlen Street - after Samuel Emlen an American Quaker who set up a school in Ohio
Gibbons Street -after Abigail Hopper Gibbons, an American Quaker who aided runaway slaves
Granville Street- after Granville Sharp who challenged slavery in law, first President of the 1787 Abolition Committee.
Burlington Road -after Burlington, New Jersey the home of Samuel Emlen.
All these streets are on land provided for housing in the 1850's by Richard Dykes Alexander, an Ipswich Quaker- there is also a Dykes Street close by.
When he made the land available he stipulated that some of the street names should be those of leading abolitionists.
If Richard Dykes Alexander thought these people needed to be remembered 160 years ago, I am sure we should be remembering them now.

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