- John Barnes
was governor of Senegal between February 1763 and May 1765 but very
little else is known about him.
is a small
country on the West Coast of Africa. It is bounded by Mauritania to
the north, Mali to the east and Guinea and Guinea Bissau to the south.
It surrounds The Gambia on three sides.
the early seventeenth century, Senegal was under the control of the
French who used it as a trading post and as a naval base. During the
French Wars (1756-1763) the French ceded their possession to the British
who remained in control until 1779 when the French regained its posts.
It stayed in French hands until 1809 when the British re-occupied Senegal.
The British were there until 1817 when it was retaken by the French.
Senegal remained under French control until 1958 when it became an independent
the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries Senegal was one of the
countries on the West African coast exploited by the Europeans for slaves.
Even Barnes admitted that it furnished between 1000 and 1400 slaves
- In this
source, Barnes is giving evidence to a Select Committee of the Privy
Council which had been appointed by William Pitt (who was Prime Minister)
to look at the slave trade and the arguments for and against it.
Committees are set up by Government to look at specific subjects and
are still used today. They normally sit (take place) in London and call
witnesses to give evidence. Supporters and opponents of particular causes
often lobby hard to get the witnesses of their choice to appear before
the Select Committee. At the end of the investigation, the Select Committee
publishes a report of its findings and these are sometimes used as a
basis for new legislation.
- Pitt established
the Select Committee on the Slave Trade as a result of the efforts of
the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. This had been set
up in 1787 by Thomas Clarkson and Granville Sharp to campaign for the
end of slavery. Their spokesman in the House of Commons was William
Wilberforce, the MP for Hull.
- The Society
for the Abolition of the Slave Trade mounted huge campaigns but their
efforts did not meet with any success until 1807 when the slave trade
was banned. Clarkson and Sharp then formed the Society for the Mitigation
and Abolition of Slavery to campaign for the end of slavery itself.
Their work eventually paid off in 1833 when a law was passed banning
slavery in the British empire.