Friends of free emigration’: A comparative case study of the West Indian efforts of the Glasgow West India Association and the Glasgow Emancipation Society, 1833-1862

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2022
Thesis identifier
  • T16483
Person Identifier (Local)
  • 202180799
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • Several historians have noted the point at which the Glasgow West India Association donated to the Glasgow Emancipation Society in the 1840s. As both organizations were respectively founded to see the proliferation and termination of slavery, respectively, such sudden cooperation comes as a surprise. However, the period of activity regarding the British West Indian colonies after the 1833 Abolition Act demonstrates a gradual shift in the efforts of the two organizations. Not long after the Abolition Act, the Glasgow West India Association gradually transitioned its efforts to support anti-slavery causes, while the Glasgow Emancipation Society began to advocate for policies that would benefit the plantocracy that the former organization lobbied for. Examining the meeting minutes and annual reports of both organizations, this MRes thesis is a comparative case study of the GWIA and the GES, comparing their methods, efforts, and goals regarding the West Indies from 1833 to 1862. The following research questions are addressed in this thesis. First, to what extent was the GWIA’s support for anti-slavery organizations and policies, as well as the GES’s for those that favored sugar planters? Second, what were the efforts of both organizations regarding labor emigration to the Caribbean? Finally, did either organization undergo a shift in ideology that led to their eventual cooperation and financial connection to the other?
Advisor / supervisor
  • Young, John
  • Ellis, Mark
Resource Type
Embargo Note
  • This thesis is restricted to Strathclyde users only.