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Campaign to abolish slavery in the French colonies, 1847

GSL/L/R/10/168 - Secretary's In Letters: from the SOCIETE FRANCAISE POUR L'ABOLITION DE L'ESCLAVAGE, Paris, 28 November 1847.

Slavery was finally abolished in the British colonies in 1833, but it continued in other regions. La Société française pour l'abolition de l'esclavage (SFAE) [French Society for the Abolition of Slavery] was active between 1834-1848. It campaigned for the abolition of slavery in the French colonies but found that the reigning monarchy was reluctant to change the status quo.

This subscription letter was one of SFAE’s campaigns, sent to international abolitionist supporters. The plan was presumably to shame the French monarchy by funding a memorial medal to honour the ruler of Tunisia who abolished slavery in his country in 1846.

Following the French revolution of 1848, which led to the overthrow of King Louis Philippe I, the provisional government (which included a number of members of the SFAE) formally abolished slavery in the French colonies on 27 April 1848.

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