Book - Thoughts Upon Slavery

Five Facts about the book

1) Thoughts Upon Slavery by John Wesley was published in 1774

2) It was aimed at a mass audience and was first printed in London and then in Philadelphia, USA

3) The book was a bestseller when it was published and read by thousands

4) The book in our museum is an original copy

5) It is kept behind glass because it is so old.

About the book

John Wesley published his book ‘Thoughts Upon Slavery in 1774. It was first published in London and then reprinted in Philadelphia, USA. It was aimed at a mass audience and was eventually read by thousands of people.

Two years after the book was published, Wesley organised a campaign to persuade all Methodists in America to cease owning slaves.

Later, in 1788, he held an anti-slavery event at the New Room. He caused a riot when he publicly preached against the slave trade and in support of a new anti-slavery society.

In 1791, just weeks before he died, John Wesley encouraged William Wilberforce to keep campaigning, not just against Britain’s involvement in the slave trade but against slavery itself.

After Wesley’s death, the congregation at the New Room welcomed an escaped slave called Boston King and he was educated at Kingswood School (the school Wesley founded) from 1794-6.

"Really excellent - I will be recommending it to friends" - Museum visitor

How to find this item:

It is nearly at the end of the museum, in the penultimate room. Careful though – there’s a gun nearby!

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