Transatlantic Trafficked Enslaved African Corrective Historical ( TTEACH ) plaques are markers of reparative justice on the buildings and Companies that received over £20 million in compensation from the British Government following the Abolition of Slavery Act of 1833.
My name is Gloria Daniel, I am the great, great granddaughter of John Isaac Daniel who was enslaved on the Island of Barbados on a plantation owned by Thomas Daniel and Sons. Alongside my family, we the descendants of John Isaac have commenced campaigning to have plaques sited on Bristol Cathedral and on all buildings, churches and institutions that were associated with the Transatlantic slave economy.
TTEACH plaques aims to finally commemorate the trafficked and enslaved African people whose ‘freedom’ enriched Bristol, Britain and their Colonial interests, correctly contextualising the story of the wealth of Bristol and Britain built in part on the back of enslaved labour. Our aim is for the first plaque to be installed in Bristol Cathedral where the slave owner Thomas Daniel, his wife Augusta Louisa Bridges and his father Thomas Daniel and his wife Eleanor Daniel are monumentally commemorated in the ancient crypt and west rose stained glass window of Bristol Cathedral. This family were compensated for over 4424 people including John Isaac. The total number of enslaved people whose freedom was compensated to their former ‘owners’ was approximately 760,000.
Our hope is for TTEACH plaques to empower the descendants of African and Caribbean people to research their ‘family name’ and the history of those who profited from the ownership of their ancestors.
Descendants of those who profited from the Transatlantic slave economy can join us in exhuming this shared painful history and join us in our march to reparative justice.
The Price of Emancipation by Dr Nicholas Draper published in 2010
The plaque initiative is intended to finally commemorate the trafficked and enslaved African people whose ‘freedom’ enriched Bristol, Great Britain and their Colonial interests through the 1834 compensation scheme.
We believe these belong alongside the memorialisations of these ‘owners’ in churches and on the grand houses and buildings the bankers and merchants erected with these gains. We believe these plaques would correctly contextualise the story of the wealth of Bristol, London, Liverpool and other parts of Britain, enriched in part on the back of enslaved labour.
This initiative begins with Thomas Daniel and Sons and the 4424 enslaved people he was compensated for over £130,000 (more than 17 Million pounds in today's money).
The enslaved were catalogued like livestock in the T71 files at the National archives at Kew, London and finally recognised by the UCL Database of The Legacies of British Slave Ownership Website that went live in 2013.
It is the only register that the British Government have of the descendants of at least 12 million trafficked African people at the point of Emancipation in 1834.
The point at which the British Slave owners claimed their awards for 'their property’. It has been described as a feeding frenzy by Michael Taylor in The Interest, How the Establishment resisted the Abolition of Slavery.
The total number of enslaved people for whose freedom compensation awards are known to have been made to their former 'owners' was approximately 760,000 of whom 92,000 were in the Cape of Good Hope and Mauritius, the remainder in the British Caribbean and mainland South America (British Guiana and Honduras). (Dr Nick Draper)
These plaques will allow descendants of the enslaved that live in Britain today and the descendants of those that profited from the awarded compensation to acknowledge and research these buildings, in the humanitarian belief that we can eradicate contemporary racism and historical inequality by exhuming our shared history.
Our hope is for TTEACH Plaques to empower the descendants of enslaved African and Caribbean people to look at their ‘name’ and research those who were enriched by the compensation scheme and entrenched the power of their families in the Britain of today. We would hope all people who seek truth and justice would join us in adding their voices to ‘persuade’ the gatekeepers of the obscured buildings to acknowledge and honour the last of those enslaved in the built environment of present day Britain.
TTEACH Corrective Historical Plaques Petition
Our TTEACH plaque campaign seeks to achieve 3 things:
– To educate the wider public on the extent to which the slave economy was the foundation of much of modern Britain including many of its largest cities.
– To identify plantation owners and merchants by name, enabling descendants to conduct research into their own family history and to seek their own reparative justice.
– And most importantly to finally commemorate the African and Caribbean peoples who were enslaved.
Please support us by signing our petition below for the first of many reparatory plaques.
Quotes and Letters of Support
A Letter of support from Bristol University Lecturers
Professor Bridget Anderson,
Director, Migration Mobilities Bristol
Dr Joanna Burch-Brown,
Senior Lecturer in Philosophy
Professor Madhu Krishnan,
Department of English
Professor Julia O’Connell Davidson,
School of Sociology, Politics & International Studies
Professor Olivette Otele,
Department of History
Dr Madge Dresser
"The project to provide plaques which show how the Daniel family depended on the labour of enslaved Africans and their descendants is long overdue. Its aim is to expand our understanding of our history, to show how the local and the global are interconnected and to tell untold stories about the provenance of the properties connected with the Daniels. Its glory is that it brings together people of all backgrounds to reconsider their collective past in a reflective and inclusive way." - Dr. Madge Dresser
Dr Joe Aldred
"Thanks for copying me into this communication and may I say how pleased I am to note that the journey continues. We are all aware that in this country like other parts of the world, especially the US, the challenge of reconciliation of the present with the past continues with few helpful incites about a way forward. Here with the simple but profound request to install a ‘corrective plaque’ in St Margaret’s and St Peter’s church offers an example. I do so hope this can happen, by God’s grace and human goodwill." - Dr Joe Aldred, Pentecostal/Charismatic and Multicultural Relations
Ros Martin of Countering Colston
"Countering Colston acknowledges in it’s decolonising mission the need for restitution. This includes the raising of public monuments large and small to honour the memory of our enslaved African ancestors whose forced labour and brutalised lives contributed to the wealth of the city.
We wholeheartedly endorse the heritage restorative plaque project raised by Gloria Daniel, enslaved plantation worker descendent, of Bristol sugar merchant, ship owner, Society of Merchant Venturer, kingpin, Thomas Daniel of Bristol. Placing plaques at entrances of public buildings that presently publicly commemorate Bristol's plantation and sugar merchants owners, e.g Bristol Cathedral and Henbury Church for Thomas Daniel, will now, publicly acknowledge the numbers of enslaved African labourers on sugar plantations in Caribbean, compensated for by the British government.
Reduced to units of capital loss, we will remember each and every human being…… " - Ros Martin of Countering Colston
Mark Steeds of Bristol Radical History Group
"The British Government's decision in the 1830s, to give compensation to those least deserving for their involvement in the slave system, is one of history’s greatest travesties.The long established mass transatlantic trafficking of enslaved Africans was an affront to humankind. This campaign to try and rectify aspects of this injustice is long overdue and Bristol Radical History Group is fully behind it. TTEACH plaques “flip the script” and go a long way in helping to start the reconciliation process by shining a light on those that profited most." - Mark Steeds
"This project is exactly what is needed to bring (and keep) to the forefront of our awareness, that the institutions and gracious buildings that make up the fabric of this country, so lovely to look at, conceal an awful lot that is not. By naming names and counting lives, not in rounded up statistics but down to the individual man, woman and child, these plaques will serve as a reminder, in situ, of our unpaid debt. Our landscape is full of memorials to the history we want to present. This will go some small way to redressing the balance of truth."
- Mary Kuper, Associate Lecturer, Camberwell College of Arts
Fernanda Eberstadt - Writer
"Gloria Daniel’s TTEACH project is a massively important and long overdue effort to awaken public awareness to how much of Britain’s colonial and domestic wealth was built on the slave economy. What makes Daniel’s campaign so exceptional is its focus on her own family story and that of her great-great-grandfather John Isaac Daniel—one of at least 4424 enslaved people working on a Barbados plantation, for whose liberation Thomas Daniel and his family was paid by the British government. TTEACH reminds us that this payment by the British people at large to a portion of its slaveowning elite in order to emancipate 750,000 humans cost 20 million GBP (the interest on that loan was only paid off by the British taxpayer in 2015). TTEACH’s commemorative plaques, placed on buildings associated with the slave trade, including Bristol Cathedral where Thomas Daniel and his family were buried with great pomp, are a crucial step for both the descendants of slaveowners and the descendants of the enslaved, as well as the nation as a whole, to come together in an effort at greater historical understanding and repair."
- Fernanda Eberstadt - fernandaeberstadt.com
FURTHER READING: Blood Legacy - Alex Renton
Can the British who benefited from slavery acknowledge the consequences of that history?