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Abolition and William Blake’s illustrations for Stedman’s Expedition against the revolted Negroes of… Andrews, Sharon Andrea 1995

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ABOLIT ION A N D WILLIAM B L A K E ' S ILLUSTRATIONS FOR S T E D M A N ' S EXPEDIT ION AGA INST THE R E V O L T E D N E G R O E S O F S U R I N A M by S H A R O N A N D R E A A N D R E W S B .Sc , The University of British Co lumb ia , 1988 A THES IS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULF I L LMENT O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S FOR T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R O F A R T S in T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Department of Fine Arts) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard T H E UNIVERSITY O F BRITISH C O L U M B I A December 1995 © Sharon Andrea A n d r e w s , 1 9 9 5 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of f\hi& AftTS The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date '^EQBHBlfL ^5 DE-6 (2788) A B S T R A C T In 1796, J ohn Gabriel S tedman 's Narrative of a Five Years Expedi t ion against the Revolted Negroes of Sur inam was publ ished in London . The Expedi t ion desc r ibed S tedman ' s c ampa igns as a mercenary officer employed by the Dutch co lony of Sur inam. S tedman , subscr ib ing to eighteenth-century notions of empir ic i sm, desc r ibed in great detail the flora, f auna and inhabitants of Sur inam, inc luding the brutal mistreatment of its plantation slaves. However, while cal l ing for ameliorat ion of s u c h mistreatment, S t edman stated his support for slavery as a system and for the cross-Atlantic s lave trade. Eighty-one illustrations, by various engravers, a c compan i ed the Expedi t ion and received contemporary acc la im. Of those, twelve images of s laves and slave life inc luding illustrations that represent the punishment and execution of s laves, were engraved by Wil l iam Blake. These latter images were unusual within the traditions of book illustrations in travel narratives and abolitionist literature because of their graph ic d isp lay of pain. This thesis focuses on Blake's illustrations and in particular a s se s se s the way in which these images contributed to the late eighteenth-century recept ion of S t edman ' s publ icat ion as a document that supported abolit ion and antislavery interests. Both Wil l iam Blake and the publ isher of the Expedit ion. J o s e p h J o h n s o n be longed to "radical" g roups that advocated the ending of both slavery and the s lave trade. This thesis argues that Blake, supported by Johnson , emphas ized abolit ionist and antislavery e lements in the illustrations thereby al lowing the publ icat ion to be harnessed to the c ause of the anti-slave trade movement. In order to examine B lake 's il lustrations within the Expedit ion the thesis is div ided into four sect ions: Chapter O n e a s se s se s the rise of the abolit ion movement in late eighteenth-century Britain; Chapte r Two Ill contextual izes the S tedman images within the traditions of travel a n d abolitionist literature; Chapter Three examines eighteenth-century printing and engrav ing pract ises; and Chapte r Four assesses the images themselves and the way they cou ld work both with and at t imes against S tedman 's text. iv T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S Abstract ii Table of Contents iv List of F igures v INTRODUCT ION 1 C H A P T E R 1. H A N O V E R I A N BRITAIN A N D T H E E M E R G I N G ABOLITION M O V E M E N T 13 Co lon ia l i sm, the S lave E conomy and the Growth of Abol i t ion 14 C H A P T E R 2. S T E D M A N ' S EXPEDITION A N D T H E TRADITION O F ABOLITIONIST A N D TRAVEL NARRATIVE ILLUSTRATION 22 Radica l Writing and the Eighteenth-Century Reading Aud i ence 23 Abol i t ion Literature and its Representations 25 Travel Literature 27 C H A P T E R 3. E IGHTEENTH-CENTURY E N G R A V I N G A N D B L A K E ' S P R A C T I S E . . 33 B lake 's Engrav ing Pract ises 35 C H A P T E R 4. T H E S T E D M A N IMAGES BY B L A K E 41 Family of Negro S laves from Loanqo and G roup of Negros as imported to be so ld for S laves 41 Coromantvn Free Negro or Ranger A rmed and Private Marine of C o l : Fourgeouds C o r p s 49 The celebrated Graman Quacy and A Sur inam Planter in his Morning Dress 55 Scu l ls of Lieut Leppar & Six of his Men and March thro' a Swamp or Marsh, in Terra F i rma 60 F in ispiece and Frontispiece 63 Martyrdom, Torture and the Slave Body 69 A Negro hung alive by the Ribs to a Ga l lows 73 The Execut ion of Breaking on the Rack 74 Flagellation of a Female S a m b o e Slave 75 C O N C L U S I O N 79 Notes 81 B ib l iography 103 F igures 111 V LIST O F FIGURES 1. J.K. Shirwin [Sherwin] after a painting by William Hodges, The landing at Middleburgh, one of the Friendly Isles, engraving from Cook (1777); rpt. in Joppien and Smith, vol. 2, 71 111 2. Thomas Clarkson, Plan and cross section of a slaver, the Brookes of Liverpool, copper engraving from Clarkson (1787); rpt. in Honour, vol 4:1, 65 112 3. Agostino Brunias, Scene with Dancing in the West Indies (c. 1770-80) present whereabouts unknown; rpt. in Honour, vol. 4:1, 33 113 4. Wedgewood Medallion, Am I not a Man and a Brother? (1787) Jasper-ware, Wedgewood Museum, Barlaston, England; rpt. in Honour, vol. 4:1, 62 114 5. W. Byrne after a watercolour by John Webber, A View at Anamooka, engraving from Cook and King (1784); rpt. in Joppien and Smith, vol. 3:2, 297 115 6. Left: J. Record, Caps of the Natives of Oonalashka: top right: P. Mazell, An Opossum of Van Pieman's Land: bottom right: Woodyer, A Sledge of Kamtschatka. Engravings after watercolours by John Webber, from Cook and King (1784); rpt in Joppien and Smith, vol. 3:2, 523, 565, 637 116 7. The head of a New Zealander engraving from Hawkesworth (1773); rpt. in Joppien and Smith, vol 1, 185 117 8. J. Heath after a watercolour by W. Ellis, A Native of Sandwich Sound, engraving from Ellis (1781); rpt. in Joppien and Smith, vol. 3:2, 483 118 9. Manner of Sleeping &c. in the Forest. Top: Stedman's original 1776 watercolour. Bottom: 1791 engraving by Inigo Barlow, after the watercolour for the 1796 first edition of the Expedition pi. 73. Rpt. in Stedman (1988) XLIV. .119 10. A Family of New South Wales. Left: William Blake's engraving from Hunter's Historical Journal (1793). Right: Governer Phillip King's wash drawing (c. 1790-93). Rpt. in Essick, Commercial pis. 137-8 120 11. Jacques Callot, Supplicium Sceleri Froenum (1633) etching and engraving, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; rpt. in Puppi 13 121 12. Francesco Bartolozzi, Frontispiece (1794), engraving from Stedman (1988) 2. 122 13. Francesco Bartolozzi, A Rebel Negro armed & on his guard (1794), engraving from Stedman (1988) 391 123 14. Francesco Bartolozzi, A Female Negro Slave, with a Weight chained to her Ancle (1795), engraving from Stedman (1988) 40 124 vi 15. T. Holloway, Joanna (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 89 125 16. Perry, Female Quadroon Slave of Surinam (1794), engraving from Stedman (1988) 243 126 17. Michele Benedetti, Indian Female of the Arrowauka Nation (1792), engraving from Stedman (1988) 467 127 18. Michele Benedetti, Indian Family of the Carribbee Nation (1792), engraving from Stedman (1988) 307 128 19. William Blake, Family of Negro Slaves from Loango (1792), engraving from Stedman (1988) 535 129 20. William Blake, Group of Negros, as imported to be sold for Slaves (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 167 130 21. William Blake, A Coromantvn Free Negro, or Ranger, armed (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 83 131 22. William Blake, A private Marine of Col. Fourgeoud's Corps (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 121 132 23. William Blake, The celebrated Graman Quacv (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 583 133 24. William Blake, A Surinam Planter in his Morning Dress (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 365 134 25. William Blake, The Sculls of Lieu1 Leppar, & Six of his Men (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 190 135 26. William Blake, March thro' a swamp or Marsh in Terra-firma (1794), engraving from Stedman (1988) 403 136 27. William Blake, Europe supported by Africa & America (1792), engraving from Stedman (1988) 619 137 28. William Blake, A Negro hung alive by the Ribs to a Gallows (1792), engraving from Stedman (1988) 105 138 29. William Blake, The Execution of Breaking on the Rack (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 548 139 30. William Blake, Flagellation of a Female Samboe Slave (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 265 140 INTRODUCTION 1 In 1796, Captain John Gabriel Stedman published an account of his service from 1772 to 1777, as a mercenary officer in the Scots Brigade engaged by the Dutch colony of Surinam. His illustrated Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam, In Guiana on the Wild Coast of South-America was undertaken by the London printer, Joseph Johnson.1 The Expedition's immediate popularity can be measured by its 25 subsequent editions (18 of those by the year 1838) produced in six European languages.2 In addition, the Expedition against the Revolted Negroes was inspiration for literary, dramatic and graphic works—two plays, four novels, a book of poetry—and was a source for American and Dutch military illustrations, border vignettes for maps, and illustrations used by the abolition movement.3 The images from Stedman's text continue to be utilized to illustrate aspects of slave life on colonial plantations and to attest to the punishment and mistreatment of slaves in the eighteenth century.4 In part, the Expedition's popularity in the eighteenth-century hinged on its complex, interwoven narrative strands: Stedman's "romance" with a fifteen-year old slave girl,5 accounts of colonial and slave life, descriptions of Surinamese flora and fauna as well as the main focus in the Expedition against the Revolted Negroes, Stedman's soldierly campaigns against rebel slaves in the "jungles" of Surinam. Founded by the British in the 1630s and ceded to the Dutch after the Anglo-Dutch war of 1665-67,6 Surinam had become a very productive colony. However, from its inception, the security of the colony and its settlers had been threatened by escaped slaves.7 These runaways or "maroons" who had fled into the forests, organized into bands that raided 2 plantations in search of food, supplies and women. Other slaves were either enticed away or killed when called to the defence of the plantations. By the mid-eighteenth century perpetual fighting with the maroons had become a major problem for the colony and military reinforcements from Holland were repeatedly being dispatched. The two most established groups of maroons, the Djuka and Saramaka, were so effective in their wars against the colony that in the early 1760s they were granted independence from Holland8 but in exchange were obliged to turn any newly escaped slaves over to colonial authorities.9 It was these new maroons that in 1772, Stedman's Scots brigade was dispatched to quell. In his account of the Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam. Stedman described his confrontations with rebel groups, outlined the function of the Rangers or free slave corps that served the colony, and documented some of the ordeals suffered by his own brigade of Marines. Descriptions of the misery of these soldiers and of the tropical afflictions they suffered, formed a large narrative focus of the Expedition.10 In addition, Stedman directed a great deal of negative commentary at his superior officer, Colonel Fourgeoud, whom over the course of the Expedition he would come to detest.11 According to Stedman's complaints, Fourgeoud was an incompetent strategist and a despotic commander with little respect for his officers' opinions or concern for his private soldiers. When not on campaign, Stedman spent his time in Paramaribo, the capital city of Surinam or on various colonial plantations. It was in his descriptions of these locales that the account offered particularly graphic reports of the slave system and its effects, ranging from a description of slaves disembarking from a ship at the colony's port12 to the indolent lives led by Dutch plantation owners and their often violent, physical mistreatment of their slaves. In one example of such 3 abuse, Stedman observes to the reader: "The Victim was a fine old Negro Slave . . . undeservedly sentensed to receive some hundred lashes . . . [and] Condemned to be Chain'd to the furnace . . . there to keep in a perpetual fire night and day, by the heat of which he was all over blistered till he should expire. . . ." 1 3 In another Stedman describes a scenario where a European woman, "from a Motive of Groundless Jealousy . . . put an end to the Life of a young and beautiful Quadroon Girl, by the infernal means of plunging a red hot Poker in her body, by those parts which decency forbids to mention. . . ." 1 4 Following the format of a diary for his Expedition, Stedman's narratives presented events in the order in which they occurred. As a result, his account lacks thematic arrangement; horrendous reports of brutality against slaves on Dutch plantations or of the sufferings of disease-wracked soldiers as they waged war against the rebel maroons are juxtaposed with minute descriptions of local flora and fauna. These latter descriptions were commonplace in the travel narrative genre at the end of the eighteenth century and point to Stedman's aspirations to be identified as - an "educated gentleman"15 schooled in the eighteenth-century fascination for natural history and its demand for direct, empirical observation. While Stedman's descriptions of slave mistreatment articulated a related commitment to such accuracy, these reports also gave form to his humanitarian but non-radical viewpoints: significantly, while he advocated that slaves should be treated better, he argued that slavery itself should continue to exist.16 The eighty-one illustrations in the Expedition against the Revolted Negroes were a significant feature that contributed to the travel account's popularity. Thirty-five of these images comprising representations of fishes, birds, and plants were unsigned and unattributed; all but three were executed in 1791 by "journeyman" engravers.17 Two 4 natural history illustrations by Anker Smith were dated 1791. Fourteen representations of animals were engraved in 1791 by Inigo Barlow, a natural history engraver. Seven maps and plans were produced by cartographic specialist, T. Condor in 1791. T. Holloway engraved an image of Joanna (Figure 15), Stedman's fifteen-year old slave lover, in 1793. The Female Quadroon Slave of Surinam (Figure 16) signed by Perry in 1794 was a stipple engraving seemingly modeled on the Joanna. In 1794, Francesco Bartolozzi, Royal Academician, executed three figures, the Frontispiece, A Rebel Negro Armed and on his Guard and Female Negro Slave with a Weight chained to her Ancle (Figures 12, 13 and 14) in stipple. Michele Benedetti engraved in stipple, the two images of Amerindians, Indian Female of the Arrowauka Nation and Indian Family of the Carribbee Nation (Figures 17 and 18) in 1792. William Blake executed sixteen plates of slaves and slave life between 1792-4.18 These included A Negro hung alive by the Ribs to a Gallows (1792) (Figure 28), Flagellation of a Female Samboe Slave (1793) (Figure 30), The Execution of Breaking on the Rack (1793) (Figure 29), Europe supported by Africa & America (1792) (Figure 27), March thro' a swamp or Marsh in Terra-firma (1794) (Figure 26), The Sculls of Lieu1 Leppar. & Six of his Men (1793) (Figure 25), A Surinam Planter in his Morning Dress (1793) (Figure 24), The celebrated Graman Quacv (1793) (Figure 23), A private Marine of Col. Fourgeoud's Corps (1793) (Figure 22), A Coromantyn Free Negro, or Ranger, armed (1793) (Figure 21), Group of Negroes, as imported to be sold for Slaves (1793) (Figure 20), and the Family of Negro Slaves from Loango (1792) (Figure 19). When the Expedition was first published, the illustrative plates received contemporary acclaim. Speaking of the entire body of illustrations, the liberal Critical Review of January 1797, published in London, extolled the "uncommon elegance" of the 5 "useful and pleasing" engravings.19 The Analytical Review of September 1796, also on published in London and termed "the most important radical review of its time," praised the plates as "neatly engraved . . . [and as] faithful and correct delineations of objects described in the work."21 One journal, however, questioned the appropriateness of the several scenes of slave torture that had been executed by Blake. The conservative British Critic commented: "The plates are very unequal . . . The representation of the negroes suffering under various kinds of torture might well have been omitted both in the narrative and in the engravings, for we will not call them embellishments to the work." po A significant amount of scholarship has addressed Stedman's Expedition. Most recently, Mary Louise Pratt in Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation has weighed the abolition movement's use of the "romance" between Stedman and the mulatto slave Joanna, with the "lurid and luridly illustrated denunciation of Dutch cruelty to their slaves" expressed in the Expedition.24 However, the illustrations themselves have not been carefully investigated, especially in terms of how they function with, as well as against, the text. Scholars such as David Erdman, Hugh Honour and Albert Boime have used the images collectively to speak of William Blake's abolitionist ideas but have not provided close readings of the engravings,25 a fate suffered by most of Blake's so-called "commercial" works, that is where he executed illustrations to accompany the writings of other authors. My thesis will focus on these illustrations, in particular the images engraved by Blake for the Expedition. Specifically, I will be exploring the relationship of the images to the text and to the current abolition movement in Britain. 6 Stedman's Expedition was published at a turbulent moment in British history. Externally, Britain was at war with revolutionary France and with France's ally, Holland-the country condemned in the Expedition for its colonial mismanagement and in particular its treatment of slaves. In late 1796 and early 1797, in fact, Holland had assembled its navy off the east coast of England and was ready to attack. Internally, the first wave of abolitionist debates on the slave trade propelled by Granville Sharp, Thomas Clarkson and William Wilberforce had captured the public moral imagination and had taken hold of the British political agenda. As David Erdman has observed the abolition of the slave trade movement reached its peak in 1792-93 and was "the most widely agitated reform movement in England at the time."26 While advocating cessation of the cross-Atlantic trade of slaves from Africa to the colonies, British abolitionism did not insist on the termination of slavery itself on American or Caribbean plantations. Therein lies an important distinction between the abolitionist campaign and the antislavery movement. In addition to encompassing abolition, the aims of the antislavery movement went further, demanding emancipation or the ending of slavery itself. Whereas humanitarian abolitionists hoped that ending the flow of slaves into the colonies would force planters to ensure that their slave populations were treated well enough to survive and multiply,27 antislavery supporters, believing in the concept of egalitarianism, argued that men could not be considered property. In a decade when the British government was concerned that the anti-imperialist fervour of the French Revolution would spread to British soil, the abolitionist movement, supported as it was by humanitarian and philanthropic concerns, provided a relatively safe reformist focus in juxtaposition with the more threatening calls for parliamentary reform. 7 Stedman's Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam took form within this context. After returning to Europe from South America in 1777, Stedman lived in the Netherlands until 1784, when he married and moved to England. He began to work on pg the Expedition in 1778 following a publication offer from Sir George Strickland. The manuscript was finally finished in 1790, and ultimately published in 1796. Stedman constructed the manuscript from "brief and cryptic" diary entries made in Surinam which on were later edited and altered to conform with the morality of polite society. As Hugh Honour has noted, the publisher, Joseph Johnson: had numerous and often major alterations made to the text in conformity with current literary and social conventions. .. . His [Stedman's] language was made more 'polite', thus taking the edge off many of his comments, and some passages were deleted altogether—not only descriptions of his sexual relations with Black women but also comparisons between slavery in America and forced labour in Europe, including pressed service in the Navy.31 An ironic feature of the Expedition was that the author, while condemning the barbaric treatment of slaves on Dutch plantations, concurrently supported the continuance of the Atlantic slave trade. Stedman contended that ending the commerce in slaves would have been unfair to plantation owners who had invested their lives and 32 capital in the colonies. Moreover, he believed that the trade provided much-needed employment for sailors and ultimately concluded that: "this trade, or buying of negroe Slaves, is not so bad a thing as some try to support."33 Stedman's anti-abolitionist views are further reflected in his reprobation of both Thomas Clarkson and James Ramsay, two of the most influential abolitionist pamphleteers in the period: "Ramsay and Clarkson/ only show the Darkest Shades ... in a Manly manner Will I Bring Truth to Light, and Fairly expose the Good ... when the negro Slaves are Treated as they Ought to be Treated."34 8 For Stedman the way slaves "Ought to be Treated," meant that they were to be dealt with humanely and without violence.3 5 Notably though, they were to remain in captivity. Echoing other familiar proslavery arguments of the t ime, 3 6 that blacks in the colonies were better-off as slaves for Europeans rather than as war booty for other Africans in Africa, Stedman suggested: 3 7 "[the] Grand Question that remains to be solved is—are these Negroes to be Slaves or a free People—to which I answer without o p hesitation—dependent [that is on the slave system], & under proper restrictions. . . ." Thus Stedman endorsed neither the popular contemporary abolition campaigns nor the radical emancipation movement. Despite this clearly stated position however, Stedman's Expedition was quickly harnessed, upon its publication, to the current calls for reform in Britain. The liberal journal, The Critical Review, claimed for example:". . . we have never opened any work which is so admirably calculated to excite the most heart-felt abhorrence and detestation of that grossest insult on human nature, — domestic slavery."39 The Analytical Review, a radical publication, drew a similar conclusion: 4 0 It will be impossible to peruse the numerous relations of shocking cruelties and barbarities contained in these volumes without a degree of painful sympathy, which will often rise into horrour. Many of the facts are indeed so dreadful, that nothing could justify the writer in narrating them, but the hope of inciting in the breasts of his readers a degree of indignation, which will stimulate vigorous and effectual exertions for the speedy termination of the execrable traffic in human flesh . . . in Christian countries.4 1 Clearly Stedman's explicit descriptions of the cruel treatment of plantation slaves in Dutch Surinam could serve as evidence for antislavery and pro-abolition proponents. However, the illustrations to the Expedition and particularly those by Blake played a AO major role in emphasizing specific atrocities within the text. For example, the violent incidents which raised the indignation of both The Critical Review and The Analytical 9 Review are physically adjacent to illustrations by Blake that represent the punishment, torture, or execution of Surinamese slaves. Thus the images were significant to the critic's experience and interpretation of the text. Blake, who himself held abolitionist and antislavery views and advocated "human liberation", belonged to the circle of Joseph Johnson, the liberal book printer who published Stedman's book. Johnson was a prominent figure in radical, British political and intellectual circles at the end of the eighteenth century—circles which included Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Paine, Erasmus Darwin, Joseph Priestly and William Blake. His popular Sunday and Tuesday evening gatherings were known for their discussions on politics, art, philosophy and literature.44 He published works of theology, medicine, moral philosophy, science, poetry, children's literature, feminism, politics and abolition as well as The Analytical Review, the radical journal already cited for its linking of Stedman's Expedition to the abolitionist cause.45 Johnson's political views, which have been characterized as "moderate radicalism,"46 were often on the edge of official acceptability47 and he was arrested in 1798 (just two years after publishing Stedman's book) for selling a pamphlet which supported revolutionary reform of the British imperial AO system. Johnson's role in the publication of the Expedition against the Revolted Negroes was not a minor one. When Stedman initially presented his manuscript it had included 106 drawings "design'd from nature by him [Stedman] on the Spot".49 Intended as embellishments to and illustrations of the text, Stedman's drawings conformed to other eighteenth-century travel narratives in that they depicted local topography, flora, fauna, as well as the region's indigenous inhabitants. It was these initial drawings that were subsequently executed by engravers and included in the publication. In surveying the 10 literature concerning the plates illustrating Stedman's account, Robert Essick, in William Blake's Commercial Illustrations, has noted that it was Johnson's task, as publisher, to determine what would be illustrated and by whom.50 To that end Johnson chose some celebrated "name" engravers: Francesco Bartolozzi, Michele Benedetti, Anker Smith, T. Holloway and William Blake. Bartolozzi, as a founding member of the Royal Academy, was certainly the most expensive engraver and best known;51 Anker Smith gained membership in the R.A. in 1797; and the others were known specialists chosen for their skill and name.52 The writer, painter, inventor, and engraver, William Blake (1757-1827), who in the late 1780s and early 1790s was at the height of his commercial engraving career, was engaged to fashion the residents of Surinam, mostly slaves.53 According to Price and Price, who have edited the most recent publication of Stedman's Expedition, providing a critical essay on the text and its sources: "Johnson understood that the Narrative (with its numerous chilling eye-witness accounts of barbaric tortures of slaves and its graphic accompanying illustrations) would, even in its edited form, stand as one of the strongest indictments ever to appear against plantation slavery."54 Stedman's virulent critique of the barbaric treatment of Surinamese slaves, then, provided Johnson and, as I will argue, Blake with the opportunity to generate a pro-abolitionist tone within the overall pictorial program. To examine the significance of Blake's illustrations to Stedman's text and to explore their rhetorical strategies, Chapter 1 of the thesis will examine the rise of the abolition movement in England and its links to humanitarian and philanthropic developments and calls for reform. In Chapter 2, the tradition of illustration in both the travel narrative and in abolitionist literature will be examined. As will emerge, the images by Blake for the Expedition were unprecedented within the tradition of voyage and travel 11 diary imagery in England. Where once vistas and landscapes with small-scale representations of "natives" included for scale and exotic interest predominated, Blake's illustrations featured full-sized figures that filled the space of an entire page. Instead of artist-invented depictions of exotic lands with inhabitants often dressed in Greco-Roman garb (see Figure 1 for example), now specific events taken directly from the text were given focus. Most remarkably, African slaves on European plantations rather than the indigenous natives, were taken up as primary subject matter. Furthermore, three of Blake's images depict instances of slave punishment or execution in full and grisly detail. The Blake illustrations within the Stedman text also departed from current abolition publications. British abolitionist literature at this time consisted of pamphlets, treatises, plays and poems which were essentially devoid of images except for portrait pictures and schematic diagrams illustrating slave mistreatment. An example is the frequently replicated illustration of a fully loaded slave-ship in Thomas Clarkson's well-known pamphlet, On the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species, particularly the African, first published in 1787 (Figure 2).55 And while translations of French commentaries on the slave trade or travel accounts on slaving available in Britain did provide illustrations that imaged the slave trade (for example, representations of slaves in shackles like those in J.-H. Bernardin Saint-Pierre's 1772 Ce qui sert a vos plaisirs est mouille de nos larme, G.-T. Raynal's 1774 Histoire philosophique et politique des etablissements et du commerce des Europeens dans les deux Indes, and B. Frossard's 1789 La cause des esclaves negres), these publications did not depict single figures nor focus on physiognomic articulations.56 Thus Blake's presentation of full-figures with a focus on facial expressions meant that the viewer was now face-to-face, interacting 12 with a suffering individual, instead of detachedly observing an obscure and distant subject. The final two chapters will provide a more focused examination of Blake's pictorial language and the images themselves. Chapter 3 will investigate Blake's engraving practices in light of his theories of art and of representation. Chapter 4 will explore the illustrations in relation to Stedman's text. Not only will I investigate the way in which Blake's imagery could emphasize and in some cases transform the written narrative; in analyzing these images I will suggest that such pictorial devices derived from or paralleled rhetorical strategies in radical writing in the period. I will also explore how an imagery of pain, operative in discourses of martyrdom and humanitarianism, gave the audience tools with which to read these images. It was through these means, I contend, that Blake's graphic images could both re-work Stedman's narrative and as well contribute to the use of the Expedition as an abolitionist text. C H A P T E R 1. HANOVERIAN BRITAIN AND T H E EMERGING ABOLITION M O V E M E N T 13 Republican France declared war on Britain on 1 February 1793 as William Blake was in the process of fashioning his engravings for Stedman's Expedition against the Revolted Negroes. The French had attacked Holland which compelled England, through treaty obligations, to join the war despite the reluctance of William Pitt the Younger who was appointed Prime Minister in 1782. With the re-opening, to trading, of the Scheldt (a Dutch river which fed the European continent), the French revolutionary government effectively threatened England's commercial interests on the continent. 5 7 In the following winter of 1793-94 Holland and the Netherlands became the Batavian Republic under French rule, thereby adding to French naval strength. Pitt, seeking to gain commercial advantage by cutting off the flow of capital to the French mainland from the colonies, attempted to capture the French West Indian islands. The British suffered tremendous losses, between 1794-96, in the course of this venture: approximately 40,000 British soldiers died in the West Indian wars 5 8 The costs of Britain's war with France, unalienated by significant victories, caused great waves of discontentment in England. Revolutionary clubs through the 1790s were on the increase, as was the repression that followed them. The French Revolution had left no doubt as to the strength of the middle and lower classes. 5 9 From 1789 onward, two sects of British reform could be identified: a left wing composed of working men and middle class leaders, whose goal was universal suffrage and sovereignty of the people which was represented by Thomas Paine; and a more conservative faction of young Whigs wanting parliamentary reform. By 1792, there was a Society of 14 Constitutional Reform in almost every town in England and Scotland.60 Frightened by these revolutionary trends and by the recent loss of the American colonies, the government repealed the Habeas Corpus act in 1790 and 1794. Mass agitation and meetings were banned in the Treason and Sedition Acts of 1795 and 1799. By late 1796, Napoleon, having defeated the Austrian armies in Italy, allied with Spain in order to gain control of the seas from England. England had no continental allies left and was close to defeat by early 1797 when the Dutch fleet stood poised to take England from the east coast.61 Stedman's Expedition against the Revolted Negroes which was published in September 1796, was produced in this period of war. It condemned a country, Holland, with which Britain was now in conflict. But the publication could also respond to contemporary calls for reform albeit within a safe venue. The text allowed the British to focus indignantly on the "slavery problem" of other countries, thereby avoiding an examination of the nation's own slave colonies. Colonialism, the Slave Economy and the Growth of Abolitionism In the eighteenth century, growth of colonial and Atlantic trade had resulted in increased mercantilism and manufacturing which underpinned the British political regime. By 1770, there were two and one-half million slaves in all of the European colonies—colonies that accounted for one-third of all European commerce. The Caribbean colonies produced sugar, coffee, cotton and cacao; the South American ones gold and sugar; while North America produced cotton, tobacco, rice, and indigo. Large scale plantation slavery began in the Caribbean as private enterprises in the seventeenth century and, as Britain and France gave more and more "interested naval protection" to 15 their colonies, the rate of growth of Atlantic trade in the eighteenth century outstripped all other branches of European commerce. Britain reached its peak, as the pre-eminent slaving nation and chief supplier of slaves and goods for all the colonies, between 1763 and 1807. The economic and national benefits of slavery could find legitimation in Biblical, legal, and scientific justifications and rationales for institutional bondage.63 In addition, slavery could be seen to serve the "civilizing" mission of a Christian nation by removing Africans from "barbaric" conditions in Africa to the "civilization" and Christianity that were understood to characterize American or Caribbean plantations.64 Yet, according to Robin Blackburn, British colonial slaves suffered under the worst conditions of all of the colonies.65 And only in British colonies were there no free black populations, whereas in French and Dutch colonies free blacks were as numerous as whites.66 Several studies have explored slavery and the rise of abolition and antislavery movements through the eighteenth century. Eric Williams' landmark work Capitalism and Slavery (1944) argued that slavery, an economic phenomenon, belonged to old world colonial mercantilism and was rendered redundant by the rise of wage labour in the metropolis and the spread of European colonial rule in Asia and Africa.67 After the American Revolution slave economies declined in profitability and importance. According to Williams, abolition was driven, not by philanthropy and humanitarianism, but by essentially economic forces: industrial capitalists wished to draw attention from their repressive industrial wage labour practices 6 8 As Blackburn has pointed out, however, Williams approached British abolitionism as if the nation was independent and self-sufficient from America and other empires. By saying that slavery produced capitalism and not vice versa, Williams minimizes the complex ways in which slavery was 16 critiqued and finally terminated and he ignores the role of agrarian, manufacturing and an mercantile capital accumulation. In Capitalism and Antislaverv (1987), Seymour Drescher set out to demonstrate that the economic profitability of the colonies did not decline; rather he attributed abolitionist sentiments to the development of secular and religious humanitarianism alone.70 A more comparative interrogation of the abolitionists has been offered by David Brion Davis in The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution 1776-1823 (1975).71 Davis discounts the notion that the decline of slave economies even enters into the issue of the rise of abolition movements. Instead, he links humanitarianism with middle class interest. He takes up Williams' point about industrialists using slavery to divert attention from their use of "wage slaves" in Britain itself. He speaks of an ideology of abolitionism which allowed abolitionists to construct a new form of bourgeois hegemony within industrial capitalism, while castigating the slave system as "primitive" and as an ineffective and destructive use of human resources. Nevertheless in Davis' study as in the others discussed here, slave resistance is ignored.72 Eugene Genovese takes up that deficiency in "From Rebellion to Revolution" (1979) where he speaks of the slaves' own antislavery movement: its scope and trajectory were transformed during the bourgeois democratic revolutionary era which often involved popular forces imposing democratic progress on reluctant bourgeois.73 In this sense slave resistance was seen to prevail against bourgeois egoism.74 Linking humanitarianism with capitalism (or a market system) instead of Davis' "class interest," Thomas Haskell in "Capitalism and the Origins of the Humanitarian Sensibility" (1985) has argued that the emergent market system, while motivated by greed, provided capitalists with a cognitive model which allowed them to recognize that 17 the consequences of their actions could be felt beyond their immedia te personal s p h e r e . 7 5 That is, a "magnif ication of personal power" ensued as the market system al lowed for "a way of do ing collaboratively what no individual cou ld d o alone." Thus once an object wor thy of empathy or pity was identified, no matter h o w distant (suffering slaves for example) , an individual could feel that it was within her or his power to alleviate the s i t u a t i o n . 7 7 Haskell objects to Will iams' and Davis' a rguments about the obscur ing of w a g e slavery with chattel slavery, providing a thesis based solely on metropol i tan middle class social thought and feeling. Davis and Genovese however, p lace the rise of abolit ion movements in a context of class struggles both within the 78 metropol is and the plantation zone. More recently, Robin Blackburn's insightful study on European colonial ism and abolit ionist movements has argued that abolit ion was inf luenced by a range of social and economic factors, including the increase in the black populat ion in England; the rise of humani tar ianism and secular phi lanthropy in the eighteenth century; bapt ism of blacks into Christianity; increased religious agitation on the subject of abol i t ion; progressive Enl ightenment not ions of liberty as a natural, innate and providential quality; as well as 7Q reformative not ions of business. The first major wave of aboli t ionism in Britain occurred in the 1780s and early 80 1790s, presaged by the legal and constitutional contestat ions of Granvil le Sharp. Sharp, inf luenced by political radicalism and religious evangel ism, was shocked by the inhumane treatment of slaves within England, itself. In the courts, he argued the cases of individual slaves against their owners between 1765 and 1772 on the g rounds that 81 slavery was incompat ib le with British not ions of personal liberty. Sharp ga ined the Somerset decis ion in 1772 which declared that slaves, once brought to England, were 18 not required to return to the colonies. In addition, the Knight v. Wedderburn case in the 89 Scottish courts denied all visiting slave-holder rights in 1778. These judicial decisions created at least a legal discrepancy between metropolitan freedom and colonial slavery.83 Along with the wake of the American Revolution —in which loyalist slaves were granted freedom—these decisions spawned an influx of blacks into Britain from the colonies.84 The 1780s saw many responses to the increasing number of poor blacks on the streets of English cities: the London Quaker Meeting for Sufferings in 1782, the Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor in 1786, resettlement in Sierra Leone in 1786-91, and the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade in 1787 8 5 The Abolition Society was founded in 1787 by Granville Sharp and by Quakers and by social reformers and evangelists. Their goal, to be achieved through inexpensive pamphlet literature, petitions, lobbying Members of Parliament, and rallying provincials, was gradual abolition of the slave trade, though not the outright emancipation of slaves.8 6 The Abolition Society benefitted from the work of Thomas Clarkson, agitator, organizer and propagandist who compiled cases of slave mistreatment; and William Wilberforce, the parliamentarian, who between 1788-1799 put forward an annual abolition bill. The Abolition Society's failure to advocate emancipation was indicative of the diverse public support it received, functioning to secure its widespread appeal among 87 various groups: humanitarian, philanthropic, and religious. The abolition movement also intersected with contemporary political discourse. On a popular level, revulsion to bondage and untrammelled private power meant that slavery was a threat to the notion of "freedom."88 For the middle and upper classes, abolition served as an embraceable, reformist issue which did not, in any real way, challenge their status 19 quo. 8 9 On a religious level, abolition was a way of accomplishing good works or enacting charity in the form of social amelioration, while also assuaging Christian guilt about their increasing capital accumulation. Groups like the Hussites, Lutherans, Anabaptists and Quakers saw worldly riches as corrupt and their critique of luxury expressed itself in an indignation at wealthy plantation owners, whether aristocratic or propertied members of the middle classes, as well as shipowners and traders who, they felt, should not so easily be allowed to dispose of the bodies of other human beings.90 Others, such as Sharp or Clarkson, whose support for abolition functioned on a humanitarian level, subscribed to the notion of personal liberty and used the cause of abolition as a call for human rights and protection of the individual.91 There were both moderate and radical factions within abolitionism. The "radical" abolitionists, influenced by George Wallace's 1760 Systems of the Principles of the Law of Scotland, sought outright emancipation based on the notion that all men were free and could not be considered property. This small group which included Thomas Paine, Joseph Priestley, Mary Wollstonecraft, Joseph Johnson, and William Blake, challenged notions of property and state and the hierarchical authority of King and Church in the name of universal human rights. Such radical antislavery discourse asserted that even a pious and humane slave-holder could be seen as perpetrating an injustice. Radical ideology was also taken up by the labouring classes who were mindful of the implications of slavery for themselves.94 As a reformist movement then, abolition could be linked to other movements calling for change in politics and religion. In addition, what has been termed a "moderate abolitionism" emerged in the late eighteenth century finding persuasive arguments in John Millar's 1781 The Origin of the Distinction of the Ranks.95 Wishing 20 to articulate emergent middle class notions of social progress, Millar argued that labour for wages provided incentives for workers rendering them more industrious than slaves who were incapable of acquiring "dexterity" or "habits of application."96 Thus Millar used slavery as a foil to point to a more "progressive" and profitable wage-for-labour 97 system. This form of inadvertent abolitionism coincided with more general bourgeois reformist efforts that sought to pacify and normalize social relations, encourage family life, and develop habits of industry and thrift through institutions like n a representative assemblies, schools, libraries, prisons, police, and hospitals. As Robin Blackburn has argued, the middle classes used moderate abolitionism to attack the capitalist accumulation represented by mercantilism and colonialism. This "critique of mercantilism," he notes "was far more thorough and effective than the [direct] critique of plantation slavery".99 The growth of the abolition movement between 1788 and 1792, when it became the centre of British political life, was in large part due to its breadth of constituencies and its uniting of plebian radicalism and bourgeois reform. Parliamentary debates and bills, countless petitions from throughout Britain, plus favourable international circumstances—North America banned the trade in 1792 (their slave population was self-reproducing); Denmark embarked on a ten-year withdrawal from the trade in 1792; and the Dutch trade had already dwindled-furthered the British abolition movement's interests.100 However, the year of 1793 was to have a profound effect on abolitionism and British politics. It was the year of Louis XVI's execution by the revolutionary government in France, the opening of the Scheldt which would end the British trade monopoly into Europe and the beginning of the radical Jacobin phase of the French Revolution. Pitt 21 and his conservative government, fearing the spread of revolutionary fervour and constrained by economic blockades, declared war on France. The domestic correlative was stern repression of any opposition and reform.101 As a result, all dissenters, radicals and reformers (including abolitionists) came to be linked with Jacobinism. Thus conservatives, like Edmund Burke, who had supported the abolition movement in the late 1780s, moved in the 1790s to distance themselves from reform and rescinded their support.102 By 1794 the Abolition Society had lost its former vigour: Clarkson and Wilberforce had become discouraged. Ultimately, due to an interplay of domestic and international political crises and repression of the popular element, this first wave of abolition failed and the cross-Atlantic slave trade was not to be curtailed in England until 14 April 1807.104 22 C H A P T E R 2 STEDMAN'S EXPEDITION AND T H E TRADITION O F ABOLITIONIST AND T R A V E L NARRATIVE ILLUSTRATION In assessing Stedman's account with its accompanying illustrations, it is necessary to place the images within the established genres of late eighteenth century abolition and travel literature. These literary categories though not mutually exclusive appealed to specific audiences and had particular aims. The way that eighteenth-century audiences responded to those aims in reading the texts and images is of importance to this study. Stephen Behrendt in his investigation of "The Functions of Illustration — Intentional and Unintentional," argues that illustrations "facilitate and underscore [the] act of seeing" thereby limiting it, because: ". . . the illustrator makes visual choices for us. Furthermore, the introduction of illustrations into a volume is in reality the introduction (or intrusion) of a third party. This third party can only be regarded as a critic . . . for as William Blake correctly declared, 'Imitation is Criticism.'" 1 0 5 And moreover this third party or critic mediates the text through its images for the reader: When we read an illustrated text we do not in fact perceive and internalize word and picture simultaneously,... the verbal and visual texts displace one another, albeit generally very rapidly, within our consciousness. . . . An illustration necessarily both predicts and restricts the verbal text for the reader. . . Hence the reader/viewer of an illustrated book often finds her or his own creative, imaginative options limited; she or he is deprived, a priori, of the opportunity to discover and visualize for herself or himself. . . , 1 0 6 A reader then, must negotiate the territory of image and text and hence image-maker and writer, ultimately engaging in an interpretive act that encompasses all three. The 23 question then of who made up the eighteenth-century reading audience, and how they read and comprehended books necessarily asserts itself here. Radical Writing and the Eighteenth-Century Reading Audience Jon Klancher has argued in The Making of English Reading Audiences, 1790-1832 that over the course of the eighteenth century, the British "reading habit" shifted.107 According to Klancher, in the early eighteenth century, readers and writers could 10R "exchange roles": these were not fixed functions. The writer and reader belonged to the classes which shared and participated in a hegemonic educational and cultural system. As a result, the writer knew his audience and engaged with it in a monologic communication. But by the late eighteenth century it was no longer possible to conceive of a writer's relation to the audience in such shared terms.109 Klancher argues that with the commercialization of reading which produced an anonymous marketplace or public sphere made up of book clubs, reading societies, circulating libraries, subscription lists, and coffee houses,110 no single, unified "reading public" could exist in the late eighteenth century.111 As a result writers had to "shape the interpretive and ideological frameworks of [the] audiences they would speak to" in an act of "audience making."112 Writers were obliged to distinguish among conflicting audiences by elaborating new relations between the individual readership and the collective audience.113 Two such audiences, identified by Klancher, are important to this discussion: the newly self-conscious middle class and the radical audiences. According to Klancher radical writing emerged in the late eighteenth century context when writers and readers were self-conscious about the act of interpreting, constituting and struggling over signs.1 1 4 Radical writers forced their audience to 24 participate actively in the reading of a radical text by means of rhetorical questions, challenges or confrontational statements. As Klancher has argued, radical writing 115 confronted the anonymous audience rhetorically, in an "interdiscourse" or dialogue in contrast to non-radical writing for the middle-classes which sought through reader/writer role exchange to "incorporate readers into the very texture of discourse" thereby erasing difference. 1 1 6 Radical writers, sought to maintain that distance between the reader and writer in order to facilitate "the opening up of the middle class mind to social situations which questioned their notions of a well-run universe." 1 1 7 Using oppositional structures such as countermands and critiques as well as assertions of principle, radical writing aimed to confront the reader and ultimately convince her thereby eliciting a response. 1 1 8 According to Klancher, Joseph Johnson and William Blake both belonged to this circle of radical writers. 1 1 9 Furthermore, David Worrall has documented that Blake 1 ?n used "the language of radical call-to-arms posters" in some of his own work. Thus I wish to suggest that William Blake employed the radical strategies—that Klancher reserves for texts—in his engravings, including those for Stedman's Expedition. With the Blake illustrations the reader is forced to confront and interpret not only the slave body but in the cases of the representations of slave punishment, pained faces and suffering bodies of slaves who previously, in visual culture at least, had been considered unworthy 1 ?1 of such emphasis. In order to argue that this portrayal of slaves within a slave colony was a visual form that used the radical rhetorical devices of confrontation and critique it is first necessary to demonstrate how Blake's images worked with but also countered the representational tradition within abolition literature and travel narrative at the end of the eighteenth century. 25 Abolition Literature and its Representations The late eighteenth-century abolition movement achieved some of its aims through lectures, gatherings, speeches and petitions. However, a large part of its mandate involved the dissemination of inexpensive literature.122 Tracts, pamphlets, newspapers, poems, magazines and periodicals tended to highlight the sufferings of the slave aboard slave ships, relating the cramped, crowded, inhuman quarters that a slave endured over the three-to-four month voyage from Africa to the new world. As Wylie Sypher has observed: . .. slaves were ordinarily carried in holds with decks three feet apart; they were laid side by side, chained. . . . certain slave ships were reasonably clean; on the other hand . . . [reports abounded of] 'the stench [which] . . . was intolerable.' Usually one-sixth of the Negroes died on the passage . . . It is probable that brutality was common—flogging, thumb-screws, iron necklaces, 'boots,' and 'spurs' being used. . . . Descriptions of brutality, as David Turley has argued, were designed to arouse "horror and warm sympathy" in the reader thereby encouraging "action on behalf of the 1 94 victims." Abolitionist literature also questioned the profitability of the slave trade by citing the inordinately high death rates of both slaves and sailors. 1 2 5 In addition, abolitionist and antislavery literature used notions of the "noble savage"126—which held that "man" in an ideal state of nature was self-sufficient, happy, uncorrupted by society and could be educated and socialized-to argue against the taking of blacks from Africa. 1 2 7 One of abolition's goals was to re-humanize blacks who had been dehumanized—for the economic benefit of Europe's colonies—by the theories of racial hierarchy that were "legitimated" by the scientific studies of Linnaeus (1735), Buffon (1749-89), Camper (1768) and Lavater (1775-78).128 One way abolitionists strove to 26 refute such theories was to increase the European's identification with Africans by stressing characteristics that countered the negative and hostile stereotypes typically given to Africans in the eighteenth century. • The Africans' capacity for love and loyalty, as well as their care for the sick and elderly, were greatly emphasized in 1 3o abolitionist literature. These counter-stereotypes formed a specific type of humanitarian narrative—one that encouraged the reader to identify with those held in slavery—which functioned within a larger discourse that relied on identification with the suffering of others in general.131 An increase in proslavery literature from the colonial plantocracy reacted to the abolitionist and antislavery movement, employing scientific arguments of racial inferiority in an effort to discredit the "positive" representations. The supposed cannibalism, brutality, poor hygiene, and lack of religion of the Blacks who remained in Africa was 1 3? therefore emphasized. ' To this end, plantocratic propagandists highlighted the 133 supposedly hostile conditions of life in Africa. In contrast then, removal to slave plantations was posed as a way of civilizing the African and plantation slaves were usually described as contented and happy (Figure 3). A contented and happy colonial slave population, as opposed to a brutalized one, could further serve to assuage the guilt of an English reading public, who could comprehend christian abolitionist arguments that trafficking in slaves was morally wrong, while simultaneously recognizing the need for labour on the plantations to produce their sugar, cotton and coffee.135 For them, the abominable slave trade was to be abolished but slavery upheld. Significantly for the study at hand, abolitionist literature tended to have few illustrations. As Hugh Honour has observed, instances of slave rebellion and mistreatment "found expression in literature rather than in visual images." In fact, 27 within travel books as well as abolitionist literature, pictures of actual slaves on plantations were rare before 1800.137 If illustrations were present at all, novels, books and other writings typically featured simple portraits of the author or reproductions of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade's only two officially sponsored images. Designed by Josiah Wedgewood, the Wedgewood Medallion (1787) would become the seal of the Abolition Society (Figure 4) and was to be reproduced almost as much as the other official image, Clarkson's Plan and cross section of a slaver, the Brookes (Figure 2). If present at all, actual renderings in travel or abolitionist literature of slave mistreatment on the plantation were extremely rare. Two reasons suggest themselves to account for this lack of images. Firstly, immediately after it had begun with any vigour, the abolition movement gained momentum. It became imperative to print any new information right away and hence publication could not afford to wait the six months to one year required for engraving of illustrations.140 The other reason was the expense of engraving, which would have included costs for an engraver, and the cost of printing an extra page in very small volumes, which were designed to be inexpensive. Thus the Expedition's images by Blake were unusual in that they appeared in an arena where the circulation of slave images was limited and controlled. ! Travel Literature Blake's illustrations to Stedman's Expedition were also unusual in terms of the imagery that typically accompanied eighteenth century travel accounts. Prior to John Green's A New General Collection of Voyages and Travels (1745-47)141 British travel literature held few illustrations with the exception of decorative lettering and floral 28 vignettes. The number of images was limited largely due to e c o n o m i c factors: engrav ings were expensive due to the fees of engravers, the length of product ion time and the labor ious and inefficient printing techniques which required that illustrations be engraved on separate plates, printed independently of the text and finally hand col lated 14? and b o u n d into a book. The celebrated accounts of Mandevi l le in 1360, Hawkins in 1593, Drake in 1596, and Hakluyt in 1589, all pub l i shed before 1600, were complete ly unil lustrated. Voyages of discovery in the seventeenth century, like Qu inn ' s 1608 New Eng land Voyages or B lome's travels between 1650-1700—A Geograph i ca l Descript ion of the Four Parts of the World (1670), A Description of the Island of J a m a i c a (1678) and The Present State of His Majesties Isles and Territories (1687) —conta ined three or four m a p s and topographica l drawings depict ing coast l ines of newly "d iscovered" and c la imed lands. However, as G.E. Bentley, Jr. has observed, by the last d e c a d e s of the eighteenth-century, travel illustrations significantly c h a n g e d in quality, subject, 143 importance and number. S tedman 's Expedit ion, for example , had eighty-one images and , as with many other illustrated books , it was pub l i shed in a l imited, larger e d i t i o n . 1 4 4 These collectibles, which were frequently hand-coloured and printed as removable engrav ings or in separate folios, were cons idered "crucial to the suc ces s " of the v o l u m e . 1 4 5 Two factors were important to this development of illustrations within the travel narrative. O n e was , that in responding to the new middle c lass reading publ i c ' s thirst for images , a rapidly evolving book publ ishing industry, fed by new industrial technology, worked towards refining techniques in engraving and printing for m a s s p r o d u c t i o n . 1 4 6 The last fifteen years of the eighteenth century, as a result, s aw an expans ion of illustrated book publ ish ing, both in number of vo lumes and quality of i m a g e s . 1 4 7 29 Using engravings as a selling point, the book publisher hired "name" engravers—specialists, who became known for their skill in particular subject matters.148 Thus publications like Goldsmith's World Displayed (1759), Long's History of Jamaica (1774) and Mathew's Voyage to the River Sierra Leone (1788), had 149 in addition to an increased number of topographical maps (10-20), coastal scenes, panoramas and landscapes with idealized, picturesque settings and small-scale figures representing indigenous inhabitants (Figure 5). 1 5 0 A second influence on the proliferation of travel book illustrations was the enlightenment-inspired interest in sight, seeing and "the act of perception itself,"151 which meant that the verbal text was no longer sufficient for the reader to gain knowledge of a distant land —it had to be documented visually. Eighteenth century empiricism held that only direct observation could render truth about the world. Failing that, only an ostensibly "objective" reproduction of the observed could suffice. Thus the importance of claims, like that on Stedman's title page about the authenticity of his 1 5? drawings which were "designed from nature ... on the spot," can be readily understood in the context of eighteenth-century empiricist discourse. The demand for natural history illustrations as a way of supplying knowledge about foreign lands was also an important factor in the increased number in plates in travel narrative publications. As Mary Louise Pratt has noted, by the end of the eighteenth century when maritime exploration had given way to continental interior expansionism, many travel writers moved to distance themselves from such "traditions as survival literature, civic description, or navigational narrative, for they were to be engaged by the new knowledge-building project of natural history."153 Armchair 154 travellers, given the comprehensibility of Linneaus' system of classifying nature, 30 could easily become "scientific" taxonomers.155 Importantly, and following Pratt, natural history subjects served as "disinterested" pursuits of knowledge legitimating commercial voyages which actually were "interested" pursuits of wealth.156 In this way, the enlightenment credo of empiricism and science could give validation to journeys that were engaged in colonial exploitation or conquest. With this in mind, it is interesting to note that roughly two-thirds of the images in Stedman's Expedition against the Revolted Negroes were natural history "recordings" of the flora and fauna of Surinam. Captain Cook's Voyages of 1768-71, 1772-75 and 1776-79 registers the particular impact that the new empiricism had on the kind of illustrations that travel narratives featured. Following scientist Joseph Banks' initiative on the first journey —Banks hired artists to travel with him in order to ensure accurate depiction of the specimens he collected —Cook took artists on the second and third voyages as well.1 5 7 It can be argued that the adage "designed from nature" only gained full currency after Cook. Artists on the voyages meant that more numerous and supposedly accurate representations of better quality would return to Europe. Cook's extremely popular Voyages (the third account sold out in just three days) seem to have initiated this practise.158 Published between 1773-1784, the original Cook engravings, along with the requisite maps, representations of land formations, panoramas, harbour views, and narrative scenes with natives, featured a significant number of natural history and anthropological images (Figure 6). Plates, especially from the third voyage, profiled an unprecedented number of illustrations of indigenous peoples159 in foreign regions, including several close-up depictions. The Hawkesworth (1773) first voyage contained one bust portrait of a tattooed Maori man (Figure 7) and three medium-range scenes 31 with full-figures: a man in mourning dress, a dancer and men in a long boat. Parkinson's 1773 publication of the Cook first voyage featured three bust portraits, four plates depicting several native heads, and four full-figures: mother and child, child at play, man, and two warriors. The 1777 second voyage written by Cook boasted thirteen bust portraits of males and females from the different islands Cook visited (Figure 8) plus two medium-range scenes of natives at work. The third voyage published in 1784 authored by Cook and King, in addition to sixteen bust portraits and nine medium-range images depicting native life, had four full-length figures represented as engaged in traditional dance or boxing.160 Such close-up representations have an importance for Stedman's 1796 publication. As Joppien and Smith have noted, there were two traditional conventions of depicting non-europeans in the eighteenth century, the allegoric and the ethnographic.161 While the allegoric mode used the indigenous body to symbolize its native country, the ethnographic convention treated the human figure as a "diagram" reminiscent of natural history illustrations, to record what were perceived as exotic peculiarities of dress and adornment.162 The Cook illustrations, in subscribing to the ethnographic convention, delineated characteristic rather than individualized, expressive faces of the represented indigenous population.163 As such, the decontextualized,164 emotionless sitters are treated in much the same way as any other observed natural history object, flora, articles of costume or tools. In speaking of the representations of ethnographic objects in Cook's voyages, Nicholas Thomas has claimed that removed from its context and pictured on a blank background where "reference to human activity is evacuated" the natural history object becomes abstracted "from licentious associations, from desire itself." Thomas 32 makes this point to argue that this form of natural history depiction actually licences the "collecting" of such objects. Pushing this further, it can be argued that the Cook drawings of indigenous people function in much the same way. In order to lay claim to the already inhabited South Pacific islands, Europeans similarly "collected" the region's native population in a decontextualized pictorial fashion which was legitimated under the rubric of the knowledge-building program of the Enlightment. The illustrations in Stedman's Expedition, however, while emulating the close-up and detailed focus of the natural history representations of indigenous peoples featured in voyages like Cook's, also differ significantly from them. In Stedman's images, I will argue, the viewer sees, and is called upon to identify the figures with contemporary debates on slavery and moreover is led to respond emotively to the images of pain and punishment. In this way, Blake visually accomplishes a goal similar to that of radical writers of the period: the engagement of the audience through rhetorical devices which, in this case, made a direct appeal to the viewer by raising notions of a shared humanity.167 33 C H A P T E R 3 EIGHTEENTH C E N T U R Y ENGRAVING AND B L A K E ' S P R A C T I S E Stedman's Expedition contained eighty-one images 1 6 0 based on approximately 106 "drawings" (actually water-colours),1 6 9 which the author claimed to have "design'd from nature ... on the Spot." 1 7 0 Proud of his artistic talents 1 7 1 he reportedly received favourable comment when he showed a select few of the drawings to several Royal Academicians, including Joshua Reynolds. 1 7 2 Of the 106 Stedman water-colours, only one, Manner of Sleeping &c. in the Forest, used as a model for a half-page engraving in the book, has survived. 1 7 3 In comparing this 1776 Stedman watercolour Manner of Sleeping &c. in the Forest with the 1791 final Inigo Barlow engraving of the same work (Figure 9) for the Expedition, Price and Price have noted a number of significant differences between the t w o . 1 7 4 The engraving is re-oriented, for example, from the vertical plane of the drawing to a horizontal one, forest flora is transformed to savannah vegetation with a river, and a figure who squats in what would be read as a traditional African mode is changed to one who looks European and who sits with his head in his hands. There are thus important changes in focus and emphasis. While it is thus difficult to surmise whether the other final engravings were based entirely on Stedman's designs, what is known is that Stedman appears to have been displeased with changes made to the majority of the engravings and actively directed the "correcting" of these even after publication had begun. A 1795 diary entry (6 months after he had received his final plate) reads "repair all plates." 1 7 5 As will emerge in the discussion of the individual works by William Blake, Stedman did not witness all of the events he claims to have depicted "on the spot." The 34 illustration of the Negro hung alive by the ribs to a Gallows (Figure 28) and The Sculls of Lieut Leppar, & Six of his Men (Figure 25) are two examples of incidents that were reported to the author while in Surinam and not experienced directly. Others still, like the Family of Negro Slaves from Loanoo (Figure 19), are depictions of an idea rather than something observed —in the case of the Family of Negro Slaves from Loango, Stedman's text makes clear that the family was to depict what slaves treated as he advocated might appear like. I will argue that this Family of Negro Slaves from Loango is based on a concurrent engraving for another book by William Blake, which supports the larger point made above that the original drawings, now lost, were no doubt re-worked significantly, if not created, after Stedman returned to Europe. The translation from original design (whether watercolour, pencil, pen or wash drawing) to final engraved illustration would have produced changes in the images. "Name" (or famous) engravers were typically chosen by the publisher who also chose the subject of the illustrations and ensured that "the genius of the engraver" matched "that of the painter whose work he was to recreate."176 Thus it was accepted practice that the publisher's interests as well as the engraver's artistic style and knowledge entered into the final illustration. An engraver had to work with what he knew of faces, bodies, vegetation, architecture, etc. as well as with the space he was given and the engraving technique in which he was schooled.177 A publisher had to decide what would sell. In addition, to the changes that come from the publisher and engraver, are those that come from the transfer of media from drawing to engraving. The operation of copy engraving itself imposed strictures for the practitioner whose ability to overcome limitations determined how successful a copy engraving would be. 1 7 8 For example, line engraving, ideal for a drawing or diagram, yields sharp 35 outlines and strong contrasts accomplished by the incision of strokes: simple parallel lines, cross-hatching or dots-and-lozenges. Lines, however, cannot achieve the sfumato nor the gradual shading of an oil-painting which the newly fashionable (1780s and 1790s) stipple technique mimicked.1 7 9 In fact, the last part of the eighteenth century heralded many new methods—mezzotint, stipple, aquatint—intended to imitate painting, thereby locating value in painting rather than graphics. 1 8 0 As has been noted, in his diary Stedman expressed his displeasure at the plates 181 for his Expedition. However, he died in early 1797, before he could complete any revisions. This left Blake's engravings very much as conceived or re-conceived by the artist. Through an examination of Blake's engraving practices and his well-documented practise of manipulating texts through images, I hope to show that the Stedman illustrations were manoeuvred into an abolitionist position by Blake. David Erdman, Hugh Honour and Robert Essick all agree that Blake played a major role in the composition of the engravings. As Essick states: "it seems fair to believe that the dignified postures and expressiveness of the figures in Blake's plates were in part the work of the engraver."182 Honour calls Stedman's original watercolours "artless," thereby emphasizing Blake's own originality,183 while Essick is sure that Stedman's "amateur" drawings "lack grace and his sense of composition . . . falls below contemporary standards of proportion and balance." Erdman and Boime both refer to the original Stedman drawings as mere "sketches."185 Blake's Engraving Practises In the eighteenth century, illustrations functioned "as serious and considered attempts to provide .. . sophisticated critical and interpretive statements about the texts 36 they adorned." However, literary theoreticians, since then, in slowly manoeuvering a textual precedence over image had managed to secure a valuation of Blake's text 1 8 7 above his illustrations. It was not until Jean Hagstrum's Blake Poet and Painter (1964) and W. J.T. Mitchell's Blake's Composite Art (1978) that image and text were given equal authority in Blake studies, thereby resulting in renewed scrutinization of the images. 1 8 8 Equally serving to deprecate Blake's illustrative work was the context of artistic practises in the late eighteenth century. Against a backdrop of an Academy that vigorously promoted "creative" oil-painting, engraving itself became devalued-often deemed as little more than "copy" illustration.189 As heirs to that promotion, and subscribing to the concept that original drawings or paintings are indeed more creative than copy engravings, modern scholars have tended to dismiss Blake's "commercial" engravings after the works of others, in favour of his "creative" work, defined as writings and imagery conceived and produced solely by Blake himself. Robert Essick, for example, in his recent catalogue of Blake's commercial engravings, proclaims the artistic superiority of Blake's original "masterpieces" to his book illustrations.190 Nonetheless, Essick does consider the commercial engravings to be worthy of study in order to provide an "understanding of the economic and graphic matrix" in which Blake produced his original work.1 9 1 Jeffrey Parker, in his 1990 dissertation, "Text and Iconography in the Commercial Designs of William Blake," uses Blake's illustrations to Mary Wollstonecraft (1791) and William Haley (1802) to demonstrate that "the strategies and observations used to discuss Blake's [own] 'illuminated books' and his 'interpretive illustrations' ... should be applied to discussions of all of Blake's book illustrations."192 37 The first part of Blake's engraving career was the most successful: between 1780-1784, when he was attending the Academy, he produced 59 commercial engravings; between 1785-1789, when he was working on developing new methods of printing, he produced 10; and between 1790-1794, his most prolific period as an independent engraver and publisher, he did 74 commercial engravings.193 His reputation as an engraver at this time would no doubt have played a role in Johnson's choice to use him as an engraver for a large number of the figural illustrations in the Stedman book. That engraving technique was significant to Blake in his own artistic production is well established. Blake printed and published his own work and experimented extensively throughout his career. Parker notes that Blake's engraving technique was "not a stylistic limitation, or a stage in Blake's artistic development leading to his method of illuminated printing, but rather, . . . a mode of production having ideological as well as aesthetic values."194 Parker has argued that intaglio, Blake's chosen method, was an intentional metaphor for the drudgery that commercial engraving imposed on the artist, since it was suited more to translation rather than composition of a work of 195 art. Parker goes further, claiming that for Blake the net- or web-like cross-hatching of intaglio engraving represented the "fate of the imagination [or artist] in the fallen world of experience,", that is to be destined to struggle against the Academy's narrow definition of art. Robert Essick in speaking about the Stedman images has given another significance to this stylistic feature-equating the "netting" used to articulate the three-dimensional form and contours of the figures, with the slave system that "imprisons" 197 them. He argues that "ideological configurations-perhaps including Blake's own concept of the 'human form divine' —have in this instance found expression within the space between invention and execution in a reproductive medium."198 38 Blake was obsessed with line engraving most of his life, perhaps due to his allegiance to the pure lines of his teacher James Basire, engraver to the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Society of the Arts. 1 9 9 "Finishing and careful outline meant, for . . . Blake, honest labour and integrity, while virtuoso brushwork [of oil painting] stood for fudging, idleness and courtly elegance."2 0 0 For Blake, lines were definite, determinate and indicative of certainty and rectitude. As just noted, Blake did not work in oils as the medium's lack of clear outlines (sfumato) were viewed by him as obscuring the "truth," and as presenting a false art and pnp false aesthetic. This was to prove detrimental to Blake's aspirations within the Royal Academy which, of course, valued oil painting more than watercolour and engraving. Similarly, Blake shrank from newer means of engraving, like stipple which involved the pounding of thousands of dots into the surface of the copper plate producing a luxurious surface with indistinct lines reminiscent of oil painting. For Stedman's Expedition Bartolozzi, Perry, and Benedetti all worked in stipple, while Holloway and Blake both used the dot-and-lozenge method that produced the web or net-like surfaces of intaglio.204 Both Bentley and Essick note that Blake had "mastered" stipple, hence his refusal to use it was not based on an inability to practice it . 2 0 5 The artist's deliberate archaisms cost him commissions throughout his career; however his use of the dot-and-lozenge method in Stedman's book had particular associations and significance deemed important to the subject. In his marginalia to Reynolds' Discourses. William Blake wrote that "Imitation is Criticism."2 0 6 In establishing that the "introduction of illustrations into a volume is in reality the introduction of a third party," Stephen Behrendt affirms that as an interpreter or elucidator, this third party functions as a critic. In discussing Blake's engraving 39 practise it was noted above that eighteenth century English illustrations could serve as commentaries on the texts they adorned. According to Bender and Mellor, Blake, working within that practice, consistently reinforced a "dialectical interchange between text and design" which at times emphasized conformity and at others contradiction. As examples of his transformations, Orm Mitchell claims in illustrations to Mary Wollstonecraft's Stories (1791), that Blake "through his pictorial symbolism . . . subtly subverts . . . [Wollstonecraft's] ideas."209 Frederick Garber notes that in illustrations to Thornton's school-book Virgil (1821), Blake had to go "along with the given, agreeing with its conditions in order to establish a vantage point from which those conditions could be subverted."210 Parker in his study of Blake's commercial illustrations has agreed that Blake's design to Haley's Cowper (1802), "serves as a sub-text or at least a significant footnote" to Haley's interpretations.211 For Blake to have commented on Stedman's narrative then is not without precedent. In assessing Blake's imagery for the Expedition I have approached the images through a thematic organization that draws from associations and contrasts articulated in Stedman's narrative, that is, between an ideal slave family treated well and slaves managed poorly; between different elements of the military struggle in Surinam —a Free Negro Ranger, a Marine, and a Rebel Negro; different components of colonial authority—a Plantation Owner and a Black Medicine Man, Graman Quacy; the Frontispiece and the Finispiece; and finally the representations of slaves being punished or executed. Within this context, my analysis has been informed by two central components of Blake's theory of representation: his use of dualities and his concept of modern European civilizations. Blake's use of dualities and contrary states has been frequently discussed in Blakean scholarship, and they begin with his Songs of Innocence and Experience: 40 Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Soul (1794) and Marriage of Heaven & Hell (1793). David Lindsay, for example, has argued that such dualities give form to his ideas that all is divided in this fallen world. For Blake, God's act of the creation of man and woman was essentially a divisive one, man from God as well as woman from man. 2 1 2 As Blake scholars have pointed out, Blake's system of contraries (real and ideal, imagination and reason, nature and civilization, virtue and vice, man and woman, etc.) revolved around his belief that all was divided with the fall, salvation lay in attempting a new and divine union 2 1 3 For Blake, the dichotomy between imagination and desire and soul and body was paramount. His work, according to William Van Pelt, is to be seen as a "marriage of body and soul which improves man's sensual enjoyment by liberating his imaginative vision" so that he will reach paradise.214 Within this frame, like others influenced by Enlightenment critiques of modern European culture—given voice for example in Rousseau's writings—Blake subscribed to the concept that civilized, European man was removed from a state of nature and as such cut off from "sensory awareness" which was necessary for him to move "toward prophecy."215 Healthy immersion in and harmony with nature is thus a major theme in a number of his own works informing for example his social and political analyses in the text and illustrations to Songs of Innocence (1789) and Songs of Experience (1793) 2 1 6 41 CHAPTER 4 THE STEDMAN IMAGES BY BLAKE Family of Negro Slaves from Loanqo and Group of Negroes as imported to be sold for Slaves The Group of Negroes as imported to be sold for Slaves (1793) (Figure 20) and the Family of Negro Slaves from Loango (1792) (Figure 19) are reviewed here together, as they represent two events around which Stedman makes his anti-abolitionist arguments. Stedman, as noted earlier, argued that Africans were far better off as slaves for Europeans than for other Africans, one of the reasons being that in the colonies they would become acquainted with Christianity.217 In the Expedition, his humanitarian pleas for better treatment rather than emancipation of slaves represented a common, eighteenth century stance on slavery. The Family of Negro Slaves from Loango (Figure 19) illustrate an imagined rather than an observed situation. Following a passage in Stedman's text where he rails against Ramsay, Clarkson and the abolitionist movement,218 the author proposes an alternative to abolitionism and antislavery, one where slaves, humanely treated, could live happy and productive lives: In the first place I Will introduce a Negro Family in that State of Tranquil Happiness to Which they are all entitled When they are Well treated by their Owners; they are Supposed to be of the Loango Nation by the marks on the man's Body, while on his Breast may also be seen the letters J.G.S. being the enitials of my name, And Supposed to be the Cypher by which each master knows his Property-he Carrys a Basket with Small Fish on his Head & a net, While a large Fish is in his Hand, All Caught by Himself; & While his Wife /who is Pregnant/ is employ'd in Carrying Different kinds of Fruit, Spinning a Thread of Cotton and Comfortably Smoking her pipe of Tobacco-Still besides All Which She has a boy on her back And another Playing by her Side . . , 2 1 9 42 Stedman's description of the ideal working life for plantation slaves however, is somewhat contradictory. According to the author, the slaves' work on the plantation—seven days per week, from sun-up (six a.m.) to sun-down (six p.m.)—would be "no . . . more than a Healthy Exercise."2 2 0 After six p.m., in the dark, the slave could hunt, fish, cultivate his garden (that is feed himself as was plantation practice), 1 make baskets and fishnets, sell the latter "With Which Money he buys a Hog, Sometimes a Couple, or a Quantity of Fowls or Ducks, All Which he Fattens with the Spontaneous Growth of the Soy I, Without they Cost him eyther Cash, or much Trouble & which in the End Afford him Considerable Profit." 2 2 2 In Stedman's terms, "thus Pleasantly Situated," free from anxiety and adoring his protector and master, the slave could function as an exploitable resource for the plantation owner and still profit op's from her or his own enterprise. 1 Stedman's original drawing, whether executed in Surinam or in England, was clearly conceived in reaction to materials published subsequent to his Surinam journey. In this light it is worth noting that Blake's engraving of A Family of New South Wales based on Governor Philip King's wash drawing (Figure 10), executed for John Hunter's Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island, the same year is strikingly similar to the Stedman illustration.2 2 4 While it might be surmised that Blake based his engraving for Stedman closely on the composition he did for King rather than vice versa, it should be noted that both images feature elements common to the illustration of indigenous groups within eighteenth-century travel accounts and voyages of discovery: a family unit, with accoutrements that indicate means of sustenance and ??5 common resources. 43 A comparison of the initial King wash drawing with Blake's final engraving of the Family of New South Wales did involve changes: what Essick has called the "shabby family group" have been converted "into the eighteenth-century ideal of the noble savage." Of particular significance is Blake's transformation of the faces of each of the persons depicted. He replaces indeterminate, features, with clearly articulated highly sculpted ones. The children display lighthearted expressions while the parents are rendered as purposeful and calm. The mother's stride has been changed from left to right leg to match the father and she is rendered sleeker and more elegant than in the original."' Placed at the forefront of the group the father, with shield and weapons ready, is imaged as a protector erect and attentive to any potential danger. Blake depicts the Family of New South Wales as a self-sufficient unit in harmony with themselves and with their surroundings, fulfilling thereby the familiar eighteenth-century paradigm of man within nature—the "noble savage."228 Against this background, Blake's depiction of Stedman's "ideal" slave family evokes related readings. From his erect posture, developed musculature, and calm expression, the father in the Family of Negro Slaves from Loango in keeping with Stedman's description is rendered with bountiful fruits of private labour and his pose evokes strength and stability. His wife similarly displays her access to the resources of the region: she spins cotton but can also smoke a pipe for private pleasure. The children bespeak the healthy fertility of the couple, indeed there is a slight swell in the wife's belly to indicate a pregnancy. But the image also features elements that reframe Stedman's text. The mother rendered in mid-stride appears unbalanced and encumbered to the point of comical absurdity. Both of her hands are fully occupied in the act of spinning cotton; the basket 44 on her head is overfull with bounty and a child, clutching her shoulder, rides her back in a sling. She simultaneously balances a pipe in her mouth while a second child clutches her skirt and her pregnant belly is swollen with a fetus. This abundance, which gives parodic form to the fecundity spoken of in Stedman's text, serves to destabilize her gait. At the same time that he was hired to execute the Stedman engravings, Blake was engaged in representing women as victims of institutionalized bondage. David Erdman has convincingly argued that the characters in Blake's Visions of the Daughters of Albion, which he wrote at the same time that he worked on the Stedman illustrations, serve as the "poetic counterparts" of the abolition debates of the time, an argument which is also taken up by Albert Boime. According to Erdman, Oothoon, the poem's protagonist, represents both slaves and slavery; the antagonist Bromion stands for the enslavers; and the character Theotormon represents the "wavering [moderate] abolitionist who cannot bring himself openly to condemn slavery though he deplores the trade." Harriet Linkin, in turn using Visions of the Daughters of Albion, has argued that Blake expressed there his antislavery beliefs and his advocacy of "human liberation."231 Given this context, and Blake's membership in the radical circle around Joseph Johnson which included Thomas Paine, Joseph Priestly and Mary Wollstonecraft, even an improvement in slave conditions as Stedman suggests with the Family of Negro Slaves from Loango would have held obvious ironies. At one level, if viewing only the contented male slave in the plate, Blake seems to faithfully illustrate the text. However, that reading is destabilized by the rest of the composition particularly in the over-abundance and excess called up in the slave wife and children. 45 A comparison with the Indian Family of the Carribbee Nation (Figure 18) within Stedman's Expedition and executed by Benedetti, a specialist in representing indigenous peoples is instructive here. 2 3 2 Benedetti's Indian Family of the Carribbee Nation corresponds to what has been described earlier as a standard representation of native peoples within the eighteenth century travel narrative: semi-naked the group carries the tools that designate them as hunters, but there are no other signs of social or economic development. The faces of the Indian Family of the Carribbee Nation have no expression except good-natured contentment. All features are regularized, noses are "europeanized" and skin surfaces have been sensuously finished. The Carribbee Family then, as a whole fulfil the criteria of the eighteenth-century "noble savage." Unlike Blake's own portrayal of the Family of New South Wales or Benedetti's Indian Family of the Carribbee Nation within Stedman's publication, Blake's depiction of Stedman's "ideal" Family of Negro Slaves from Loango transforms the harmonic and blissful existence of the "natural" slave that Stedman describes. Blake's rather wooden, indeed, "unnatural" figures refuse Stedman's attempt to reframe slavery as a beneficial and productive state for Africans. Also important to Stedman's argument against the abolition movement is The Group of Negroes as Imported to be Sold for Slaves (Figure 20). Blake's illustration of this scene represents an event from the Expedition where Stedman describes: . . . a groop of human beings, who had deservedly attracted my particular attention, and which groop I shall Circumstantially endeavour to discribe--They were a drove of newly imported Negroe's Men, and Women, with a few Children, who had just landed from on board a Guinea-Man that lay at Anchor in the roads to be sold for Slaves to the best bidder in the Colony, and were such a set of living atomatons, such a resurrection of Skin and bones, as justly put me in mind of the last trumpet; seeming that moment to be rose from the grave, or deserted from the Surgeons Hall at the old Baley-and of which no better discription can be given than by comparing 46 them to walking Skeletons covered over with a piece of tand leather- ... before these wretches /who might ibe in all about 60 in number/~walked a Sailor, and another followed behind, with a bamboe rattan; the one serving as a Shepherd to lead them along, and the other as his Dog to bite them occasionally should any one lay behind, or wander away from the blisted flock; while at the same time equity claims of me to acknowledge, that in place of all those horrid and dejected Countenances that are with so much industry discribed in Pamphlets and Newspapers, I perceived not one Single down-cast look amongst them all, and that the bite of the bamboe was inflicted with the utmost moderation by the Sailor who nine times out poo of ten exchanged it to a bark or a Grin . . . Pictured, in the engraving, are three children, three men, and six women, who were meant to counter abolitionist pamphlets and their descriptions of the horror of transport across the Atlantic. As Stedman argued there was "not one Single down-cast look amongst them all." The sails of the ship in the background indicate that this group has just disembarked from the cargo port in Paramaribo. Blake's representation accords with Stedman's description in some ways: the accompanying sailor who attends the group of slaves evokes the sailor who is a moderate user of the bamboo stick. The sailor's function to act as a "Dog to bite them [the slaves] occasionally should any one lay behind, or wander," has been translated visually by the representation of a little dog biting at the heels of the one emaciated male P04 slave depicted at the front of the group. Indeed, the sailor, like a shepherd, points directly to the dog, issuing a command for him,to herd what is described in the text as "the blisted flock." While the Blake illustration does not convey the emaciated individuals who Stedman describes, the figures in the Group of Negroes as imported to be sold for Slaves (Figure 20) are bent, mis-shapen and appear to walk in an uncoordinated fashion calling up the "set of living automatons" that the author describes. In the text Stedman discredited abolitionist "Pamphlets and Newspapers" which described the suffering of 47 transported slaves in terms of "horrid and dejected countenances." Instead he emphasized that there were no "down-cast" looks amongst the group of slaves he saw. But while Blake has maintained some measure of correlation with Stedman's text, his intervention takes place on the very grounds that Stedman discredits. As discussed earlier, abolitionist pamphlets and newspapers, designed to educate the public about the wretched conditions of slave export and sale also contained descriptions of the conditions on a slave vessel. The late eighteenth-century reading public was not unaware of documents, like Clarkson's, Plan and Cross section of a slaver, the Brookes of Liverpool (1787) (Figure 2) that described and depicted the cramped conditions on board slave ships. From these very pamphlets and newspapers, Blake along with the reading public, would have been familiar with accounts of the tight, cramped, close quarters of the slave ship left the inhabitants bent and distended and unable to walk properly. In his engraving then, Blake portrays those who have most recently left the cramped conditions of the slave vessel and whose muscles still suffered from the weeks of constant distortion. Their deformed, bent postures and ungainly gestures call up the abolition literature that circulated at this time. The group then assert their status within the slave economy as people who have been captured or bought, endured a long sea-journey in fixed positions, prostrate, side-by-side and who are now \ being led to the auction block. To further denote their slave status, Blake has the sailor with his arm extended by the bamboo stick, surround the group on the right side. On the left side, the pointing finger forms an invisible line that extends to the dog, who is visually linked to the sailor and who enforces his1 commands. The overall effect of this encirclement of the group evokes the slaves' captivity and calls up their treatment as a herd of animals —"the blisted flock." 48 The number of women and children in the image bears comment. Over three-quarters of the slaves brought to Surinam were men, 2 3 5 yet Blake's image features a large number of women and children. This could result from the image's depiction of the end of a larger group, the slowest members of which might well be the women and children. However, it could equally be an attempt on the part of the engraver to appeal to the sympathies of a public whose notions of the brutality of slavery could be heightened through an image that depicted women and children as victims. T h e young woman in the foreground of the Group of Negroes as imported to be sold for Slaves holding the hand of the child, exemplifies this. That Blake uses this same figure in a later illustration, the Flagellation of a Female Samboe Slave (1793) (Figure 30) is noteworthy. According to the text, the female in the Flagellation of a Female Samboe Slave is beaten because she is noble and virtuous, resisting the untoward advances of an overseer.2 3 6 By repetition, the young woman in the Group of Negroes as imported to be Sold for Slaves is associated with those same virtuous qualities, to which loving maternity is added as she is depicted holding a young child. In singling her out, Blake makes this figure memorable and we are horrified to see the punishment she later receives. Thus, while Stedman's textual description of the Group of Negroes as imported to be sold for Slaves supports a proslavery and slave trade position, Blake threads a counter narrative through the illustrations via his imagery and composition. With this in mind, it is interesting to note that in his rendering of this figure here and in the Flagellation of a Female Samboe Slave. Blake did not avoid the tradition of the representation of the female nude. In fact, he emphasizes her physical beauty through a sensuous, indeed erotic pose. It can be argued that by catering to the desire of the male viewing audience, Blake was able to reassert an identification that could 49 serve abolitionist ends. The figure's beauty and desirability could humanize her within familiar eighteenth-century gender constructs. Coromantvn Free Negro, or Ranger, armed and Private Marine of Col . Fourqeoud's Corps The Coromantyn Free Negro, or Ranger, armed and Private Marine of Col. Fourgeoud's Corps (Figures 21 and 22), both dated 2 December 1793, depict the African and European contingents of Surinamese anti-rebel forces. As such both illustrations represent the military brigades used to defend the colony and the image of the Black soldier provides a pointed contrast to the other representations of the slave population in the Expedition. Bartolozzi's engraving of the Rebel Negro armed & on his guard (1794) (Figure 13), as the object of these soldiers' pursuit will serve as a useful foil in the discussion to follow. According to Stedman, the Rangers making up the "Corps of Manumitted Slaves" were all volunteers, yet later contradicting himself he adds that they were specifically "picked" from different Plantations which "received for them theyr full Value in Money:" But now for the new raised Corps of Manumitted Slaves, who though in number but 300 have proved to be of as much Service to the Colony, as all the others put together greatly owing to the Strength of theyr Constitutions, theyr wonderful activity, perseverance &c— These Men were all Volunteers, mostly Stout Strapping able young fellows, picked from the different Plantations-who received for them theyr full Value in Money —none were accepted but such as were reputed to be of a very good Character and indeed they have since in my own presence given astonishing proofs of theyr fidelity to the Europeans and theyr valour against the revolters—their Chief Leaders are 3 or 4 White Men call'd Conducters, to whom they pay the Strictest Obediance-... they are Arm'd only with a firelock and Sabre, but of both which weapons they understand the management in the most Masterly Manner-they generally go naked by preferance in the woods excepting trowsers and a scarlet Cap on which is theyr number, and-which/besides theyr parole or watchword which is 50 Orange/ distinguishes them from the rebels in any Action to prevent disagreeable mistakes . . 2 3 7 The young Ranger pictured in Blake's illustration (Figure 21) corresponds to Stedman's description in the text in several ways. According to Stedman, the rangers "go naked...except for trowsers and a scarlet cap on which is their number". They are armed with "a firelock and Sabre," both of which they manage "in the most Masterly Manner". Stedman upholds the "valour", strict "Obedience" and "fidelity to the Europeans" of these "Stout Strapping ableyoung fellows" of "exceptional Character." The ranger's cap which "distinguishes [him] from a rebel in any Action to prevent disagreeable mistakes," bears the number "300" indicating the total number of Rangers in the colony. In the illustration, the Free Negro, or Ranger's calm visage, erect posture, square shoulders and effortless management of weaponry convey the confidence and authority that Stedman describes. But Stedman, fastidious in his detailed descriptions of even the tiniest leaf, makes no mention of the pipe the Coromantyn Free Negro, or Ranger, armed smokes in Blake's illustration, nor of the two pouches slung from his left shoulder. Not until 300 pages later, when Stedman attributes the pouches to rebel attire, does the poo reader finally learn that these are obeias or amulets. While Stedman does not directly associate the amulets with the Rangers in his first description, when subsequently speaking of Graman Quacy (the medicine man who makes such amulets) he does explain that Quacy sells the obeias to the Rangers, who believed that the obeias would render them invincible.239 Blake who engraved the Celebrated Graman Quacy (Figure 23) in the same year includes the amulets in his depiction of the Coromantyn Free Negro, or Ranger, armed.240 Filled with small pebbles, egg shells, hair and fish 51 bones sewn up in a cloth or animal skin these pouches, along with the pipe, signal a 241 departure from a strict adherence to the text's description. Parker has argued that it is typical of Blake's figures, for the focal point to rest in the groin and this is the case with the Coromantvn Free Negro, or Ranger, armed where the darkened groin serves as the physical centre of the entire image on a vertical axis which divides the body and which is articulated by the crossing of the rifle and pipe, and that of the two slings which support on one side, a sabre and on the other, obeia pouches. With this division, I would argue, Blake achieves a system of contrast and duality within the body itself. While the overall representation of the Coromantvn Free Negro, or Ranger, armed conveys Stedman's description, the two vertical halves of the Ranger's body show another resolution. For example, the pipe counterposed by the firelock, both at shoulder height, are instruments that create or hold fire, which for Blake 243 was a key metaphor that in other contexts could convey a potent life-force. The rifle however, is a tool of war, the fire-making potential of which is momentary, while the other is an instrument of relaxation or peace, where fire is re-kindled with each breath. Similarly, while the obeia pouches and sabre are both implements of protection, the obeia was a spiritual rather than physical defense. This division, I would argue, is an important one. The pouches correlate the Coromantvn Free Negro, or Ranger, armed with the illustration of the Rebel Negro armed & on his guard while the gun and sabre connect him with the Private Marine of Col. Fourgeoud's Corps illustrated by Blake. Therein lie the two sides which divide the Free Negro or Ranger's body, one denoting an African affiliation, the other a European side. The Rangers, one may surmise, are caught between those two worlds: they are African Blacks fighting with European weapons against slaves with whom they once belonged. 52 Within this reading, the Ranger's deliberately-obscured genital area can be seen as signalling an intervention by Blake. As James Walvin has noted, eighteenth-century notions of slave sexuality, founded on European indignation at the moral habits of the dis-enfranchised male slave population, held that Africans were promiscuous and strongly sexed.2 4 4 Therefore it could be argued that Blake, sympathetic to African slaves, chose to counter these popular European beliefs about their sexuality. However given that Blake was engaged in an investigation into the notions of freedom and sexuality (as in the 1793 Visions of the Daughters of Albion), it seems unlikely that Blake would value de-sexualization. More likely, he uses it here to express a dissatisfaction with the Free Negro who can be seen as a "traitor" due to his act of "collaboration" with the Europeans. Although at first glance this figure holds a vigourous strength in his body, for an audience schooled in the stereotype of black over-sexuality and in the notion of the "natural man", it can be argued that the absence of genitals would have been noticed. For Blake, a black man divested of his sexuality could signal the African's abandoning of his world of "natural" virility for what Blake saw as the impotence of European civilization. Therefore while granted physical power, the Ranger is denied reproductive or self-perpetuating power; thus for middle class audiences that adhered to abolitionist arguments that slavery denied Africans access to the "family" (as discussed earlier) the Ranger's absent genitalia could signal, despite his Free Negro status, his enslavement. The Private Marine of Col. Fourgeoud's Corps (Figure 22) is initially described by Stedman in his narrative as strong, virile and elaborately uniformed: . . .the dress of our Marines, which was blue turn'd up with Scarlet-Short Jackets-leather Caps, armd with a Musquet Saber and Pistol-a large wallet or knapsack across one Shoulder and theyr Hammocks Slung over the 53 other-while in the woods they wore trowsers and check Shirts with short linnen frocks as more adapted to the Climate, indeed they Still look'd as if each Soldier could devour a Tyger by himself but how in a little time these strong and flourishing young Men were Metamorphos'd to a parcel of Smoak dried Scarcrows--My Pen is not sufficient to discribe. . . . 2 4 5 Blake's depiction of the Private Marine of Col. Fourgeoud's Corps responds to Stedman's text in terms of dress and weaponry, and the firm confident stance that Blake gives this figure. In the background of the image are the colony's fort and a naval vessel which can be seen off the coast. Yet importantly, Stedman's narrative includes the Warning that "in a little time these i . . . . strong and flourishing young Men were Metamorphos'd to a parcel of Smoak dried Scarecrows." With this in mind the Private Marine of Col. Fourgeoud's Corps with his hammock, knapsack, pouch, pistol, sabre, rifle and fancy dress uniform, might seem to be out of place in a hot, tropical frontier. However, he is represented to be at ease within the context of European civilization: that is, he is depicted against the backdrop of the New Amsterdam fort which his rifle protects and the sailing ship which connects the colony to the continent. The Private Marine then, serves to assert the might of the Surinamese military forces which function under the authority of the colonial administration. Here both the Coromantyn Free Negro, or Ranger, armed and the Private Marine of Col. Fourgeoud's Corps call up comparisons with Bartolozzi's representation of the Rebel Negro armed & on his guard (Figure 13), which represents the only living "maroon" depicted in the Expedition's illustrations, despite the fact that such maroons were the stated objects of Stedman's expedition. Stedman's text emphasizes the minimal dress and arms of the Rebels: Having frequently Mentioned the Rebel Negro's, With whom we were now Certain to Have a Recounter, I here Present the Reader With the figure of one of these People upon his Guard, As Alarmed by Supposing to hear a 54 Rusling Amongst the Bushes, And a Couple of rangers at a Distance Ready to take him by Surprise— The first is Armed With a firelock, and a Hatchet, his hair /though Woolly/ may be Observ'd to be Plaited Close to his head, by way of Distinction from the Rangers or any other Stragling Negroes, who are not Accepted yet Amongst them, And his beard is Grown to a Point, like that of All the Africans when they have no opportunity to Shave— The Whole dress of this Man Consists in a Cotton Sheet Negligently tied Across his Shoulders, Which Protects him against the Rayn, And Serves him as a Bed to lay Down, and Sleep, in the most Obscure Places he Can find; the Rest are his Camisa, his Pouch wh is made of Some Animals Skin —A few Cotton Strings for Orament Abound his Ancles and Wrists, and a Superstitious Obia or Amulet tied About his Neck, in Which case he Places all his hope and Confidence -The Scull and Ribbs are Supposed to be Some of his enemies Scattered upon a Sandy Savannah. . . . Such Were the Enemies we had to Engage, Who never gave any Quarter, And thirsted for the Blood of the Europeans. . . 2 4 6 In Bartolozzi's representation, dressed in a torn garment and with only a hatchet and musket as weapons, the Rebel raises his arm to ward off attack. He is located within a wilderness environment of hills, jungle and desert. It is difficult to discern whether the two figures in the background are rebels or the Rangers described by Stedman. Significantly then the rebel maroons who Stedman described as thirsting for "the Blood of Europeans" and whom he represents throughout the text in terms of ferocity and violence, are here represented by a figure at a moment when he cowers, frightened by noises in the bush. As such, the Rebel's power is evacuated and this "serious threat" to the viability of the colony seems illusory. Disempowered and controllable, this image of a rebel could even be said to serve purposes beyond Stedman's description: that is it could appease British fears of slave fighting and rebellion, a reality in British Jamaica (from the 1650s to the 1760s), Dutch Berbice (1763) and French St. Domingue (1791).248 5 5 The Celebrated Graman Quacy and Surinam Planter in his Morning Dress The only figures of authority illustrated in the Expedition are the Surinam Planter in his Morning Dress (1793) (Figure 24) and The Celebrated Graman Quacv (1793) (Figure 23) and unlike the Ranger, armed and the Private Marine (Figures 21 and 22) neither are treated favourably in Stedman's text. Despite the hospitality given to Stedman by many Surinamese planters, he denounced their profligate lives of excess which he saw as contributing to slave mistreatment. . . . the Dress and Manner of Living of these West India Nabobs . . . A Planter in Surinam When he Lives on his Estate /Which is But Seldom, they preferring the Society of Paramaribo/ Gets out of his Hammock With the rising Sun, . . . When he Makes his Appearance Under the Piazza of His House, Where his Coffee is ready Waiting on him, Which is Generally Uses with his Pipe in place of toast And Butter, And Where he is Attended by half a Dozen of the Finest Young Slaves both Male and Female of the plantation to Serve him. At this Sanctum Sanctorum he Next is Accoasted by his Overseer, Who Regularly Every Morning Attends at his Levee, And having Made his Bows at Several Yards Distance, With the Deepest Respect, informs his Greatness What Work Was Done the day Before, What Negroes Deserted, Died, Fell Sick, Recover'd, Were bought, or Born, And Above All things Which of them Neglected their Work, Affected Sickness, had been Drunk, or Absent &c. Who are Generally presented, being Secur'd by the Bastias or Negro Drivers, And instantly tied Up to the Beams of the Piazza, or a Tree, Without so Much as being heard, When the Flogging begins, Men, Women, or Children, Without Exception, on theyr Naked Bodies, by Long hempin Whips that Cut round at Every Lash, and Crack like a Pistol, During which they Alternately repeat Dankee Massera, /Thank you Master/ but While he Stalks up and Down With his Overseer, Affecting not so Much as to hear theyr Cries, till they are Sufficiently Mangled, When they are Emediately Untied and Order'd to Return to theyr Work. . . 2 5 0 Stedman's disapprobation of the Dutch Planters must be understood within a particular context: after returning to Europe, he settled in England, a country at war with Holland, with strong abolitionist sentiment and where the amelioration of slave conditions was an important political issue. As has been discussed, moderate abolitionism in the late 56 eighteenth century held that once the trade was curbed, slavery could survive as long as planters treated their slaves well. Like the Free Negro, or Ranger, armed (Figure 21) the focal centre of the Planter's body is his groin and like the Ranger, armed the Planter's genitals are noticeably effaced. His brutish, shadowed face with its arrogant expression, is seen in profile and his elaborate morning dress is described in the text: . . . And the Levee Ends with a Low Bow from the Overseer-Now his Worship Santers Out in his Morning DressiWhich Consists in a pair of the Finest holland Trowsers, White Silk Stockings, and red or Yellow Morocco Slippers, the Neck of his Shirt open & Nothing Over it, A Loose Flowing Night-Gown of the Finest India Chintz Excepted--on his head is a Cotton Night Cap, As thin as a Cobweb, and Over that an Enormous Beaver; Hat, to Keep Coverd his Meagre Visage from the Sun, Which is already the Colour of Mahogany, While his Whole Carcase Seldom Weigh'd above 8, or 10 Stone, being Generally Exausted to the Climate and Dicipation, And to Give a better idea of this fine Gentleman, I here Represent him to the Reader, With a pipe in his Cheek /Which Almost Every Where keeps him Company/ And receiving a Glass of Madeira and Watter, from a female Quaderoon Slave to Refresh him During his Walk. . . . 2 5 1 In contrast to Graman Quacy, the Planter's feet appear firmly planted on Surinamese soil. They are however, quite small, and elaborately shod alluding to the delicacy that Stedman describes. In conjunction with a potent lower body that is not supported ;by strong feet the overall effect is one of the asymmetry and imbalance evoking a power that could easily topple. The fact that this planter is in his morning clothes is also significant to the indolent affected character that Stedman's narrative describes. To convey the Planter's domain, his house and a river are present in the background. Surinamese plantations were developed in the tropical forest along rivers which would serve as the route for the transportation of goods. 2 5 2 Blake further conveys Stedman's description of a "Despotick ... little king" by the authority and formality of his pose and by making the sightline low so that we look up at him in a fashion similar to 57 the black slave woman who is pouring wine for him. Thus while Stedman excuses "many good Gentlmen" who were planters, Blake's illustrations depicted one of those Stedman decried: "a Man, Who in his Own Country viz. Europe was ten to one a--Nothing . . .," Mis-rule, then, lay in lack of social position and education and this unfitness for power is conveyed in the overly authoritarian pose. For moderate abolitionists however, the "despotik" Planter and his unwise management could betaken as larger signs of corruption of the system as a whole. Stedman's representation of Graman [Greatman] Quacy the black medicine man who collaborated with the colonial authorities, gaining privileges for himself but helping to maintain the enslavement of his fellow blacks, is not treated more sympathetically. The next who Pay'd me a visit was no Other than the Celebrated Graman Qwacy Who Came to Show me his Coat, Gold meddal, &c. Which he had got in a Present from the Prince of Orange-This being one of the most Extraordinary Black men in Surinam In the first place by his insinuating temper and industry this negro not only Obtained his Freedom from a State of Slavery time out of mind, but by his Wonderful artifice & ingenuity has found the means of Acquiring a verry Competant Subsistance--For instance having got the name of a Loocoman, or Sorcerer among the vulgar Slaves, no Crime of any Consequence is Committed at the Plantations but Graman Quacy /which Signifies Greatman Qwacy/ is Sent for to Discover the Perpetrator, & Which he so verry Seldom misses by their Faith in his Conjurations, & looking them Steadily in the Face, that he has not only often Prevented further mischief to their masters, but Come home with very Capital rewards to himself-The Corps of Rangers & all fighting free negroes are next under his Command, to Whom by Selling his Obias or Amulets to make them invulnerable, /they under the Power of this Superstition fearing no danger & fighting like bull dogs/ he not only has done a Deal of Good to the Colony but fill'd his Pockets with no inconsiderable Profits Also, while his Person is Adored and Respected like a God & the above trash Cost himself nothing, being neyther more or less than a Composition of Small Pebles, Egg Shells, Cut-hair, Fish bones &c. the whole Sew'd up together in Small Packets which are tied in a String of Cotton Around Some part of theyr Body-But besides these & many other Artful Contrivances he had the good Fortune to find out the Valuable Root known Under the name of Qwacy Bitter of Which this man Was Absolutely the first Discoverer in T730, & Which . . . is Highly Esteem'd in many other Parts of the World for its Efficacy in strength'ning the stomach, Restoring the Appetite &c-in 1761 it was made known to Linaeus . . . [who] has Since wrote a Treatise upon it, And by Which Qwacy might have even Amassed Riches were he not in other Respects an indolent dicipating Blockhead, whereby Which he at last Fell into a Complication of Loathsome disorders of Which the Leprosy is one . . . Having taken a Portrait of this Extraordinary man with his Gray Head of Hair, & Dress'd in his Blew & Scarlet with Gold Lace, I here take the Liberty in the Annex'd Plate to Represent him to the Curious Reader.253 As Stedman notes, Quacy gained notice due to his discovery of "Qwacy Bitter" a purported remedy for "stomach" ailments. As a result, he was invited to go to Europe where he met the natural historian, Linnaeus and where the Prince of Orange presented him with the clothes that he wears in the illustration. Quacy belonged to the free black elite who in exchange for privileges served the colonial system as drivers, overseers, executioners, and by quelling the slaves (turning them in or fighting against them when necessary). Quacy, a willing participant in the subjugation of plantation slaves was also a product of the system which required large numbers of guardsmen and overseers to control it. Since white men were unavailable, black men were recruited into the colonial hierarchy and Quacy was rewarded by the colonial authorities with independence and prominence rarely granted to a black man in a slave colony. Stedman in the narrative speaks favourably of Quacy's collaboration with the colonisers and slave system. However, his attitude towards blacks—humanism tempered by a belief in their inferiority-is demonstrated in his attitude to Quacy. Stedman cannot deny the achievements of this black man, the "most Extraordinary Black [man] ... in Surinam" but in order to maintain Quacy's inferiority, Stedman claims that despite his achievements Quacy is nonetheless an"indolent dicipating Blockhead." Thus while Stedman favours black collaboration with the slave system, he does not favour the elevation of blacks to any station beyond servant. For example, Stedman opposed the 59 treaties made between the Djuka and Saramacca groups of maroons and the Surinamese colonial government, on the grounds that the free maroons spent their time "dancing, drinking, and catching fish" rather than in industrious planting254 and that they reproduced rapidly "as was their way" and would outnumber the colonists therefore becoming overbearing, insolent and vengeful.255 Thus Stedman, who mentioned making the drawing of Quacy in Surinam, uses the title of "Graman" or "Greatman" ironically. Following Stedman's lead, Blake in his illustration depicts not a "Greatman," but rather a man made to look absurd in his "blue and scarlet." His eyes slant downward and his mouth is sheepish. His rotund belly, which is the centre of his body and the image, conjures up the medicine Stedman describes him as having discovered and which was understood to strengthen the stomach and restore the appetite. The root-like plant at Quacy's feet also refers to this medicine. Quacy's grey head of hair and gold medal have been faithfully portrayed by Blake, but his clothes and stockings give him an awkward air: they are too big as the many creases and wrinkles indicate. In turn the artist's cross-hatching has given the medicine man a generous, bright nose. Although he is described as being over eighty years old, Quacy in this image is not shown as needing his attendant cane for support. Curiously, however, his feet are not planted firmly on the ground rather he clumsily floats above it. In conjunction with his overly fine clothes, the pose and gait is awkward and there is an obvious discrepancy between the title The Celebrated Graman [Greatman] Quacy and the figure of the medicine man himself. The background represents the inside of a compound which includes the New Amsterdam fort. Faintly delineated marching figures, presumably rangers, allude to Quacy's status as their leader. The only trees 60 present have been arranged to form a eircumferential fence enclosing him and Quacy the "African" is totally enclosed within this "European" world. But his position is unbalanced and thus uneasy. It has been noted in other instances that Blake destabilizes figures in order to comment on them. Quacy, who has clearly chosen the "European" over the "African" affiliation, emerges as an object of ridicule in Blake's illustration. He is no longer connected to the "natural" world and he collaborates with the oppressive forces of the slave system. Working with Stedman's original ambivalence, Blake has constructed a figure that does not include the "Extraordinary" qualities spoken of, de-emphasizing Stedman's hesitancy toward a total discrediting of this "Greatman" collaborator. Quacy is the black equivalent of the Surinam Planter and Blake's emphasis on dress, his evocation of the domain in which each is placed in particular the contradictory stances he exaggerates, serves to play them off against each other. The Sculls of Lieu 1 Leppar. & Six of his Men and March thro' a Swamp or Marsh, in Terra-Firma The Sculls of Lieu1 Leppar. & Six of his Men (1793) and the March thro' a Swamp or Marsh, in Terra-Firma (1794) are unsigned but have been attributed to Blake on stylistic grounds Significantly, they are the only two images which portray the activities of the Scots Brigade in Surinam (Figures 25 and 26). Since approximately two-thirds of Stedman's text describes maneouvers and exercises or events connected with these military exploits, it is curious that there are only two illustrations depicting such campaigns. It appears that Johnson, Stedman's publisher, made editorial choices based on his abolitionist interests and included only a minimum number of such 61 representations. Illustrations of Rebel maroons (with the exception of Bartolozzi's engraving) seem similarly to have been excluded. The two images of maroons that were initially intended by Stedman to be included in the publication were left out by Johnson. Price and Price surmise that Johnson omitted these images of maroons being punished due to their "particularly grisly character."257 However, this consideration did not prevent publication of the four illustrations of the torture of plantation slaves. Both the Sculls of Lieu1 Leppar & Six of his Men and March thro' a Swamp are images that point to the inefficiency of the military troops in Surinam: according to Price and Price, of the sixteen hundred men that came to the colony with Stedman's Brigade about fourteen hundred perished by illness or war 2 5 8 In Stedman's Expedition, the author describes the fate of Lieutenant Leppar and his men were attacked and brutally killed while out on a march against the rebels. The scene was reported to Stedman second-hand. A military expedition had: . . . that they had found 7 Sculls stuck upon Stakes, under which lay mouldering the bodies above ground, and part of the garment and which discovered them to be the remains of the unfortunate Lieut, Lepper and 6 of his Men; in Consequence of which they were all buried immediately . . . that the White Men taken alive at the engagement as I have related with Lepper, had one by one been Stript by the Negroes so soon as they arrived in the rebel Village. . . where they had by bonys orders been flog'd to death, for the recreation of theyr Wives and their Children. . . 2 5 9 The event portrayed by Blake, however, is not the expected flogging of Leppar nor the cruel and relentless treatment the troop received at the hand of their maroon captor, Bony. Rather it is the moment when another group of soldiers happen upon the scene of skulls on stakes and realize that these are indeed the sculls of Leppar and his troop. Very little of what Stedman indicates as "mouldering bodies" is visible here and only a cuff of one of the uniforms remains to identify the dead. 62 The display of the tortured body without burial was not unfamiliar to the European audience as criminal corpses were routinely hung at city gates and in public squares.260 For a European audience the depicting of the dead soldiers of Lieutenant Leppar thus had the possibility of connecting them with some form of criminality deserving of such ignoble execution and lack of burial. What is noteworthy here is that the illustrative program of the text very carefully neglects to portray maroons in a similar negative light (the only maroon depicted the Rebel Negro armed & on his guard is shown as frightened). To represent maroons as criminals deserving of acts of violent punishment would have detracted from the abolitionist agenda set up by the other images. As well in Stedman's original narrative, the finding of Leppar and his men is described on one-half of a page, and the author does not mention Leppar after this time. But the power of the image transforms the text and its narrative. The skulls placed on branches emulate "trees of the dead" and contrast with the surrounding lush vegetation. Clearly this is not the place for these white men to flourish. Here the program of enslavement, forced labour and of hunting escapees is shown to be doomed to end in violence. The March thro' a Swamp or Marsh, in Terra-Firma (Figure 26) is described by Stedman as a frequent event: Having so often Spoke of Marching through a Swamp, I think it will not be Amiss to illustrate the Description by the Annex'd Drawing, Where the First Figure Represents Col: Fourgeoud Preseded by a negro Slave as a Guide, to give Notice when the watter is too Deep, And followed by some of his Officers and Private Marines, Wading through the Marsh in a heavy shower of Rayn till Above Their Middles, and Carrying their Ammonition & their Accoutrements Above Their Heads as they Can, to Prevent them from Dragging through the Swamp While in the Offing may be seen how the Slaves Carry the Burdens, And in What manner sometimes the rebel 63 Negroes fire on the Troops, out of the Pa lm trees &c A n d wh ich Situation of March ing is Certainly the most Dangerous in Sur inam where they may be Attacked from under the Surrounding Bushes , without be ing Ab le to Return the fire more than once, S ince in such a Depth of Watter no Soldier C a n Load his Musquet Without Wetting the Lock, and W h o general ly is Already too much Animated by the heat of the Act ion. . . . 2 6 1 The engrav ing of the March thro' a Swamp is also not s igned by B lake but ass igned to him. The March thro' a Swamp shows the soldiers waist-deep in a s w a m p with guns raised against a rainstorm. Colone l Fourgeoud is in the lead beh ind a b lack guide w h o looks past the commande r into the forest. His eyes are in line with the soldier directly beh ind Fourgeoud who also looks off into the bush . In the backg round maroons are dep ic ted , perched in coconut trees and ready to fire on the soldiers. The jungle is thick and all-enclosing in this illustration, obviously meant to s h o w the perils of what S t edman cal ls the most dangerous of all the parts of m a r c h i n g . 2 6 3 The men 's faces are represented as watchful as Fourgeoud pushes on . Cast ing guarded g lances in different direct ions and with their guns raised above their heads , they are rendered ineffective in their role as soldiers. Enmired in the s w a m p s of a tropical forest, the illustration like that of the Scul ls of L ieu 1 Leppar (Figure 25), cal ls up the perils and inevitable failure that characterize the enforcement of the slave regime in Sur inam. Finispiece and Frontispiece The Finispiece, Europe supported by Afr ica & Amer i ca (1792) conce i ved by S tedman but illustrated by Blake (Figure 27) is referred to by the author as "Emblemat ica l , " in that it relates a concept rather than an actual event that represents his conc lus ion to his Sur inam experience: Going now to take my last Leave of Surinam after all the Horrors & Cruelties with which I must have hurt both the Eye & the heart of the Feeling reader, I will Close the Scene with an Emblematical Picture of Europe Supported by Africa & America Accompanied by an Ardent Wish that in the friendly manner as they are Represented they may henceforth & to all Eternity be the Prop of each other; I might have included Asia but this I omitted as having no Connection with the Present Narrative--we All only differ in the Colour but we are Certainly Created by the same hand & After the Same Mould thus if it has not pleas'd fortune to make us equal in Authority, let us at Least use that Superiority with Moderation & not only Profer that Happiness which we have to bestow on our Superiors & Equals, but with Cheerfulness to the very Lowest of our dependants. . . . The Finispiecethen, appearing at the end of the text, encapsulates the conclusion to Stedman's narrative, where the author makes a plea for a harmonious relationship between the races of the world: "we are Certainly Created by the same hand & After the Same Mould." This plea, at face value, might initially seem to contradict Stedman's own proslavery and pro-slave trade stance. That Stedman's invocation of the notion of a shared creator was little more than a token one is suggested by his qualification: "it has not pleas'd fortune to make us equal in Authority, let us [Europeans] at Least use that Superiority With Moderation & . . . Profer that Happiness . . . with Cheerfulness to the very Lowest of our dependents. .. ." Stedman used the term "dependents" as a euphemism for slaves when articulating his pro-slavery position.265 As a result, his application of the term in reference to Africa and America in this instance, is meaningful: the different races "only differ in . . . Colour" yet Africa and America are simultaneously understood to be inferior. In the representation of the Finispiece, three female forms are used to represent the three continents, Africa, America and Europe following Stedman's explanation that he had excluded Asia as it had no direct bearing on the narrative. The figures of Europe, Africa and America conform to the convention of the female nude in which the 65 naked female could function through the legitimating apparatus of "high art," as an allegorical or emblematic form while simultaneously serving as an object of male desire and by extension male possession 2 6 6 Contributing what Lynda Nead calls a "flawless historical pedigree," the tradition of the nude offers Blake a paradigm which he did not refuse. The women's faces conform to Stedman's expressed racial stereotypes of the three groups pictured: the African woman is black, with a flat nose, round face and short, curly hair; the European woman is white, with diminutive features and long blonde hair; and the Amerindian woman is brown with an oval face and medium-length brown hair.268 Stedman claims that all are "Created by the same hand & After the same Mould," and indeed the bodies of the women represented conform to one another. Erdman has observed that Stedman's "ardent wish" concerning his image that the "friendly manner as they are Represented they may henceforth & to all Eternity be the Prop of each other," is transformed by Blake.269 Africa, wearing only slave bands, holds Europe's hand in the gesture of a handshake while supporting Europe's back with her other arm. Clearly the bracelets or manacles call up the slave status of this figure, in opposition to Stedman's harmonious relationship between the three. In addition, it can be argued, that the handshake reveals the commercial aspect of her relationship with Europe, suggesting as it does, that a bargain has just been struck. Significantly, Africa's face is similar to the face of the figure in the Flagellation of a Female Samboe Slave (Figure 30) and Negro hung alive by the Ribs to a Gallows (Figure 28) engraved by Blake in the same year (1792). In the narrative, as will be discussed more fully later, Stedman used the description of victims of slave punishment or execution such as the Negro hung alive by the Ribs, to point to 970 the nobility of African slaves in the face of horrendous mistreatment. It may be 66 argued then that Blake, through careful manipulat ion of the Afr ica 's phys iognomic express ion in the Finispiece, sought to underline the existing situation bely ing the image of mutual support that S tedman evokes. Like the figure of Africa, A m e r i c a wears a s lave 's bracelets and also supports Europe 's body, this t ime from beh ind Europe 's shou lder and from her waist. Amer i ca is represented in mid-step, actively mov ing toward Europe, perhaps to support her when her grasp is re leased from Africa. Amer i ca ' s eyes are open like those of Afr ica and both gaze straight out at the viewer. S u c h direct confrontation with the viewer contrasts with the downcast gaze of Europe, who wears a string of pearls and whose demure expression and blush on her cheeks is in keep ing with eighteenth-century codes of acceptable European femininity. In addit ion, by rendering the figures in terms of a harmonious but unequal relationship B lake subverts the familiar eighteenth-century image of the "Three 271 97? Graces " and its evocation of gent leness or grace, fr iendship and beauty. Indeed, B lake 's representation can be said to go even further, effectively shifting the i ba lance of power in exactly the opposi te way to what S tedman envis ions. Europe is dep ic ted as overly dependent on the support and on exploitive c o m m e r c e with Afr ica and Amer i c a as o p p o s e d to S tedman 's textual assert ion of her innate and fated superiority. The Front ispiece (Figure 12) by Bartolozzi (1794) depicts the author, S tedman, leaning on his rifle, while straddling the dead body of a maroon. The illustration portrays the only full-scale battle in which S tedman engaged during his t ime in Sur inam, his other engagements with rebels being little more than skirmishes. S t edman ' s t roops were victorious in this instant, but only in chas ing the rebels further into the fores t—no pr isoners were captured and the vil lage of G a d o Saby, shown burning in the 67 background of the illustration was set afire by the rebels themselves. 2 7 3 The scene is described by Stedman in the following terms: "I may be seen After the heat of the Action Dejectedly Looking on the Body of an Unfortunate Rebel Negro Stretch'd at my 274 feet". Hugh Honour has noted that Stedman's original "drawing for the plate seems originally to have borne the simple inscription "My hands are guilty but my heart is f ree" 2 7 5 The published version however, apparently in keeping with Johnson's "major alterations to the text" 2 7 6 accompanies the image with the following poem: "From different Parents, different Climes we came, At different Periods;" Fate still rules the same. Unhappy Youth while bleeding on the ground; 'Twas Yours to fall_but Mine to feel the wound." Considering Stedman's negative feelings about maroons while on campaign, 2 7 7 it might initially seem contradictory that this text and image with their apparently sympathetic sentiment toward the rebels was chosen as the frontispiece. However, as the narrative within the Expedition explains, during the fighting at Gado Saby, Stedman was overcome with pity for the rebels who lacked weapons that could match those of i . ?78 ! the European soldiers. Perhaps this, along with his publisher Joseph Johnson's abolitionism, could justify the choice of a frontispiece which depicts a black victim of the colonial system. The illustration by Bartolozzi portrays Stedman indeed as a sensitive humanitarian. Stedman's face is pensively drawn and he looks out at the viewer while pointing at the dead maroon. Bartolozzi who represents Stedman leaning on his rifle, effectively straddling the vanquished foe, at once underlines the victorious aspect of the event while the verse emphasizes both Stedman's own insistence that it is he who suffers and the larger abolitionist agenda to which the book was harnessed. The Frontispiece then, asks the viewer to look upon those dominated with pity and sympathy, 68 while still conveying dominance of the European. The pictorial program of the Finispiece by Blake and the Frontispiece with its appended verse then, are mutually reinforcing. Martyrdom, Torture and the Slave Body 69 Of the twenty-two figurative images within the Stedman narrative, four depict scenes of violent slave punishment and execution: A Negro hung alive by the Ribs to a Gallows (1792) (Figure 28), Flagellation of a Female Samboe Slave (1793) (Figure 30), The Execution of Breaking on the Rack (1793) (Figure 29) all engraved by William Blake and A Female Negro Slave, with Weight chain'd to her Ancle (1795) (Figure 14) by Francesco Bartolozzi. David Erdman has noted that, "Blake, on excellent terms with Johnson at the time, received nearly all the pictures illustrating slave conditions" and has suggested that this reflected the artist's concern with abolition issues.279 As has been already noted, reviewers of the book in 1796, responded to Blake's images which have been used repeatedly in modern texts to illustrate the horror of slave life.280 What would a contemporary audience have known about the display of the suffering, naked body and what associations did punishment of the specifically slave body call up for that audience? I argue here, that due to their horrific content, the images of punishment and execution within the Expedition were particularly instrumental in contributing to the reading of Stedman's proslavery text in abolitionist terms. They did this by drawing from two traditions: that of torture within Western Europe and Christian martyrdom imagery.281 In his recent study Torment in Art: Pain, Violence and Martyrdom in urban pap European culture from the twelfth to the nineteenth century, Lionello Puppi notes that the public execution which took place in public spaces and was an integral part of everyday life must have affected "both the collective and individual consciousness and unconscious" of the European up to the early modern period.283 Feasts and 70 festivals, depending on their timing, could occur amidst hanging, rotting corpses and mutilated bodies which were continuously exhibited in public spaces including the city 284 gates. For example, Puppi notes that in Ogilby's guidebook of English cities Itinerarium Angliae (c. 1700), gallows which were made of stone and affixed in the public squares, served as points of reference in getting about the city.285 For executions, all ranks of society participated in a requisite ritual procession in which the convicted person was led through "stations of death and suffering."286 These were a prescribed and catalogued set of punishments designed to achieve the "maximum involvement of the public in the just retribution" of the criminal287 and in the case of capital crimes to eventually lead to the convict's death (for example, see Figure 11). According to Michel Foucault, the London versions of such ritual processions which travelled from Newgate to Tyburn or the London Tower to Whitehall or the Palace of Westminster were not abolished until 1783.2 8 8 U n t i l a b o u t 1783, when the hanging machine was adopted as the principle means of capital punishment in England, each appointed punishment designed to torture the prisoner, was according to Foucault, symbolically conceived to match some aspect of his or her crime and to act as an expiation or atonement of that crime.289 Thus the different "stations" suggested a sacred aspect to the ceremony, referring to Christ's torments at the "Stations of the Cross" on the Via Dolorosa as well as the suffering of martyrs. Eventually the broken and suffering convict would make his or her way to the final place of death—the gallows.290 According to Puppi, "capital punishment, the actual spectacle of execution, was part - indeed, the centre - of a sacrificial system [and] . . . could become a sort of sacra rappresentazione." 71 This sacred representation evoked by a public execution is significant. According to Puppi, execution referred to and created a context of martyrdom: . . . the fact that the condemned man accepted his punishment, that he recognized the gravity of his offence (as something which violated a system of higher values), the fact that he expressed repentance at the very moment he was about to pay the terrible price for his crimes - all of this meant the execution was transfigured into a sacrifice. The execution became part of the "sacred world". . . [and as Foucault has argued] "Far from being a damned wretch, the prisoner who accepts being sacrificed becomes, in the eyes of the public, a holy victim". . . [who will, according to Puppi] accept death - but not with resignation, rather with joy because expiation for his crime had become a means of redemption which would open the Gates of Heaven (to the edification of all those present) . . . In fact, once the suffering and death that formed part of the ritual solemnity and splendid truth of the execution were seen in terms of redemption, salvation and divine grace, a close analogy with the sufferings of the martyrs was inevitable. . . . In the period after the Counter-Reformation, this edifying aspect to executions became a favourite theme in Christian imagery which depicted saints or martyrs in the process of being tortured.293 Puppi has noted that "a lucid and precise program was drawn up to organize the emotions that lay behind martyrdom paintings. . . . [and that the] basic premise was that the sight of an infinite number of torments and martyrdoms moves one to devotion."294 In Surinam, Slave executions, contained no religious element comparable to those in Europe, nor did they include processions. No repentance was expected from the heathen prisoner, nor was any atonement possible for his or her crimes. Punishment or death was the primary objective and in terms of the latter, the method that achieved the most painful death was reckoned the best 2 9 5 In Surinam, planters were at liberty to punish their slaves in any manner deemed fit but, they were forbidden by law to kill them.2 9 6 Slaves were capital investments in ventures that were controlled from the metropolis-of 400 plantations in 1776, 380 were 25-100% mortgaged to institutions in 72 Holland—and the colonial legal system was originally initiated to protect those 297 interests. Hence recaptured male runaways were not always sentenced to death and slave women were usually not charged with marronage as the courts accepted the belief that women were incapable of conceiving,of marronage by themselves: they were allowed the defence of being "taken by fo rce . " 2 9 8 Thus the colonial legal system appeared to offer some protection against gratuitous killing of slaves. However, any runaway who was later caught and sent to the capital city by his master, would automatically be taken to the penitentiary, interrogated, charged, sentenced and summarily execu ted . 2 9 9 The courts, while appearing to proceed as an impartial judiciary, concurrently legitimated the planter's role as judge and acted as the vehicle through which his judgement was executed. Stedman's description of the courage and innocence of the slaves supported his polemic for better living conditions for them. However, it is clear that for a late eighteenth-century British readership, Stedman's tales of punishment and execution served some other purposes: documentation, t i t iNation, 3 0 0 and the off-setting of any British atrocities by emphasizing those of the more "horrendous" Dutch. Yet within the context of the abolition movement, seeking to transform the slave trade and conditions for slaves, an imagery that could associate the suffering slave with martyrdom, which could call up a Christian context for humanitarianism was clearly important. Thus, while the punishments and executions that are depicted in the Expedition's images are similar to torments contemporaneously described or portrayed in Europe, they also manipulate references to Christian tradition through the evocation of Christ's and other martyr's sacrifices for salvation. 73 A Negro hung alive by the Ribs to a Gallows The Negro hung alive by the Ribs to a Gallows (1792) by Blake (Figure 28) depicts the fate of a slave, who for stealing some money, was sentenced to hang by his ribs from a gallows until he died. While Stedman did not witness the execution,301 he describes the condemned slave's face as conveying "the physical and moral nobility of the slaves of Surinam and the stoicism with which they underwent their atrocious sufferings:"302 . . . a black man hang'd alive by the ribs, between which with a knife was first made an insision, and then clinch'd an Iron hook with a Chain-in this manner he kept living three days hanging with his head and feet downwards and catching with his tongue the drops of water/it being in the rainy season/that were flowing down his bloated breast while the vultures were picking in the putred wound. . . 3 0 3 Blake's depiction of the scene which frames the hanging body with the vertical and horizontal components of the execution scaffold emphasizes the punished slave's calm, stoic face and gives form to Stedman's account. While there is no European precedent for the specific type of hanging in Negro hung Alive by the Ribs (it was a Hindu form of religious self-torture known in England at this time),304 Puppi relates instances of hanging from parts of the body, other than the neck, for example by the leg or foot in Milan and Lombardy.305 By the beginning of the nineteenth century, hanging by the neck was the most familiar form of execution in Europe, for the poor and middle classes,306 and similarly, hanging was the choice of execution of Surinamese officials. Prominently scattered on the ground beneath the gallows and in the background of the Negro hung Alive are bones and skulls which evoke the numerous executions that must have preceded this one. Significantly, within a Christian tradition the representation 74 of the skulls and the three execution scaffolds also refer to Golgotha (or The Place of the Skull) where Christ was crucified, thereby underscoring a sacrificial element or the martyrdom of the executed slave. The Execution of Breaking on the Rack Stedman's Execution of Breaking on the Rack (1793) rendered by Blake (Figure 29), closely resembles a form of execution in Europe, second in usage only to hanging: the torture on the wheel. According to Stedman's text, the condemned slave in the image, had stolen a sheep from a plantation. On being pursued by the overseer who was intent on hanging him, the slave had shot his persecutor in self-defence. Stedman explained to the reader that he had observed the execution which was carried out by a slave executioner:309 . . . this man being Sentenced to be brook Alive upon the Rack, without the benefit of the Coup de Grace, or mercy Stroke,.laid himself down Deliberately on his Back upon a Strong Cross, on which with Arms & Legs Expanded he was Fastned by Ropes—The Executioner /also a Black/ having now with a Hatchet Chop'd off his Left hand, next took up a heavy Iron Crow or Bar, with Which Blow After Blow he Broke to Shivers every Bone in his Body til the Splinters Blood and Marrow Flew About the Field, but the Prisoner never Uttered a Groan, or a Sigh. . . : 3 1 0 The executioner's face is contorted in Blake's representation, by a grimace that either evokes the fury of the blows designed to break the slaves' bones—or as Erdman has put forth, indicates the "bitter concern . . . of the Negro executioner who was compelled to break the bones of a crucified rebel,"311 suggesting that he took no pleasure in his task. The convicted man's face registers resignation and stoicism. His severed hand lies next to an axe in the foreground of the image. The stalwart suffering in The Execution of Breaking on the Rack which Stedman claims to have observed,312 is conveyed by reference to Christian imagery in particular the execution of St. Peter who was crucified upside down on the cross and more specifically to the martyrdom of St. Catherine whose body was broken on the wheel. Flagellation of a Female Samboe Slave The Flagellation of a Female Samboe Slave (1793) by Blake (Figure 30) depicts a young woman who Stedman while on his "honeymoon" with Joanna heard and observed being beaten.313 He attempted to intercede on her behalf, but only succeeded in doubling her punishment. Horrified he fled toward his boat as portrayed: The first Object that attracted my Compassion was /while visiting in a neighbouring Estate/ tied up with both Arms to a tree, a truly beautiful Samboe Girl of about 18, as naked as she came to the World, and lacerated in such a shocking Condition by the Whips of two Negro Drivers, that she was from her neck to her Ancles literally died over with blood-It was after receiving 200 lashes that I perceived .her with her head hanging downwards, a most miserable Spectacle, Thus turning to the overseer I implored that she might be untied from that moment, which seem'd to give her some Relief, but my Answer was from the humane Gentleman, that to prevent all Strangers from interfearing with his Government, he had made it an unalterable rule, in that Case always to redouble the Punishment, and which he instantaneously began to put in execution — I tried to stop him but in vain, he declaring the delay should not alter his determination but make him take vengeance with Interest upon Interest—Thus I had no other remedy left but to leap in my boat, and leave the detestable rascal like a beast of prey to enjoy his bloody-feast til he was Glutted, while from that Day I swore to bread of Communication with all overseers, and implored the cruse of Heaven to be poured down upon the whole relentless fraternity -On my having enquired since for the cause of such barbarity, I was too Credibly informed, that her only Crime had consisted her firmly refusing to submit to the loathsome Embraces of her despisable Executioner, which his Jealousy having Construed to Disobedience, she was thus Skinned alive. . . 3 1 * In Blake's illustration, the slave woman's hands are tied together and affixed to a tree branch whose trunk frames the left side of the image. Like the other images of 76 slave torture and punishment, Blake's representation of violence makes reference to Christian martyrdom and sacrifice-in this case, the flogging of the slave woman could call up associations with the Flagellation of Christ. The slave's face and its expression invokes the virtue of the young woman's refusal to submit in the face of such a penalty. She is not depicted as naked, as the text describes, but has a loose piece of cloth strewn across her groin. Nevertheless, her body, fully displayed for the viewer does not escape eroticization; such titration at one level serves to evoke her crime which was to refuse the sexual advances of the overseer.315 However, her body is covered with scars, bruises and bleeding lacerations, depicted by Blake's cross-hatching, and the image thus challenges the more blatant eroticization of the other slave women in the publication, the Joanna (1793) by T. Holloway (Figure 15), the Female Quadroon Slave of Surinam (1794) by Perry (Figure 16), and the Indian Female of the Arrowauka Nation (1792) by Benedetti (Figure 17), as well as the other image of punishment of a female slave A Female Negro Slave, with a Weight chained to her Ancle (1795) by Bartolozzi (Figure 14). In the latter, Bartolozzi sensualizes the surfaces of the female slave's body with the luxurious and sumptuous finish created by stipple engraving — declining to show "her Skin cut and carved by the lash of the Whip in a most Shocking Manner"316, as Stedman described. What is also noteworthy, is that the Bartolozzi engraving of A Negro Female with a Weight chain'd to her Ancle, despite its similarity in format to those by Blake, refuses any identification with references to a specific Christian martyrdom. Stedman's chief aim in relating these instances of brutality in the Expedition was to demonstrate the forbearance of black slaves and to elevate them in the eyes of his audience by endowing them with moral fortitude and inner strength. Thus re-humanized, he hoped to argue for amelioration of the conditions under which the slaves lived and 77 which would permit a more humanitarian and efficacious form of slavery. Blake's representations of such violence however went beyond Stedman's aims in the portrayal of scenes of punishment and execution which were familiar to the eighteenth-century audience. When coupled with the specific poses and facial expressions, as well as with details identifiable with Christian imagery, the images were elevated by association with the Christian tradition of martyrdom. Following that tradition, the Blake engravings emphasize two attributes that evoked Christian devotion and self sacrifice: fortitude and innocence. The suffering slave bodies shown in the foreground with stoic or pained faces serve to transform the slaves through their deaths into the sacrificial figures that the abolition movement argued, they were. Roland Barthes offers an insight into one aspect of the process at work here. In anatomizing the language of myth, he highlights the oscillation between form (the familiar) and content (the new idea): "Mythical speech is made of a material which has already been worked on [the familiar form] so as to make it suitable for communication [of an unfamiliar concept]. . . . 1 , 3 1 7 The slave images then, according to Barthesian myth structure, use the "form" of Christian martyrdom imagery to transmit the "concept" of abolitionism or antislavery. However, the emphasis on the suffering and tortured body that Blake emphasizes in his illustration could also engage the viewer in another way. Thomas Laqueur's argument in "Bodies, Details and the Humanitarian Narrative," provides an insight here. Laqueur's investigation of eighteenth-century humanitarian discourses that addressed the suffering of the so-called common people, 3 1 8 has linked representations of pain and suffering to discourses on morality at the time. Laqueur argues, that through meticulous attention to the details of suffering, the readers of humanitarian narratives were able to connect their own individual bodies by an 78 empathic identification with the pain of those who suffered. The humanitarian narrative he argues:". . . relies on the personal body, not only as the locus of pain but also as the common bond between those who suffer and those who would help and as the object of the scientific discourse through which the causal links between an evil, a victim, and a benefactor are forged." 3 1 9 It was through such identification, he claimed, that humanitarian narratives could offer an impetus to the amelioration of "social" conditions in the eighteenth century. Within this context, Blake's figures for Stedman, and the expressions of pain and suffering they present can be seen to function in a way that placed the debates on slavery within both a Christian context and within changing forms of narrative and notions of the individual at the time. Viewers forced to confront the details of pain both on bodies and in faces, could identify the slaves with martyrs. The viewer's empathy could also be elicited through identification with suffering, thereby effecting a call to humanitarian action. In the political climate of the 1790s, that response would take the form of the abolition and antislavery movements. CONCLUSION 79 Blake's full-page illustrations for Stedman's Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam as a series, depicted colonial authorities and pictured the ruin of military attempts to uphold a slave regime. In particular it was the single figures, highlighted against primarily blank backgrounds, that had few precedents in eighteenth-century abolitionist or travel literature. However, this decontextualization of the primary object of view from its sphere of operation was well established in the field of natural history illustration. By granting such primacy to slaves these illustrations invited closer scrutiny of those pictured. From this scrutiny, the images could advocate the amelioration of slave conditions despite Stedman's pro-slavery, anti-abolitionist stand. For all of Stedman's humanizing aims, he could not have anticipated William Blake's contribution. Blake, who held abolitionist views articulated in other venues, believed in the notion of individual liberty as opposed to slavery and as such would not have been satisfied with the author's advocation of mere improvement of slave conditions. Thus, his participation in the engraving of the Stedman images facilitated by publisher Joseph Johnson, imbued the images with connotations that could be read as abolitionist by an eighteenth-century audience. Blake, using a "dialectical interchange" between text and image consistently throughout his career, employed illustrations to criticize and comment on the texts they accompanied. The Stedman images were no exception. Particularly in the illustrations of punishment and execution, Blake gave the figures pained, expressive faces and poses that served to place them within a context of Christian martyrdom and which also served to humanize and ennoble them. For the audience, two emerging modes of 80 reading —humanitarian identification with the pain and suffering of others or radical strategies of rhetoric which confronted the viewer with severed limbs, cudgelled bones, and lacerated and bleeding flesh-could then call a complacent audience to action. In the late eighteenth century, popular political action took the form of abolition. 81 NOTES 1 John Gabriel Stedman, Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam in Guiana on the Wild Coast of South—America (London: Joseph Johnson, 1796). For this thesis, I have used John Gabriel Stedman, Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam. Richard Price and Sally Price, eds. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1988). The Price and Price edition is transcribed from Stedman's original manuscript and is, therefore, the version that would have been available to the engravers of the book's illustrations. Stedman's published edition was edited by William Thomson who rendered Stedman's views more "conservative" than they were and who "regulated" Stedman's excesses: his drinking, his relations with slave women, his colourful language and his myriad criticisms (Price and Price, introduction, Expedition XLVIII-LXVI). Thus I have attempted to be fair to Stedman while relating the reactions to his altered, more rigid "proslavery" text of 1796. 2 For a complete list of the editions in English, German, Dutch, French, Swedish and Italian see Price and Price, introduction, Expedition, LXXII-LXXXIII. 3 These were a German play by Franz Kratter (1804); its Dutch translation (1809); an anonymous English novel, Joanna (1824); a French novel by Eugene Sue (1840); a Dutch novel by Herman J. de Ridder (1857); another Dutch novel by Johan Edwin Hokstam (1893); a book of English poems by David Dabydeen (1984); illustrations by Tom Jones, the American illustrator; and military illustrations by the Dutch engraver Jan Hoyncyk van Papendrecht. For a detailed list see Price and Price, introduction, Expedition Lxxxiii. That "ample use" was made of the "dramatic engravings (especially Blake's)" by the abolition movement is noted in Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (London: Routledge, 1992) 92. Pratt, however, does not document this assertion. 4 For examples see Albert Boime, Art in an Age of Revolution (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1987) 339-343; and David V. Erdman, "Blake's Vision of Slavery," Journal of Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 15 (1952): 242-52; and Hugh Honour, From the American Revolution to WWI: Slaves and Liberators, assoc. ed. Karen C. C. Dalton (Houston: Menil Foundation, Inc., 1989) 86-90, vol. 4:1 of The Image of the Black in Western Art, gen. ed. Ladislas Bugner. 5 Stedman engaged in a commercial relationship known as a "Surinam Marriage" where a young slave girl was "loaned for a fee" to a visiting European man to serve his sexual and housekeeping needs during his stay on the colony. See Price and Price, introduction, Expedition xxxvi. Pratt 95-6, discusses how Stedman, once he was back within the European moral milieu, justified this commercial relationship by textually transforming it into a "romance." 6 In fact, in the many Anglo-Dutch wars of this period (1780, 1796, 1799, 1803, and 1815), Surinam was continually captured by the British and ceded back to Holland. The Vienna Treaty of 1815 finally returned Surinam to Dutch rule under which it remained 82 until its independence in 1975, see J. Warren Nystrom, Surinam: A Geographic Study (New York: The Netherlands Information Bureau, n.d.) 22. 7 Nystrom 20. Wim Hoogbergen, The Boni Maroon Wars in Suriname (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1990) 5, claimed that from a slave population of approximately 50,000 only 250 ran away per year-that is one-half of a percent of the population. Of those, two-thirds returned to the colony voluntarily and only about 80 per year remained in the forest. 8 In 1760 and 1762, the Djuka and the Saramaka respectively, won their independence. See Hoogbergen 37, and Richard Price, Saramaka Social Structure: Analysis of a Maroon Society in Surinam (Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico: Institute of Caribbean Studies, 1975) 23. 9 Cornells OH. Goslinga, A Short History of the Netherlands Antilles and Surinam (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1979) 115. 1 0 Although Stedman's account is rife with mention of soldiers dying, specific examples of their suffering can be found in Stedman 97, 111, 124, 134, 138, 152, 154, 202, and 203. 1 1 Stedman rarely mentions Fourgeoud without at least a sarcastic denunciation of Fourgeoud's character. For example, from the time of Fourgeoud's appearance in the Expedition at about page 100 to about page 200 Stedman speaks negatively of him on the following pages: 104, 108, 116, 152-4, 157, 159, 160, 180, 182, 188, 189, 191, 197, 203, 206, and 207. The Expedition was approximately 600 pages long and Stedman's critiques became progressively harsher as time passed, see Stedman 209, 225-6, 229-30, and 274. 1 2 Stedman 166-8. 1 3 Stedman 95-6. 1 4 Stedman 115. In Surinam as in other slave colonies, African women were exploited sexually by their white masters, see note 5. The progeny that resulted from this parentage were categorized according to the ratio of African to European blood they had inherited. Thus in this example, the "quadroon" is assumed to have one-quarter African blood while her mother, a "mulatto," would have been one-half African and one-half European. Stedman 399, actually reproduces a gradated colour scale diagram in the Expedition. 1 5 See Price and Price's description of Stedman's ambitions to fit into educated British society, Price and Price, introduction, Expedition XVI-XXI and xxxn-xxxv. 1 6 For his views on slavery, see Stedman 169-73. 1 7 Price and Price, introduction, Expedition xxxix. According to Price and Price there are "indications" that "many" of the natural history engravings may have been produced 83 by anonymous engravers in Bartolozzi's workshop and "some" by an engraver named Simpkins. Price and Price, introduction, Expedition, note 30, LXXXVIII. 1 8 Price and Price, introduction, Expedition xxxvn-xxxix. Blake executed twelvefigural images and four additional ones which were natural history or narrative scenes from the text: The Mecoo & Kishee Kishee Monkeys (1793), The skinning of the Aboma Snake, shot by Cap. Stedman (n.d), The Quato & Saccawinkee Monkeys (n.d.), and Limes. Capsicum. Mammy Apple &c. (1793). 1 9 "Stedman's Narrative of an Expedition to Surinam," The Critical Review January 1797: 60. The Critical Review was a journal, "liberal" in its social, political and religious opinions. It allied itself with the Whig opposition to Pitt's ministry, see Alvin Sullivan, gen. ed., British Literary Magazines, vol. 1 (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1983) 72-77: or) ••• The Analytical Review is described as a purveyor of radical, liberal and dissenting opinions. See Sullivan, vol. 1, 11. 2 1 "Stedman's Expedition to Surinam," The Analytical Review September 1796: 237. Published by Joseph Johnson, the publisher of Stedman's book, the Analytical Review focused much of its review of Stedman on abolitionist messages. 2 2 The British Critic 8 (November 1796): 939 cited in Essick Commercial 72. The British Critic is labelled a mainly "theological," "absolutely anti-revolutionary" journal with a "conservative attitude towards the poor and lower classes." See Sullivan, vol. 2, 57-59. 2 3 For example: G.E. Bentley, Jr., Blake Books (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977) 622; Boime, Revolution 339-343; Michael Davis, William Blake: A New Kind of Man (London: Paul Elek, 1977) 56; Erdman, "Slavery," 242:52; Robert Essick, William Blake. Printmaker (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1980) 51-53; Honour, vol. 4:1, 86-90; Geoffrey Keynes, Blake Studies: Essays on His Life and Works. 2nd ed. (London: Oxford UP, 1971) 98-100; Ronald Paulson, Representations of Revolution (1789-1820) (New Haven: Yale UP, 1983) 89-110; Price and Price, introduction. Expedition xm-xcvii: Gordon Ray, The Illustrator and the Book in England from 1790 to 1914 (New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 1976) 9; Bernard Smith, European Vision and the South Pacific. 1768-1850: A Study in the History of Art and Ideas (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1960) 128-9, 202. • ~. Pratt 92-6. Pratt 86, centres her discussion around the abolition movement's use of "allegorical narratives" which invoked "conjugal love as an alternative to enslavement and colonial domination, or as newly legitimated versions of them." O G i See Note 4 for the works by Boime, Erdman and Honour. These will be discussed later, in relation to Blake's ideas about abolition. 2 6 Erdman, "Slavery," 243. 2 7 For further discussion see James Walvin, Slaves and Slavery. (Manchester: Manchester UP, 1992) 96. Wim Hoogbergen 1-2, speaking of Surinam, demonstrates that the majority of slaves brought to the new world were male and that this, as well as 84 their mistreatment, meant that the overall slave death-rate was much higher than the birth rate. Thus the Surinamese slave population was not self-reproducing and constantly had to be fed by the slave trade. With slaves being so readily available, there was no incentive for owners to treat them well. p Q Robin Blackburn, The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, 1776-1848 (London: Verso, 1988) 50 and Gerald P. Tyson, Joseph Johnson: A Liberal Publisher (Iowa City: U of Iowa P, 1979) 135. pQ Price and Price, introduction, Expedition xxx. Many of the scatological and sexual references were tempered or omitted, see Price and Price, introduction, Expedition xxxn. : 3 1 Honour, vol. 4:1, 87, 215. 3 2 Stedman 171, 173. oo For his opinions about the benefits of the slave trade, see Stedman 170-2. 3 4 Stedman 534. 3 5 Stedman repeatedly throughout the text, in relating incidents of slave mistreatment, asserted that slaves ought to be treated better. He formalized that opinion by narrating an invented scenario (illustrated by Blake and to be discussed later) in which a slave family is shown to flourish under "proper" treatment. See Stedman 534-6. 3 6 Anthony Barker, The African Link: British Attitudes to the Negro in the Era of the Atlantic Slave Trade. 1550-1807 (London: Frank Cass, 1978) 67-70, notes that in the first part of the eighteenth century the "stock defence of the slave trade as a rescue operation emerged." In The Image of Africa: British Ideas and Action, 1780-1850 (Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1964) 239-43, Phillip Curtin asserts that pro-slavery arguments depended on the notion that Christianity "improved" black morality. 3 7 Stedman 534. For arguments that the fate of Africans would be improved on slave plantations if the laws were just, see discussion on the Lockean notion,that captives taken in battles could legitimately be enslaved in Wylie Sypher, Guinea's Captive Kings: British Anti-Slavery Literature of the xvinth Century (Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1942) 76-83; and Elsa Goveia. AStudv on the Historiography of the British West Indies to the End of the Nineteenth Century (Mexico: Instituto Panamericano de Geografia e Historia, 1956) 78-9. 3 8 Stedman 170, 172. on o a "Stedman's Narrative." Critical Review. January 1797: 53. 4 0 Sullivan, vol. 1,11. 4 1 "Stedman's Expedition" Analytical Review September 1796: 225-6. 85 4 2 Price and Price, introduction, Expedition LXV. 4 3 For Blake's antislavery beliefs see, Harriet Kramer Linkin, "Revisioning Blake's Oothoon," Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly 23.4 (Spring 1990): 184. See also Boime, Revolution 339-42: Erdman, "Slavery," 242-52; Honour, vol. 4:1, 86-90; and Tyson 135. 4 4 Tyson xv-xvii. 4 5 Boime notes that Johnson published "many" of the Abolition Society's first tracts and pamphlets in the late 1780s, see Boime, Revolution 306. In addition, David Turley, The Culture of English Anti-Slaverv. 1780-1860 (London: Routledge, 1991) 50, 157 addresses Johnson's role in radical printing. 4 6 Tyson 139. 4 7 Tyson 135. 4 8 Tyson 158. 4 9 Stedman, title page, 3. 5 0 Robert N. Essick, William Blake's Commercial Book Illustrations (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991) 7-8. 5 1 Eileen Ward, "'Sr Joshua and His Gang': William Blake and the Royal Academy," Huntington Library Quarterly 52.1 (1989): note 15, 88. 5 2 Ward 83. 5 3 For discussions of Blake's commercial works see G.E. Bentley, Jr., "The Great Illustrated Book Publishers of the 1790s and William Blake." Editing Illustrated Books, ed. William Blissett (New York: Garland Publishing Inc., 1980) 57-96; Essick, Printmaker 51-3; Essick, Commercial 1-15, 71-72; and Jeffrey Davis Parker, "Text and Iconography in the Commercial Designs of William Blake," diss., U of South Carolina, 1990, v-vii, 1-24. 5 4 Price and Price, introduction, Expedition LXV. 5 5 Clarkson's pamphlet, originally a 1786 Cambridge university essay, was one of the signature documents of the Abolition Society and was republished consistently during the Society's existence. In the first year alone, 15,000 copies were printed, see Blackburn 138. The engraving of the slave ship from Clarkson's essay, was first published as a separate plate in 1789 when 8,700 copies were disseminated, see Honour, vol 4:1, note 136, 315. 5 6 Honour notes that the first images of the slave trade in travel books occurred in O.F. von der Groben, Guineische Reise-Beschreibung (1694). and Francois Froger, Relation d'un voyage fait en 1695. 1696. & 1697 . . . (1698). By the late eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century the most widely diffused images of blacks showed them as slaves but in relation to the slave trade and in Europe not on colonial 86 plantations. For further examples see illustrations in David Cranz, Kurze. ZuverlaBiqe . ._. (1757), J.-H. Bernardin Saint-Pierre, Voyage a I'lsle de France (1773), Chambon Le commerce de L'Amerique par Marseille (1794) all cited from Honour, vol. 4:1, 27-86. 5 7 J.H. Plumb, England in the Eighteenth Century (London: Pelican Books, 1963) 195. 5 8 Plumb, England 198. 5 9 Plumb, England 155. 6 0 Turley 58-61, 156-60 and Plumb, England 157. 6 1 Plumb, England 199. 6 2 Blackburn 6. James Walvin assesses the following traditions: a Biblical tradition was based on Ham seeing his father's—Noah's —nakedness. Ham (who was dark-skinned) and his descendants (believed to be Africans) were thus damned to perpetual bondage; within the natural history tradition, blacks were by nature and by environment believed to be inferior to Europeans and hence naturally suited for labour in the sun; a legal tradition could also support slavery, namely in the 1670s in Britain when Africans were legally defined as esteemed goods and commodities. Walvin also notes that theological leaders and philosophers did not in the early eighteenth century provide any meaningful criticism of the slave system. James Walvin, Black and White: The Negro and English Society, 1555-1945 (London: Allen Lane The Penguin Press, 1973) 2-3, 39-43, 159-72. 6 4 Barker 68-70, Curtin 239-43, and Walvin, Black & White 170. 6 5 For example see Blackburn 42. 6 6 Blackburn 18. 6 7 Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (New York: Capricorn Books, 1944). 6 8 Seymour Drescher, Capitalism and Antislavery: British Mobilization in Comparative Perspective (New York: Oxford UP. 1987) 2-4. 6 9 Blackburn 26. 7 0 Drescher 5-12. 7 1 David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in the age of Revolution. 1770-1823 (Ithaca, New York: Cornell UP, 1975). 7 2 Blackburn 27. 7 3 Quoted in Blackburn 27. 87 7 4 Blackburn 27. 7 5 Thomas Haskell, "Capitalism and the Origins of the Humanitarian Sensibility, Part 1" American Historical Review90.2 (April 1985): 339-359, and "Part 2" American Historical Review 90.3 (June 1985): 547-566. 7 6 Haskell, "Part 2," 559. 7 7 Haskell, "Part 1," 356-8, and "Part 2," 551, 556. 7 8 Blackburn 27. 7 9 Compiled from Blackburn 35-157. 80 Arguments against slavery before 1750 were rare: Bodin in 1576 and Montesquieu in 1748 are notable, see Blackburn 36. 8 1 Blackburn 98-9. 8 2 Walvin, Black & White 117-142. 83 James Walvin, England, Slaves and Freedom, 1776-1838 (London: Macmillan, 1986) 41, notes that the Somerset decision did not as is commonly assumed, set free all slaves in England. 84 This section relies on Blackburn's Overthrow as well as David Dabydeen, Hogarth's Blacks, Images of Blacks in 18th Century English Art (Athens, Georgia: U of Georgia P, 1987); Paul Edwards and James Walvin, Black Personalities in the Era of the Slave Trade (London: Macmillan, 1983); Edward Scobie, Black Britannia, A History of Blacks in Britain (Chicago: Johnson Publishing, 1972); Folarin Shyllon, Black People in Britain (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1977); Walvin, Black & White; and Walvin, Freedom. 8 5 Walvin, Freedom 64, 97, 101. 8 6 Between May 1787 to July 1788, 26,526 reports and 51,432 pamphlets and books were published, see Walvin, Freedom 108-9. 87 Turley 6. Turley's study addresses of the complex of religious, philanthropic and reform movements that swept late eighteenth-century England. 88 David V. Erdman, Blake Prophet Against Empire 3rd ed. (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1977) 13. Erdman claims that in the 1770s "Freedom" in itself was an important issue for the working class. Walvin shows that by the 1790s "Freedom" came to be elided with abolition and hence the latter was heavily supported by artisans and working men. See Walvin. Black & White 180. 8 9 Turley 29, 71, 145 and Blackburn 139-40, 152. Blackburn 38, 96, 137. 88 9 1 Turley 24-5. 9 2 f^nrgft Wallace. Systems of the Principles of the Law of Scotland (London: 1760). 9 3 Tyson 135 and Blackburn 53. 9 4 Blackburn 50-1, 60-3. 9 5 John Millar, The Origin of the Distinction of Ranks (London: 1781). 9 6 Quoted in Blackburn 52. 9 7 Turley 36-7, 77. For a discussion on the notion of progress see Turley 45. 9 8 Blackburn 60. 9 9 Blackburn 26, 51. 1 0 0 Blackburn 145. 1 0 1 Plumb, England 198. 1 0 2 Edwards and Walvin 49. 1 0 3 Blackburn 150 and Walvin, Freedom 117-9. 1 0 4 The second wave of abolitionism, building on the first, occurred between 1804-1807. 1 0 5 Stephen C. Behrendt, "The Functions of Illustration - Intentional and Unintentional," Imagination on a Long Rein: English Literature Illustrated, ed. Joachim Moller, (Marburg: Jonas, 1988) 29-30. 1 0 6 Behrendt 30. 1 0 7 Jon P. Klancher, The Making of English Reading Audiences. 1790-1832 (Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1987) 3-100. 1 0 8 Klancher 18. 1 0 9 Klancher 14. 1 1 0 Klancher 19. 1 1 1 Klancher 3. 1 1 2 Klancher 3-4. 1 1 3 Klancher 11. 89 1 1 4 Klancher 7. 1 1 5 Klancher 43. 1 1 6 Klancher 28. 1 1 7 Klancher 28. 1 1 8 Klancher 35, 40 and David Worrall, Radical Culture: Discourse, Resistance and Surveillance 1790-1820 (New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1992) 78. 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 Klancher 28. See Worrall 43-7, for discussion on Blake's Four Zoas and radical language. Essick. Commercial 71. Turley 48-52. Sypher 12. Turley 22. Blackburn 137-8. The "noble savage" paradigm popular in the eighteenth century, viewed natives as close to nature and thus beyond the reach of society's vices. Ostensibly guided by instinct and living under natural laws in primitive bliss and ignorance the "noble savages" had few possessions, few needs and desires and thus knew nothing of greed, poverty, theft, flattery, murder, or any of the vices associated with modern civilization. See Michael Adas, Machines as the Measure of Men: Science, Technology and Ideologies of Western Dominance (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell UP, 1989) 117-118. For discussions of the use of noble savage paradigms within abolitionist literature see Barker 89-90, 101-4; Curtin 48-51; and Sypher 103-155. 1 2 7 Sypher's survey of Abolition Literature demonstrates that most abolitionist writing on the "noble savage" was literary, in the form of novels, poems, and plays (see Chapter 2, 103-155). Philip Curtin 49, notes that the abolition movement in the 1770s enlisted the notion of the "noble savage" (reserved until then for American Indians and Polynesians) to further its cause. These observations are supported by noting that abolitionists, in a sense, had to use the "noble savage" paradigm to counter stereotypes about the negro as a slave as well as general beliefs about the social and environmental defects of Africa, see Barker 197. This device served to ennoble the African hence enhancing abolition's argument. 128 For a full discussion of these racial theories see, Hugh Honour, From the American Revolution to WWI: Black Models and White Myths, assoc. ed. Karen C O Dalton (Houston: Menil Foundation, Inc., 1989) 12-7, vol. 4:2 of The Image of the Black in Western Art, gen. ed. Ladislas Bugner. 90 1 29 According to Barker, abolitionists were "concerned with upholding the negro's character and potential." For a more complete discussion on humanizing rhetoric see Barker 179-93 and Sypher 5, 44, 80. 1 3 0 Walvin, Black & White 185-6 and Curtin 327. 131 I am borrowing the notion of identifying with the suffering of others from Thomas Laqueur, "Bodies, Details, and the Humanitarian Narrative." The New Cultural History, ed. Lynn Hunt (Berkeley: U of California P, 1989) 176-204. 1 3 2 Sypher 39-42. 1 3 3 Curtin 161, 196. Honour, vol. 4:1, 32-3. Figure 3 represents the painting by Agostino Brunias that was engraved by Andinet for Bryan Edwards' 1801 edition of The History. Civil and Commercial, of the West Indies. See Blackburn 58-61 for discussion on the relationship between late eighteenth-century slavery and the rising consumerist impulses. 1 3 6 Honour, vol. 4:1, 86. -j 07 Hugh Honour, vol. 4:1, 32-3, has noted that in "high art," scenes of plantation life suddenly appeared in the 1770s. Designed to give credence to the proslavery arguments that most slaves were "kindly treated, contented, and better situated than their relatives in Africa," these images of happy and contented slaves were painted by Philip Wickstead in 1777 and George Robertson between 1775-8, both of whom were proteges of William Beckford. Wylie Sypher 86, has observed that the Beckfords were one of the largest landowning West Indian families and one of the most "obnoxious" in their treatment of slaves. Four of Agostino Brunias' (a third English painter of contented slave life) paintings were reproduced in Bryan Edwards. The History. Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies. 1801 edition. 1 3 8 Honour, vol. 4:1, 65. ; i 1 3 9 Honour, vol. 4:1, 65. 1 4 0 According to Bentley, engravers were paid "considerably more" than painters because of .the labour and.skill involved in engraving. He notes, that the time scale involved in producing an engraving is months and years. See Bentley, "Illustrated," 62-4. .i 1 4 1 John Green, A New General Collection of Voyages and Travels. 4 vols. (London: Thomas Astley, 1745-47). 1 4 ? Bentley, "Illustrated," 60-65, discusses the history of the British publishing industry. See also Walter Crane, The Decorative Illustration of Books (New York: Senate, 1994) 105-7 for a discussion of copper plate engraving in illustrated books in the eighteenth century. 91 Bentley, "Illustrated," 57-96. Some examples of folio volumes are: George Mortimer, Observations and Remarks made during a Voyage to the South Pacific (Dublin: Byrne, Moore, etal., 1791); Anders Sparrman, A Voyage to the Cape of Good Hope (1772-1776) (London: G.G.J. Robinson, 1785); John Gabriel Stedman, Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam in Guiana on the Wild Coast of South-America (London: Joseph Johnson, 1796); George Vancouver, A Narrative or Journal of a Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and round the World (London: J. Lee, 1802). 1 4 4 Price and Price, introduction, Expedition XLVIII. 1 4 5 Nicholas Thomas, "Licensed Curiosity: Cook's Pacific Voyages," in The Cultures of Collecting, ed. John Eisner and Roger Cardinal (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard UP, 1994) 118. 1 4 6 Bentley, speaking about all forms of book publication before 1750, states that even the best English printing and book illustration was modest. He notes that, with the qualitative increase in design, engraving, typefaces, paper binding and book illustration that occurred in the last part of the century, the! 1790s became the "first great age of English illustrated-book publishing." See Bentley, "Illustrated," 57-60. 1 4 7 Bentley, "Illustrated," 60. 1 4 8 Bentley, "Illustrated," 64. 1 4 9 Carol Fabricant speaks of a "distinct [discursive] shift" from "topography" which she claimed was "moralized" in the seventeenth century to "landscape" which became "aestheticized" in the eighteenth century in "The Aesthetics and Politics of Landscape in the Eighteenth Century," Studies in Eighteenth Century British Art and Aesthetics (Berkeley: U of California P, 1985) 49-50. 1 5 0 See Awnshawn and John Churchill, A Collection of Voyages and Travels (London: 1752); James Cook, Explorations of Captain James Cook in the Pacific (Journals 1768-79) (London: 1779); Oliver Goldsmith, The World Displayed (London: J. Newberry, 1759); Edward Long, The History of Jamaica (1774; London: Frank Cass & Co, 1970); John Mathews, A Voyage to the River Sierra Leone: Containing an Account of the Trade and Productions of the Country and of the Civil and Religious Customs and Manners of the People (1788; London: Frank Cass & Co, 1966); Mortimer, Observations and Remarks (1791); and Vancouver, Voyage of Discovery (1802). 1 5 1 For information on the enlightenment preoccupation with sight and seeing as related to the discourses of empiricism, Newtonian optics and matters of light and colour, see Fabricant 52. 1 5 2 Stedman, title page, 3. 92 1 5 3 Pratt 23-4. See Imperial Eves, especially chapter 2, "Science, planetary consciousness, interiors," for a discussion on the effect of an emergent natural history discourse on continental exploration and its contingent documentation, travel writing, Pratt 15-37. 1 5 4 Linnaeus claimed that all plants, known and unknown, could be classified based on their reproductive parts using his descriptive System of Nature. Number, form, position, and relative size of the reproductive parts (stamens, pistils, etc.) made up twenty-four categories which were designated by the letters of the alphabet. Pratt 24-5. 1 5 5 "[He may] make a tour of the world in books, he may make himself master of the geography of the universe in the maps, atlases and measurements of our mathematicians. He may travell by land with the historians, by sea with the navigators. . . . and kno' a thousand times more doing it than all those illiterate sailors." Daniel Defoe, The Compleat English Gentleman (1730) quoted in Pratt 15. 1 5 6 Pratt 18. 1 5 7 Sir Joseph Banks, a scientist and a fellow of the Royal Observatory, travelled on Cook's first voyage. In his retinue were two artists: Alexander Buchan and Sydney Parkinson, both of whom died during the trip. On the second voyage, the Observatory sent artist William Hodges to accompany Cook, and artist John Webber on the third journey, see Helen Wallis, "Conclusion," Cook's Voyages and Peoples of the Pacific, ed. Hugh Cobbe, (London: British Museum Publications, 1979) 132-9. 1 5 8 Rudiger Joppien, "The Artistic Bequest of Captain Cook's Voyages — Popular Imagery in European Costume Books of the late 18th and early 19th century," in Captain James Cook and His Times, ed. Robin Fisher. & Hugh Johnston (Seattle: U of Washington P, 1979) 188. 1 5 9 Joppien 187-210. 1 6 0 Cook's three accounts of his voyages were published separately, subsequent to each journey. Cook did not author the travel account of his first journey which was compiled from Cook's journals by John Hawkesworth, An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the order of His Present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere . . .. 3 vols. (London: W. Strahan & T. Cadell, 1773). In addition to Hawkesworth's version, a journal of one of the artists on the journey was published, see Sydney Parkinson, A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in His Majesty's Ship the Endeavour. . . . (London: 1773). For the second voyage see James Cook, A Voyage towards the South Pole and Round the World, performed in His Majesty's Ships the RESOLUTION and ADVENTURE in the years 1772. 1773. 1774 and 1775. 2 vols. (London: W. Strahan & T. Cadell, 1777). For the third voyage see James Cook and James King, A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean . . . on the Resolution and Discovery . . .. 3 vols. (London: 1784); and aversion by William Ellis, An authentic narrative of a voyage performed by Captain Cook. - .,2 vols. (London: 1782). 93 1 fi1 Rudiger Joppien and Bernard Smith, The Art of Captain Cook's Voyages, vol. 1 (Melbourne: Oxford UP, 1985) 3. 1 6 2 Joppien and Smith, vol. 1, 3-8. In Cook's day "physiognomical differences" were not stressed according to Joppien and Smith, vol. 1, 8. Joppien and Smith note that landscapes were not used deliberately in the "ethnographic mode" as the indigenous culture was to be defined as carried on the native body rather than allegorized by the depiction of landscapes. See Joppien and Smith, vol. 1, 6. See Fabricant for discussion, refer to note 149. 165 Maureen Ryan .in "Ethnographic Curiosity and Colonial Agendas: The Role of the Visual in French Travel Narratives to Africa," a paper read at the Universities Art Association of Canada in November 1991, assesses empirical modes of vision derived from the Enlightenment, and its relationship to both natural history and travel narrative illustrations. 1 6 6 Nicholas Thomas 120-1, 130. 1 6 7 Turley 22-3, 87, speaks of the way abolitionist literature and imagery was used to appeal to the reading audience. 1 6 8 Two engravings listed in the "Directions for the Plates" were omitted: Snake and The Chastisement call'd Spanso Bocko (to be discussed later), see Stedman 22, 24. 169 The Royal Academy, in defining itself in the last half of the eighteenth century, created an artistic hierarchy whereby "paintings" referred to oil-paintings (produced by creative fine artists) while "drawings" referred to water-colours and engravings (produced by unimaginative artisans), see Ward, note 30, 91. • 1 7 0 That is, while he was in Surinam, see Stedman 3. 1 7 1 Price and Price, introduction, Expedition XLIII. 172 Interestingly, Stedman showed the Joanna (Figure 15), the Female Negro Slave, with a Weight chained to her Ancle (Figure 1.4), the Indian Female of the Arrowauka Nation (Figure 17) and the Rebel Negro armed & on his guard (Figure 13). In addition to being blatantly sexualized images of slave and indigenous women (the Flagellation of a Female Samboe, Figure 30, is curiously omitted) these were later to be engraved by well known illustrators: Bartolozzi, Benedetti and Holloway, see Stedman 392. The only male figure in this group is the representation of a frightened and hence powerless Rebel Negro. As a result, the images chosen by Stedman to increase the saleability of his work do not challenge the reader with concepts of the empowerment of Black Africans or West Indian slaves, but instead fit well within the norms of a dominant viewing tradition. 94 173 The drawing is one of fifteen extant Stedman drawings which were not from his book. Based on these fifteen drawings, Price and Price are comfortable in asserting Stedman's "careful and accurate" ethnography. Price and Price, introduction, Expedition XLIII. 1 7 4 Price and Price, introduction, Expedition XLII-XLVI. 1 7 5 Quoted in Price and Price, introduction, Expedition XLVI. At least eight of Blake's sixteen plates, all three of Bartolozzi's, Holloway's Joanna and many others were slated for correction on Stedman's "Directions for the Plates". 1 7 6 Illustrators gained reputations for their individual style and area of specialization which though limited by the medium itself, informed the gestures, poses, architecture! type of engraving, etc. that they used, see Bentley, "Illustrated," 64. 1 7 7 Up to the founding of the Royal Academy with its bias toward oil-painting, engravers had held a high status and were paid more than painters of the designs due to the skill and time required to produce an engraving. See Bentley, "Illustrated," 62. 178 Printing which involves ink transference from a prepared surface to paper occurs in three ways: ink can be carried above the surface (relief); below the surface (intaglio); or on the surface (planographic), see Bamber Gascoigne, How to Identify Prints (London: Thames & Hudson, 1986). In Blake's day, words were printed in relief while images were printed in intaglio. Engravers, literally dug lines or dots into a copper plate which was then inked and pressed onto paper to form an engraving. 1 7 9 Stipple was perfected and popularized in the 1780s and 1790s, see Parker 19. Stipple engraving was accomplished by a "stipple" tool that had a flat head with dots of various size which were hammered into the surface of the template see Gascoigne 57. 180 " Engraving became increasingly subservient to painting at this time, however, painters did not fully dismiss it, as the market for reproductive engravings of original work was extremely lucrative. See Stephen Leo Carr, "Illuminated Printing: Toward a Logic of Difference," in Unnamed Forms: Blake and Textualitv. ed. Nelson Hilton and Thomas A. Vogler (Berkeley: U of California P, 1986) 189. 1 8 1 Price and Price, introduction, Expedition XLVI. 18? Essick, Commercial 71. 1 8 3 Honour, vol. 4:1, 87-8. •J OA Essick, Commercial 8, 71. 1 8 5 Boime, Revolution 339: Erdman, "Slavery," 243-244; and Honour, vol. 4:1, 87. However, Boime concedes that Blake was "true to Stedman's descriptions, Boime, Revolution 341. 1 8 6 Behrendt 29. 95 187 See Morris Eaves, "Inquiry into the Real and Imaginary Obstructions to the Acquisition of the Arts in England: The Comedy of the English School of Painting," Huntington Library Quarterly 52.1 (1989): 125. For a more complete discussion on the "paragone" between painting and poetry from the eighteenth century to the present day, see John Bender and Anne Mellor, "Liberating the Sister Arts: The Revolution of Blake's 'Infant Sorrow,'" English Literary History 50.2 (Summer 1983): 297-298. In addition, the influence of recent word-centred methods—like linguistics and semiotics—have perpetuated an interest in Blakean text over design, see Irene H. Chayes, "Blake's Ways with Art Sources II: Some Versions of the Antique," Colby Quarterly 26.1 (1990): 28. 188 Jean Hagstrum, William Blake Poet and Painter: An Introduction to the Illuminated Verse (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1964) and W.J.T. Mitchell, Blake's Composite Art: A Study of the Illuminated Poetry (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978). 1 89 For discussions on the Royal Academy's role in creating an artistic hegemony see Parker 21-5 and Ward 77-80. Essick, Commercial 1. 1 9 1 Essick, Commercial 1. 1 9 2 Parker 2. 1 9 3 G.E. Bentley Jr., Blake Records (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969) 608-614. 1 9 4 Parker vi. 1 9 5 Parker 17. 1 9 6 Parker 22-3. 1 9 7 Essick, Printmaker 52-3. 198 Essick, Commercial 8. 1 9 9 Ward 79-80. 2 0 0 Albert Boime, Art in the Age of Bonapartism (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1990) 184. For further discussion on Blake's techniques and the significance of linearism see also G.E.Bentley, Jr. "William Blake's Techniques of Engraving and Printing," Studies in Bibliography 34 (1981): 241 -253; David Bindman, William Blake, His Art and Times (New Haven: Yale Centre for British Art, 1982) 14-15; Boime, Revolution 308-317; Erdman, Prophet 13, 202; and Essick, Printmaker 51-53. 2 0 1 Boime, Revolution 314. Parker 23. 96 2 0 3 Ward 80. 2 0 4 Price and Price, introduction, Expedition xxxix. 2 0 5 Bentley, "Techniques," 242 notes that Blake had "mastered . . . stipple," and Essick, Commercial 11 states of a 1795 engraving that Blake was a "fine stipple engraver. II 2 0 6 Quoted from Behrendt 30. 2 0 7 Behrendt 29-30. 2 0 8 Bender and Mellor 300. 2 0 9 Orm Mitchell, "Blake's Subversive Illustrations to Wollstonecraft's Stories." Mosaic 17.4 (Fall 1984): 25. 2 1 0 Frederick Garber, "Intertext and Metatext in Blake's Illustrations to Thornton's Virgil." The Centennial Review 32.2 (1988): 167. 2 1 1 Parker 158. 2 1 2 David W. Lindsay, "The Order of Blake's Large Colour Prints," Huntington Library Quarterly 52 (1989): 19-23. 2 1 3 William V. Van Pelt, "The Gates of Paradise: A Study of Images of Desire in the Poetry and Illustrations of William Blake," diss., University of California, Santa Cruz, 1983, 9, 15. 2 1 4 Van Pelt 22. 2 1 5 Linkin 189. See also D. W. Dorrbecker, "The Song of Los: The Munich Copy and a New Attempt to Understand Blake's Images." Huntington Library Quarterly 52.1 (1989): 47-56; James A. W. Heffernan, "Text and Design in Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience," Imagination on a Long Rein: English Literature Illustrated, ed. Joachim Moller (Marburg: Jonas, 1988) 94-108; David Sten Herrstrom, "Blake's Redemption of God in the Laocoon: Literal Incarnation and the Marriage of Picture and Text," Bucknell Review 30.1 (1986): 43-66; Andrew Lincoln, "Blake's Lower Paradise: The Pastoral Passage in the Four Zoas, Night the Ninth," Bulletin of Research in the Humanities 84.4 (1981) 470-8; and Ernest W. Sullivan, "Illustration as Interpretation: Paradise Lost from 1688 to 1807," Milton's Legacy in the Arts, eds. Albert C. Labriola and Edward Sichi, Jr. (University Park: Penn State UP, 1988) 59-92. 2 1 6 For discussions of the role of nature in Blake's Songs see Bindman 29-30 and 41; Boime, Revolution 308-70: and Hugh Honour, Romanticism (London: Penguin Books, 1979) 73-4, 281-2 and 287-8. 2 1 7 Stedman 168-75. 97 2 1 8 Stedman 533-4. 2 1 9 Stedman 534. 2 2 0 Stedman 534. 2 2 1 Goslinga 114. 2 2 2 Stedman 534. While Stedman, due to his exposure to slave life, is aware of the labour involved, he deliberately tempers that knowledge with a much reproduced, popular notion in the eighteenth century-that rich, tropical soils rendered cultivation unnecessary and that plants, birds and animals spontaneously propagated themselves based on this abundance, on this see Adas 117. 2 2 3 Stedman 534. 2 2 4 Blake engraved a drawing by Governor King, the Family of New South Wales for John Hunter's An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island (1793) which is an account of the early exploration and history of Australia. See Essick, Commercial 8. 2 2 5 For examples see illustrations, especially of Senegal, in John Green's A New General Collection of Voyages (1745-7). 2 2 6 Essick. Commercial 8. 2 2 7 Essick, Commercial 64-5. 2 2 8 See notes 127 and 128 for discussions on the "noble savage." 2 2 9 Boime, Revolution 338-340 and Erdman, "Slavery," 243. 2 3 0 Erdman, "Slavery," 243. 2 3 1 Linkin 184. 2 3 2 Price and Price, introduction, Expedition xxxix. 2 3 3 Stedman 166-8. 2 3 4 Stedman 168. 2 3 5 Hoogbergen 1-2. 2 3 6 Stedman 264-6. 2 3 7 Stedman 82. 2 3 8 Stedman 392. 98 2 3 9 Stedman 582. 2 4 0 Erdman, "Slavery," 244, suggests that Blake was familiar with the Expedition manuscript, especially the portions related to the engravings. Essick, Commercial 15 concurs. 2 4 1 Stedman 582. 2 4 2 Parker 29-30. 2 4 3 Van Pelt 130-6. 2 4 4 For his survey of eighteenth-century notions of Black sexuality see Walvin, Black & White 162-4. 2 4 5 Stedman 119. 2 4 6 Stedman 390-2. 2 4 7 Stedman 392. 2 4 8 Blackburn 57. 2 4 9 Stedman 363-7. 2 5 0 Stedman 363. 2 5 1 Stedman 363-4. 2 5 2 Hoogbergen 5. 2 5 3 Stedman 581-4. 2 5 4 Stedman 172. 2 5 5 Stedman 75. 2 5 6 Some of the natural history images of animals and plants have also been attributed to Blake, see Price and Price, introduction, Expedition xi_. 2 5 7 Price and Price, introduction, Expedition, note 28, LXXXVIII. 2 5 8 Stedman's troops, in 1772, consisted of eight hundred men and eight hundred reinforcements were sent in 1775 while the Scots Brigade were still in the employ of Surinam, Price and Price, introduction, Expedition, XXVI. 2 5 9 Stedman 189 2 6 0 This is noted Violence and Martyrdom (New York: Rizolli, 1991) 7-59 9 f i 0 This is noted of Europe in general, see Lionello Puppi, Torment in Art: Pain, 99 2 6 1 Stedman 402. 2 6 2 Price and Price, introduction, Expedition XL. 2 6 3 Stedman 402. 2 6 4 Stedman 618. See discussion on Stedman's proslavery stance in introduction and Stedman 172. 2 6 6 For discussion on the female nude see Lynda Nead, The Female Nude: Art, Obscenity and Sexuality (London: Routledge, 1992) 5-25. Nead 43. The other images of women in the Expedition, the Joanna (1793) by Perry (Figure 15), Female Quaderoon Slave of Surinam (1794) by Holloway (Figure 15) (which was modelled from the Joanna according to Price and Price, introduction, Expedition xxxix) and Indian Female of the Arrowauka Nation (1792) (Figure 17) by Benedetti also conform to female nude conventions. They could thus serve as enticements for the predominantly male audience (judging from the subscription list) that would have bought the book, see Stedman 628-9. Not surprisingly, the hierarchical nature of a slave colony was codified on the slave women's bodies: depending on the degree of white blood inherited a slave could cover more of her body. So the Female Quadroon who is one-quarter black wears long clothing, a hat and blouse, Joanna who was one-half black wears a skirt but can cover only one breast with a scarf and the Sambo woman who is three-quarters black wears a skirt but no top covering (Stedman, 87-8 and 242, unproblematically dismisses the varied garb by evoking the notion that women dressed "as was the custom.") The various engravers took advantage of the clothing customs to sexualize the women they depicted. Hence the clothing they wear, when long is diaphanous and when opaque, clings to the body, revealing its contours. 2 6 8 See Stedman 43, 242, 266, 303, for his description of Africans with flat noses, white teeth and black eyes. Amerindians are described as copper-coloured, with regular features, small black eyes, thin lips, very white teeth and long hair, see Stedman 302-5. The European women of the colony are either a "poor languid generation with complexions not much better than that of a drum Skin" or "exceptionally" beautiful with fine features, see Stedman 49. 2 6 9 Erdman, "Slavery," 244. 2 7 0 Stedman 103. 271 Honour, vol. 4:1, 89 notes that the Finispiece is derived from the tradition of the depiction of the "Three Graces." 272 See description of the "Three Graces" in Michael Grant and John Hazel, Gods and Mortals in Classical Mythology. A Dictionary (New York: Dorset Press) 153. 100 2 7 3 Stedman 405-7. 2 7 4 Stedman 406. 2 7 5 Honour, vol. 4:1, 87. 2 7 6 Honour, vol. 4:1, 87. 277 Stedman speaks of the "brutal" and "barbarous" rebels throughout the text. For example, see Stedman 392. 2 7 8 Stedman 405. P7Q Erdman, "Slavery," 244 and Essick, Commercial 15. 280 As noted in the Introduction, contemporary reviews of Stedman's book in the Analytical Review and the Critical Review quoted specific passages of text from the Expedition that occur next to an illustration. 281 I am grateful to Dr. Carol Knicely for initiating thought on how the Blake images of slave punishment and execution resembled images of Christian martyrdom. Her comments have led this discussion in its present direction. 2 8 2 Puppi, 7-59. 2 8 3 Puppi 15. 2 8 4 Puppi 39. 2 8 5 Puppi 40. 2 8 6 Puppi 15. 2 8 7 Puppi 7. 288 Michel Foucault, Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Vintage Books, 1979) 12. See also Puppi 26. 2 8 9 Foucault 12, 14 and 32-34. 2 9 0 Puppi 7-14. 2 9 1 Puppi 51. 2 9 2 Quoted in Puppi 51-7. 293 In speaking of the rise in martyrdom imagery at the time of the Council of Trent and the Counter-Reformation, Puppi notes that a "veritable genre of martyrdom paintings emerged." Puppi 56. 101 2 9 4 Puppi 56. 2 9 5 Hoogbergen 5. 296 Hoogbergen 5. Comelis C.H. Goslinga, The Dutch in the Caribbean and in Surinam. 1791 /5-1942 (Assen: Gorcum, 1990) 188. 298 Only "incurable" runaways or ones used as "examples" were killed. They were generally charged with robbery & theft as well because they ran away taking provisions; if others were involved in the escape then rebellion was added to the list of charges, see Hoogbergen 5-7. 299 *~\ Certain defences for marronage were available to the slave, such as mistreatment by his master, but these were mere technicalities designed to give the judiciary an air of impartiality since only overseers, not masters, beat slaves. In addition, a master was at liberty to punish a slave as he saw fit. See Hoogbergen 5. 3 0 0 Foucault notes that by the beginning of the nineteenth century, the "great spectacle" of physical punishment was disappearing. He notes that England was one of the countries that resisted the disappearance of the public execution: "perhaps because of the role of model that the institution . . . had given to her criminal law; above all, no doubt, because she did not wish to diminish the rigour of her penal laws during the great social disturbances of the years 1780-1820." See Foucault 14. 301 Interestingly, Stedman did not witness this event nor any other with this specific form of hanging —he relates the event as told to him by someone else. Thus, again, it is unclear whether this image is based on Stedman's initial drawing or if it was executed in Surinam or England. Stedman 103. 3 0 2 Honour, vol. 4:1, 89. 3 0 3 Stedman 103. 3 0 4 In an account of "Hindostan," dated 1794, William Carey wrote of the "execrable self-torture [where] . . . A large pole was erected and a bamboo fixed across upon the top, and the poor wretches practised swinging by hooks fixed in the back. . . . These tortures are only practised by the lowest casts of people." Quoted from Mary Lynn Johnson, "Coleridges's Prose and a Blake Plate in Stedman's Narrative: Unfastening the 'Hooks & Eyes' of Memory," The Wordsworth Circle 13.1 (Winter 1982): 37. 3 0 5 Puppi 14. For noblemen, beheading was the common form of execution. See Puppi 16. Hoogbergen 6. 102 308 The torture on the wheel was popular in France, Germany, Belgium, England and Holland, see Puppi 15. "The wheel has four spokes, on which the condemned man is spread-eagled and tied down; then his arms and legs are broken with a cudgel and he is left strapped to that horrible cross until he vomits forth his wretched soul; when, that is his chest is not smashed with another blow which they call the coup de grace," (A. Pertile, 1892, quoted in Puppi 15). 309 Blacks were often given positions of authority in the plantation hierarchy due to the small number of whites in the colony. Overseers and slave foremen were black where no white was available, and the "dirty work" of slave discipline often fell to these men. In 1790 there were 80,000 slaves, 1760 free blacks and 2,500 whites in Surinam, see Goslinga, Short History. 109 and Hoogbergen 36. 3 1 0 Stedman 546. 3 1 1 Erdman, "Slavery," 244. 3 1 2 Stedman 546-50. 3 1 3 Stedman 264-6. 3 1 4 Stedman 264-6. 3 1 5 Stedman 266. 3 1 6 Stedman 39. 3 1 7 Roland Barthes, "Myth Today." Mythologies, trans. Annette Lavers (1972; London: Paladin, 1973) 119. 3 1 8 Laqueur 177. 3 1 9 Laqueur 177. 103 BIBLIOGRAPHY Adas, Michael. Machines as the Measure of Men: Science, Technology and Ideologies of Western Dominance. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell UP, 1989. Astley, Thomas, pub. A New General Collection of Voyages and Travels. By John Green. 4 vols. London: 1745-47. Barker, Anthony. The African Link: British Attitudes to the Negro in the Era of the Atlantic Slave Trade. 1550-1807. London: Frank Cass, 1978. Barthes, Roland. "Myth Today." Mythologies. Trans. Annette Lavers. London: Paladin, 1973. 117-74. Behrendt, Stephen C. "The Functions of Illustration — Intentional and Unintentional." Imagination on a Long Rein: English Literature Illustrated. Ed. Joachim Moller. Marburg: Jonas, 1988. 29-44. Bender, John, and Anne Mellor. "Liberating the Sister Arts: The Revolution of Blake's 'Infant Sorrow."1 English Literary History 50.2 (Summer 1983): 297-319. Bentley, G.E. Jr. Blake Books. 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Voyage to North America. London: R.J. Dodsley, 1761. Chayes, Irene H. "Between Reynolds and Blake: Eclecticism and Expression in Fuseli's Shakespeare Frescoes." Bulletin of Research in the Humanities 85.2 (Summer 1982): 140-68. "Blake's Ways with Art Sources II: Some Versions of the Antique." Colby Quarterly 26.1 (1990): 28-58. Churchill, Awnshawn, and John Churchill. A Collection of Voyages and Travels. London: 1752. Cobbe, Hugh, ed. Cook's Voyages and Peoples of the Pacific. Canberra: Australian National UP, 1979. Cook, James. A Voyage towards the South Pole and Round the World, performed in His Majesty's Ships the RESOLUTION and ADVENTURE in the years 1772. 1773. 1774 and 1775. 2 vols. London: W. Strahan & T. Cadell, 1777. —. Explorations of Captain James Cook in the Pacific (Journals 1768-79). London: 1779. Cook, James, and James King. A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean . . . on the Resolution and Discovery . . .. 3 vols. London: 1784. Crane, Walter. The Decorative Illustration of Books. New York: Senate, 1994. Curtin, Phillip D. The Image of Africa: British Ideas and Action. 1780-1850. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1964. Dabydeen, David. Hogarth's Blacks. Images of Blacks in 18th Century English Art. Athens, Georgia: U of Georgia P, 1987. Davis, David Brion. The Problem of Slavery in the age of Revolution. 1770-1823. Ithaca, New York: Cornell UP, 1975. Davis, Michael. William Blake: A New Kind of Man. London: Paul Elek, 1977. Dorrbecker, D. W. "The Song of Los: The Munich Copy and a New Attempt to Understand Blake's Images." Huntington Library Quarterly 52.1 (1989): 43-73. Doyle, William. Account of the British Dominions. London: J.B. Browne, 17?. Drescher, Seymour. Capitalism and Antislavery: British Mobilization in Comparative Perspective. New York: Oxford UP, 1987. 105 Eaves, Morris. "Inquiry into the Real and Imaginary Obstructions to the Acquisition of the Arts in England: The Comedy of the English School of Painting." 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Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison Trans. Alan Sheridan. New York: Vintage Books, 1979. Garber, Frederick. "Intertext and Metatext in Blake's Illustrations to Thornton's Virgil." The Centennial Review 32.2 (1988) 167. Gascoigne, Bamber. How to Identify Prints. London: Thames & Hudson, 1986. Goldsmith, Oliver. The World Displayed. London: J. Newberry, 1759. Goslinga, Cornelis OH. A Short History of the Netherlands Antilles and Surinam. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1979. —. The Dutch in the Caribbean and in Surinam. 1791/5-1942. Assen: Gorcum, 1990. Goveia, Elsa. A Study on the Historiography of the British West Indies to the End of the Nineteenth Century. Mexico: Instituto Panamericano de Geografia e Historia, 1956. 106 Grant, Michael, and John Hazel. Gods and Mortals in Classical Mythology: A Dictionary. New York: Dorset Press. Green, John. A New General Collection of Voyages and Travels. 4 vols. London: T. Astley, 1745-47. Hagstrum, Jean. William Blake Poet and Painter: An Introduction to the Illuminated Verse. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1964. Hartt, Frederick. History of Italian Renaissance Art. 2nd ed. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1979. Haskell, Thomas L. "Capitalism and the Origins of the Humanitarian Sensibility, Part 1." American Historical Review 90.2 (April 1985): 339-59. —. "Capitalism and the Origins of the Humanitarian Sensibility, Part 2." American Historical Review 90.3 (June 1985): 547-66. Hawkesworth, John. An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the order of His Present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere . ... 3 vols. London: W. Strahan & T. Cadell, 1773. Heffeman, James AW. "Text and Design in Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience." Imagination on a Long Rein: English Literature Illustrated. Ed. Joachim Moller. Marburg: Jonas, 1988. 94-109. Herrstrom, David Sten. "Blake's Redemption of God in the Laocoon: Literal Incarnation and the Marriage of Picture and Text." Bucknell Review 30.1 (1986): 37-71. Honour, Hugh. Romanticism. London: Penguin, 1979. —. From the American Revolution to WWI: Slaves and Liberators. Assoc. Ed. Karen C. C. Dalton. Houston: Menil Foundation, Inc., 1989. Vol. 4:1 of The Image of the Black in Western Art. Gen. ed. Ladislas Bugner. 4 vols. —. From the American Revolution to WWI: Black Models and White Myths. Assoc. Ed. Karen C. C. Dalton. Houston: Menil Foundation, Inc., 1989. Vol. 4:2 of The Image of the Black in Western Art. Gen. ed. Ladislas Bugner. 4 vols. Hoogbergen, Wim. The Boni Maroon Wars in Suriname. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1990. 5. Hunter, John. An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island. London: John Stockdale, 1793. Ives, Edward. A Voyage from England to India. 1754. London: E. and C. Dilly, 1773. Jeffries, T. The Natural and Civil History of the French Dominions. London: 1761. 107 Johnson, Mary Lynn. "Coleridges's Prose and a Blake Plate in Stedman's Narrative: Unfastening the 'Hooks & Eyes' of Memory." The Wordsworth Circle 13.1 (1982 Winter): 36-8. "Feminist Approaches to Teaching Songs." Approaches to Teaching Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience. Eds. Robert F. Gleckner and Mark L. Greenberg. New York: Modern Languages Association of America, 1989. 57-65. Joppien, Rudiger. "The Artistic Bequest of Captain Cook's Voyages - Popular Imagery in European Costume Books of the late 18th and early 19th century." Captain James Cook and His Times. Ed. Robin Fisher and Hugh Johnston. Seattle: U of Washington P, 1979. 187-210. Joppien, Rudiger, and Bernard Smith. The Art of Captain Cook's Voyages. 3 vols. Melbourne: Oxford UP, 1985. Keynes, Geoffrey. Blake Studies: Essays on His Life and Works. 2nd ed. London: Oxford UP, 1971. Klancher, Jon P. The Making of English Reading Audiences. 1790-1832. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1987. Laqueur, Thomas. "Bodies, Details, and the Humanitarian Narrative." The New Cultural History. Ed. Lynn Hunt. Berkeley: U of California P, 1989. 176-204. Lincoln, Andrew. "Blake's Lower Paradise: The Pastoral Passage in the Four Zoas, Night the Ninth." Bulletin of Research in the Humanities 84.4 (1981) 470-8. Lindsay, David W. "The Order of Blake's Large Colour Prints." Huntington Library Quarterly 52 (1989): 19-40. Linkin, Harriet Kramer. "Revisioning Blake's Oothoon." Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly 23.4 (Spring 1990): 184-94. Long, Edward. The History of Jamaica. 1774. London: Frank Cass & Co, 1970. Mathews, John. A Voyage to the River Sierra Leone: Containing an Account of the Trade and Productions of the Country and of the Civil and Religious Customs and Manners of the People. 1788. London:1 Frank Cass & Co, 1966. Millar, John. The Origin of the Distinction of Ranks. London: 1781. i Mitchell, Orm. "Blake's Subversive Illustrations to Wollstonecraft's Stories." Mosaic 17.4 (Fall 1984): 17-34. 108 Mitchell, W.J.T. Blake's Composite Art: A Study of the Illuminated Poetry. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1978. "Visible Language: Blake's Wond'rous Art of Writing." Romanticism and Contemporary Criticism Eds. Morris Eaves and Michael Fischer. New York: Cornell UP, 1986. 46-95. Mortimer, George. Observations and Remarks made during a Voyage to the South Pacific. Dublin: Byrne, Moore, et al., 1791. Nead, Lynda. The Female Nude: Art. Obscenity and Sexuality. London: Routledge, 1992. Nystrom, J. Warren: Surinam: A Geographic Study. New York: The Netherlands Information Bureau, n.d. Oldmixon, John. The British Empire in North America. London: J. Brotherton, et al., 1761. Parker, Jeffrey Davis. "Text and Iconography in the Commercial Designs of William Blake." Diss. U of South Carolina, 1990. Parkinson, Sydney. A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in His Majesty's Ship the Endeavour. . . .. London: 1773. —. A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in H.M.S. Endeavour. London: Charles Dilly, James Phillips, 1784. Paulson, Ronald. Representations of Revolution (1789-1820). New Haven: Yale UP, 1983. Plumb, J.H. England in the Eighteenth Century. London: Pelican Books, 1963. —, et. al. The Horizon Book of The Renaissance. London: Horizon, 1961. Pratt, Mary Louise. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. London: Routledge, 1992. Price, Richard. Saramaka Social Structure: Analysis of a Maroon Society in Surinam. Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico: Institute of Caribbean Studies, 1975. Price, Richard, and Sally Price. Introduction. Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam. By John Gabriel Stedman. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1988. xin-xcvii. Puppi, Lionello. Torment in Art: Pain. Violence and Martyrdom. New York: Rizolli, 1991. 109 Ray, Gordon. The Illustrator and the Book in England from 1790 to 1914. New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 1976. Ryan, Maureen. "Ethnographic Curiosity and Colonial Agendas: The Role of the Visual in French Travel Narratives of Africa." Universities Art Association of Canada Conference. November 1991. Salzmann, Christian Gotthilf. Elements of Morality. 3 vols. London: J. Johnson, 1791. Sartre, John Paul. What is Literature?. Trans. Bernard Frechtman. New York: Philosophical Library, 1949. Scobie, Edward. Black Britannia. A History of Blacks in Britain. Chicago: Johnson Publishing, 1972. Shyllon, Folarin. Black People in Britain. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1977. Smith, Bernard. European Vision and the South Pacific. 1768-1850: A Study in the History of Art and Ideas. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1960. Sparrman, Anders. A Voyage to the Cape of Good Hope (1772-1776). London: G.G.J. Robinson, 1785. Stedman, John Gabriel. Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam in Guiana on the Wild Coast of South-America. London: Joseph Johnson, 1796. Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam. Eds. Richard Price and Sally Price. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1988. "Stedman's Expedition to Surinam." The Analytical Review September 1796: 225-237. "Stedman's Narrative of an Expedition to Surinam." The Critical Review January 1797: 52-60. Sullivan, Alvin, gen. ed. British Literary Magazines. 4 vols. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1983. Sullivan, Ernest W. "Illustration as Interpretation: Paradise Lost from 1688 to 1807." Milton's Legacy in the Arts. Eds. Albert 0. Labriola and Edward Sichi, Jr. University Park: Penn State UP, 1988. 59-92. Sypher, Wylie. Guinea's Captive Kings: British Anti-Slavery Literature of the xvin Century. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1942. 110 Thomas, Nicholas. "Licensed Curiosity: Cook's Pacific Voyages." in The Cultures of , Collecting. Ed. John Eisner and Roger Cardinal. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard UP, 1994. 116-36. Turley, David. The Culture of English Anti-Slavery. 1780-1860. London: Routledge, 1991. Tyson, Gerald P. Joseph Johnson: A Liberal Publisher. Iowa City: U of Iowa P, 1979. Van Pelt, William V. "The Gates of Paradise: A Study of Images of Desire in the Poetry and Illustrations of William Blake." Diss. University of California, Santa Cruz, 1983. Vancouver, George. A Narrative or Journal of a Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and round the World. London: J. Lee, 1802. Wallace, George. Systems of the Principles of the Law of Scotland. London: 1760. Wallis, Helen. "Conclusion." Cook's Voyages and Peoples of the Pacific. Ed. Hugh Cobbe. London: British Museum Publications, 1979. Walvin, James. Black and White: The Negro and English Society. 1555-1945. London: Allen Lane The Penguin Press, 1973. —. England. Slaves and Freedom. 1776-1838. London: Macmillan, 1986. —. Slaves and Slavery. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1992. Ward, Eileen. "'Sr Joshua and His Gang': William Blake and the Royal Academy." Huntington Library Quarterly 52.1 (1989): 75-95. Williams, Eric. Capitalism and Slavery. New York-Capricorn Books, 1944. Wilson, Ellen Gibson. Thomas Clarkson: A Biography. London: Macmillan, 1989. Wollstonecraft, Mary. Original Stories from Real Life: with Conversations Calculated to Regulate the Affections, to Form the Mind to Truth and Goodness. London: J. Johnson, 1796. Worrall, David. Radical Culture: Discourse. Resistance and Surveillance 1790-1820. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1992. 112 Oi 00 I s-o & CD > CO O 8 CQ CD c o •4—' o <D CO to CO o o "O c CO c as Q_ CM LO CD O > 3 O c o X oo c o CO 1— as O E o D) C "c l a> c CD CD CD D ° -LL O Figure 3. Agostino Brunias, Scene with Dancing in the West Indies (c. 1770-80) present whereabouts unknown; rpt. in Honour, vol. 4:1, 33. 114 Figure 4. Wedgewood Medallion, Am I not a Man and a Brother? (1787) Jasper-ware, Wedgewood Museum, Barlaston, England; rpt. in Honour, vol. 4:1, 62. 115 116 3 c CO _ l CO c CO E CD b c CO > E =3 CO CO o Q J O) c T 3 C 03 O o O E o CD £1 n. CD c < c _c o - 3 >» _.- JD 0) to O O CL g • . CD -C cO C L . a % - CO CO sz CO ro ro § O CD CO c ro i - ro L U LO CO CO CD OJ-D CO O TJ i_ O O CD L X LO CO" CM LO CM" CO O > E cn "D c ro CD CD C > , CD " O Q . CL O 0 1 .D) CD C " D 2 CO Figure 7. The head of a New Zealander engraving from Hawkesworth (1773); rpt. in Joppien and Smith, vol 1, 185. 118 Figure 8. J. Heath after a watercolour by W. Ellis, A Native of Sandwich Sound, engraving from Ellis (1781); rpt. in Joppien and Smith, vol. 3:2, 483. Figure 9. Manner of Sleeping &c. in the Forest. Top: Stedman's original 1776 watercolour. Bottom: 1791 engraving by Inigo Barlow, after the water colour for the 1796 first edition of the Expedition (pi. 73 [top]). Rpt. in Stedman (1988) XLIV. 122 Figure 12. Francesco Bartolozzi, Frontispiece (1794), engraving from Stedman (1988) 2. Figure 13. Francesco Bartolozzi, A Rebel Negro armed & on his guard (1794), engraving from Stedman (1988) 391. Figure 14. Francesco Bartolozzi, A Female Negro Slave, with a Weight chained to her Ancle (1795), engraving from Stedman (1988) 40. Figure 15. T. Holloway, Joanna (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 89. 126 127 Figure 17. Michele Benedetti, Indian Female of the Arrowauka Nation (1792), engraving from Stedman (1988) 467. 128 Figure 18. Michele Benedetti. Indian Family of the Carribbee Nation (1792), engraving from Stedman (1988) 307. Figure 19. William Blake, Family of Negro Slaves from Loango (1792), engraving from Stedman (1988) 535. 130 Figure 20. William Blake, Group of Nearos. as imported to be sold for Slaves (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 167. Figure 21. William Blake, A Coromantvn Free Negro, or Ranger, armed (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 83. Figure 22. William Blake, A private Marine of Col. Fourgeoud's Corps (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 121. 133 Figure 23. William Blake, The celebrated Graman Quacy (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 583. 134 Figure 24. William Blake, A Surinam Planter in his Morning Dress (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 365. Figure 25. William Blake, The Sculls of Lieu1 Leppar. & Six of his Men (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 190. 136 Figure 26. William Blake, March thro' a swamp or Marsh in Terra-firma (1794), engraving from Stedman (1988) 403. Figure 27. William Blake, Europe supported bv Africa & America (1792), engraving from Stedman (1988) 619. 138 Figure 28. William Blake, A Negro hung alive by the Ribs to a Gallows (1792), engraving from Stedman (1988) 105. 139 Figure 29. William Blake, The Execution of Breaking on the Rack (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 548. 140 Figure 30. William Blake, Flagellation of a Female Samboe Slave (1793), engraving from Stedman (1988) 265. 


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