In Guyana, as historian Nigel Westmaas notes, the statue of Queen Victoria was dynamited and partially destroyed at the height of the anti-colonial period in 1954. An online petition made to change to name of Dundas Street as a result of Henry Dundas' opposition to the British abolition of slavery in the 18th century, according to CP24.. The answer, obviously, is no. The Henry Dundas Committee for Public Education on Historic Scotland [1] wishes to highlight important evidence that has been ignored — evidence that shows that Dundas was an abolitionist. In Canada, they have persuaded Toronto City Council to consider renaming the iconic Dundas Street that runs through the city. Such claims, when they appear in newspapers, unsupported by actual evidence, do disservice to the public’s intelligence and exploit the presumed ignorance of ordinary people, most of whom are not taught this history and would not themselves always have the factual basis to access such problematic analysis. These men were celebrated not in spite of the fact that they were white supremacists and, in some cases, mass murderers… but because of it. He was the trusted lieutenant of British prime minister William Pitt, and the most powerful politician in Scotland in the latter decades of the 18th century. These kinds of superficial arguments suggest a selective reading of complex historical materials. A FREE roundup of top news from Guyana you might otherwise miss. Half of the prisoners died and the survivors were then exiled to Central America. For a historian of slavery and abolition in the Caribbean, these questions are easy to answer. This essay was first carried on opendemocracy on July 30, 2020: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/henry-dundas-empire-and-genocide/?fbclid=IwAR08KX_7Ghhk8ZQW491U7IlvDQKS-9L5ijuK4IpKXSfRReXs2phhkvQMSC8. Last week Martinicans dragged the statue of Empress Joséphine – wife of Napoleon and daughter of the slave owning De Beauharnais family – off of her pedestal in Parque de la Savane in Fort-de-France. In his petition, Lochhead said Henry Dundas participated in obstructing the abolition of slavery in the British Empire from 1791 to the end of his political career in 1806. Noble descendant of Henry Dundas calls in to defend ancestor in street renaming debate ... 2020. Log in for full access to stabroeknews.com. The sight of British protesters dumping the statue of slave trader Edward Colston into Bristol harbour will likely be one of the enduring images from the anti-racism protests currently sweeping the world. But interpreting the role of Henry Dundas in the abolition of slavery “is complicated,” the report noted. Toronto City Council is to launch a public consultation over renaming a street named after 18th-century Scottish politician Henry Dundas. But I would say, to those who think that what ‘matters’ is so straightforward, that my first ancestor in this hemisphere probably came over in the hold of a slave ship, likely to Barbados, where I was born. Not far away lay St. Vincent, the main island in the modern-day multi-island state of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. But his complicated historical legacy – which included delaying slavery abolition for 15 years – is under greater scrutiny. Dundas was a Scottish aristocrat and key British cabinet member under William Pitt the Younger. He held a lot of power when, realistically, no one overseeing how Britain had seized St. Vincent from France in 1763, part of the empire’s expansionist vision for slavery and sugar production – however, the Garifuna controlled about half of the island. In its second public debate about this issue in three decades, the government of my own country, Barbados, plans to remove the 207-year-old statue of Horatio Nelson, hero of the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar that helped to preserve Britain’s slaveholding Caribbean empire. In 1795, Dundas threw Britain’s military might against a combined French and Garifuna force for control of the island. 295,017 of those people were transported when Dundas was colonial secretary from 1794-1801. Does the name Dundas matter? Even with all of my training, I could go through the cargo lists of a thousand slave ships and see the name of my own first ancestor in the Americas… and I would never know I had read it. We can never know whether or not that might have been true; to pursue counterfactualism as truth is to enter the realm of “alternative facts”. British forces hunted down indigenous Vincentians across the island, massacring entire villages and destroying Garifuna autonomy. Dundas had nothing to do with the eventual success of slave trade abolition. It is very clear that every one of Dundas’ interventions into the abolition debate, and his policies as Minister for War and Colonies, served immediately to buttress the influence of slave owners and slave traders and commit Great Britain even more deeply to slavery. On street names and monuments: Toronto's Dundas Street is named after Henry Dundas, the 1st Viscount Melville. Some of his defenders have pointed out that, during the 1792 debate, he also made recommendations on how to improve conditions for enslaved people. City Hall. A local artist in the Canadian city, Andrew Lochend began a petition to rename Toronto’s Dundas Street on Wednesday which had since amassed thousands of supporters. The report noted staff had confirmed Dundas Street was named in 1793 by Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe, in honour of Henry Dundas, then Great Britain’s Home Secretary. It ended up forming much … The impetus for this removal stems from the person these designations sought to honour: Henry Dundas, 1 st Viscount Melville. With France financially devastated by the war, Napoleon sold the Louisiana Territory to the US. It was banished to the Georgetown Botanical Gardens in 1970 when Guyana became a Co-operative Republic, but returned to its original location in front of the law courts in 1990. A petition went up today on the site You.leadnow.ca to change the name of Dundas Street in Toronto. I am a historian by profession. City staff have confirmed that the road was named in 1793 by John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, in honour of Scottish politician Henry Dundas, First Viscount Melville. The street is named after Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville from Edinburgh, Scotland. Only one active session is allowed per subscriber. Since the 1750s, enslaved people in Britain like Knight and Somersett, as well as Black and white abolitionists, had challenged slaveholding in metropolitan Britain. Dundas Street, which runs through Toronto and several other southern Ontario cities, was named after Henry Dundas, an 18th-century politician who delayed Britain’s abolition of … Shop online for new, used and demo digital cameras, buy digital SLRs and video cameras. In 1795, MPs accused Dundas of allowing British forces to commit atrocities against the Jamaican Maroons of Trelawney Town, a free black community with whom Britain had signed a treaty in 1740. Since 1991, the Empress had stood without her head, which was removed by a guerilla artist who also daubed the statue in red paint, a symbolic reference to the guillotining of many slave owners in Paris during the French Revolution. In 1796, he opposed immediate abolition as politically inconvenient in the context of the British war against emancipation, racial equality and democracy in France and the Caribbean. This is a counter petition of this petition calling to rename a major street in Toronto. In the 1790s, faced with the epoch-defining choice to either align Great Britain with freedom or slavery, British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger and his ministers unequivocally chose slavery. The petition says he was active in obstructing the elimination of slavery in the British Empire between 1791 and 1806 while he … But now clamour is growing for the removal of the statue of Henry Dundas, the 1st Viscount Melville, from St Andrew Square in Edinburgh as awareness has … Scottish politician Henry Dundas' name is all over Ontario. Dundas’s namesake has been deeply emblazoned across the province. These debates are not new to the Caribbean and Colston was not the first slave trader whose monument ended up in the ocean. The road connects the city of Toronto with its western suburbs and several cities in southwestern part of the province. Dundas defended these actions, stating that “The Maroons had been treated with humanity and attention.”. He proposed a date for abolition eight years in the future – an eternity in politics even in the eighteenth century – which was amended by other MPs to 1796. Henry Dundas opposed the abolition efforts of people like William Wilberforce in the British Parliament. called to remove the Henry Dundas statue from St Andrew Square’s, Son of slaver Dundas + Colonialist Profiteer’. Earlier this week, Edinburgh City Council leader Adam McVey stated he would feel ‘no sense of loss’ if the statue was removed. Between 1793 and 1798, across the Caribbean, 40,000 British troops, most of them sent there by Dundas, died or were incapacitated in a bloody struggle to expand the frontiers of British slavery. on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. Nicola Sturgeon's wildcat independence referendum plan shows how dangerous voting SNP really is – Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, Stricter quarantine measures to be introduced in Scotland depending on UK Government announcement. The case led to a 1778 ruling, similar to the more famous decision in the 1772 case of enslaved man James Somersett, in which an English judge ruled that there was no positive law in England that could empower a slave owner to force an enslaved person back to a slaveholding jurisdiction. Meanwhile, in Grenada, Dundas’s forces suppressed an abolitionist uprising that lasted for eighteen months from 1795-96, led by enslaved people and a free man of colour named Julien Fédon. Like Edinburgh, Toronto’s Dundas Street is named after Henry Dundas, the 18th century Scottish politician who delayed Britain’s abolition of slavery by 15 years. However, these essentially echoed the goals of the 1788 Consolidated Slave Law, passed by the slaveowner-controlled Jamaican House of Assembly, which were meant to preserve slavery, not abolish it. Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville, was a Scottish politician. This movement reveals the global scale of imperialism’s genocidal legacies. Where does the truth lie? Or was he a pragmatic abolitionist, whose intervention in one of the most important debates in British parliamentary history rescued abolition from certain defeat? An individual’s historical relevance is also about their actions, and the reasonably foreseeable consequences of those actions. Much of the discussion about Dundas is narrowly focused on the 1792 parliamentary slave trade abolition debate, when he inserted the word ‘gradual’ into William Wilberforce’s abolition bill, which passed in the House of Commons. Scholarly work about Henry Dundas has virtually ignored his handling of indigenous interests in the North American territories controlled by Britain. The Melville Monument has also been subject to graffiti but it has been agreed by the council the statue will be dedicated to slavery victims with a new plaque set to be added which will explain Dundas’ links to the slave trade. Modern arguments defending the necessity of Pitt’s efforts to expand Britain’s slaveholding empire in order to undermine France echo the recent statement by US senator Tom Cotton, who described slavery in his country as a “necessary evil”. 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