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The Irish Abolitionist


Richard Madden (1798–1886) Irishman and British colonial administrator, crusader against slavery and biographer of the United Irishmen, subverted his postings to Jamaica, Cuba, West Africa and Western Australia to champion the civil rights of oppressed peoples. He played a key role in securing the captives’ release in the infamous 1839 case of the slave-ship Amistad. A thorn in the side of various colonial elites on three continents, Madden witnessed the horror of the Irish Famine and the oppression of the Australian Aborigines. Living by his wits, socially and politically, he supported the emancipation of his fellow Irish Catholics, uncovering at the same time the abuses of the establishment. Many of the social and political issues addressed in The Irish Abolitionist are as pertinent today as they were when Madden first wrote about them more than a century ago.


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