Monday, November 29, 2010

The Zong Massacre: 229 years ago today

The master of the slave ship Zong determined that a large number of his "cargo" were so ill from malnutrition and illness that they would not fetch a decent price at market. He therefore cast 122 slaves (including women and children) into the sea. After which he filed an insurance claim against the "loss of cargo." The insurer's disputed the case and the resulting trial and appeal created a legal sensation.
What is this claim that human people have been thrown overboard? This is a case of chattels or goods. Blacks are goods and property; it is madness to accuse these well-serving honourable men of murder. They acted out of necessity and in the most appropriate manner for the cause. The late Captain Collingwood acted in the interest of his ship to protect the safety of his crew. To question the judgement of an experienced well-travelled captain held in the highest regard is one of folly, especially when talking of slaves. The case is the same as if wood had been thrown overboard.
-John Lee KC (Solicitor General for the Crown)


CJ said...

Lord have mercy.

Matushka Anna said...

How horrible. It just turns my stomach.

Anonymous said...

I think I am going to throw up.