Excerpts from The Khalifate of the West: being a general description of Morocco

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Dublin Core


Excerpts from The Khalifate of the West: being a general description of Morocco


Thought Leaders


Originally from, Edmund Sturge, a Quaker and advocate for abolition.The letter in Donald Mackenzie's book addressed Sturge's plea to the Sultan of Morocco to outlaw slavery in the region.


Edmund Sturge


University of California Libraries


London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent, & Co.




Alex Weaver


Public Domain. Not in Copyright.








Identifier: khalifateofwestb00mackrich
Identifier-ark: ark:/13960/t58c9td1n
Identifier-bib: GLAD-291792


Morocco 19th Century

Text Item Type Metadata


The Minister Plenipotentiary of the Queen of Great Britain, Empress of India, at Morocco. " (Signed) WM. KIRBY GREEN."
This letter, without doubt, helped me in the matter of the presentation of the Anti-Slavery Society's address. The following is the text of the address :
55, NEW BROAD STREET, LONDON, "March 10, 1887.
May it please your Highness, ' We are all the servants of God, the Father of Mussulmans, Christians, Jews, and of all the nations of the earth, of whatever colour or race, and therefore the great Anti-Slavery Society of London, whose powerful Protector and Patron is the Prince of Wales (eldest son of the Queen of the British Empire, and ruler over many millions of Mussulmans), now desires to address your Highness on behalf of all those slaves, of whatever nationality, who are in bondage in the Shereefian dominions. " Several Mussulman nations have recognised that the slave-trade, as it has long been carried on in Africa, is contrary to the commands of the Prophet contained in the Koran. "It is true that the existence of slavery is recognised by Mahomet, but only of captives taken in war, and the Prophet earnestly enjoins good treatment of all slaves, and recommends that they should be set free as an act specially pleasing in the sight of Heaven. The Koran, moreover, does not sanction the separation of husband and wife, and of children from their parents, as is now too often done in the slave-markets of Morocco, whilst the cruel mutilation of boys for harem purposes, so extensively carried onHn the dominions of your Highness, is a
crime against God and man, which the Koran does not justify. " The Anti-Slavery Society therefore embraces the opportunity presented by the journey of their friend, Mr. Donald Mackenzie, to the Shereefian Court, to ask him to present to your Highness its petition on behalf of the slaves in that great empire, and its earnest prayer that your Highness will prevent your subjects from carrying on the slave-trade, and will forbid the separation of families in all the slavemarkets of Morocco, as well as the cruel and disgraceful mutilation of children which now exists. In the present day, when the light of civilisation is spreading over all the earth, the dark deeds, so long wrought in secret upon the helpless natives of Africa, are made known to the whole world with a swiftness and certainty almost inconceivable, and if Morocco is to take that position amongst the nations of the earth to which her former history and her vast resources entitle her, her rulers must learn to govern the people committed to their charge with justice and moderation. " Deeds of cruelty, whether wrought upon the persons of slaves or upon poor and defenceless subjects of any Sovereign, react in a tenfold manner upon the Government which permits such injustice, and take away from the nation that strength which alone can enable her to prosper, or even to exist. " The rulers of theMohammedan countries of Turkey, Egypt, Tunis, and Zanzibar have made treaties with Great Britain, pledging themselves to stop the slave-trade in their dominions, both on shore and at sea, and the Anti-Slavery Society trusts that the day is not far distant when Morocco also shall enter into a similar alliance for the abolition of the nefarious traffic in human beings. "That this petition may receive the favourable consideration of your Highness, and, under the guidance of the All-merciful God, you may long be
enabled to rule with justice and moderation over a grateful and prosperous people, is the prayer of the Anti-Slavery Society. "(Signed) EDMUND STUKGE, Chairman. CHAS. H. ALLEN, Secretary."
On the 27th of April I had an interview with the Grand Vizier and handed him the Society's address, with a request that he would present it to his Shereefian Majesty, his master. He read it, and promised to hand it to the Sultan. He remarked that his Majesty had, in deference to the wishes of the British Government, issued orders that there should be in future a separate place for the sale of slaves, who should not be sold in the public market, as before. He remarked that the holding of slaves was in accordance with the Mohammedan religion, and if they were set free they would die of hunger. I replied that no such calamity had befallen after the abolition of slavery in Turkey and other countries, and I hoped Morocco would follow the example of other enlightened nations and blot out the iniquity of slavery from the empire. I further remarked that neither Christian nor Mohammedan would like to be held in bondage against their will. This the Vizier could not dispute. Our interview was very cordial throughout, and I felt glad that the address would at last be presented to the Sultan. This took place a few days after, and the address received the support of the late Sir William Kirby Green. The slave-market is held in Morocco City every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Girls and boys are generally in great demand. The price of girls is about 16 to 20. The supply for the Morocco markets comes from the Soudan across the Sahara Desert. A great number of the captives die on the march. Some pretty girls are, I found, brought from Senegal in French vessels as passengers and disposed

Original Format





Edmund Sturge, “Excerpts from The Khalifate of the West: being a general description of Morocco,” Digital Histories, accessed May 20, 2024, https://digitalhistories.kennesaw.edu/items/show/37.