Somerset's Case and Its Antecedents in Imperial Perspective

  title={Somerset's Case and Its Antecedents in Imperial Perspective},
  author={George William Van Cleve},
  journal={Law and History Review},
  pages={601 - 646}
  • G. V. Cleve
  • Published 1 September 2006
  • History, Economics
  • Law and History Review
James Somerset was taken from Africa as a slave to the Americas in 1749. He was sold in Virginia to Charles Steuart, a Scottish merchant and slave trader in Norfolk who served after 1765 as a high-ranking British customs official. In 1769, Steuart took Somerset with him to England. After two years in England, Somerset escaped from Steuart, but was recaptured. Steuart decided to sell Somerset back into slavery in Jamaica, and, in late November 1771, Somerset was bound in chains on a ship on the… 
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