Richard Dawkins' family fortune and the slave trade

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On February 20, 2012, the British newspaper the Daily Mail reported that Richard Dawkins' family fortune came from the slave trade".[1]

On February 20, 2012, the British newspaper the Daily Mail reported that Richard Dawkins' "family fortune came from the slave trade".[2] On February 19, 2012, The Daily Telegraph reported that Dawkins is being called to make reparations for his family's past.[3]

The Daily Mail reported:

Ancestors of secularist campaigner Richard Dawkins made their fortune from the slave trade, it has been revealed.

The outspoken atheist, who once branded the Catholic Church 'evil', is the direct descendent of Henry Dawkins who owned 1,013 slaves in Jamaica until he died in 1744.

His 400-acre family estate, Over Norton Park near Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, is believed to have been bought with money made through slave ownership hundreds of years ago...

Richard's son, Henry, married into another of Jamaica's powerful slave trading families and left 1,013 slaves worth £40,736 when he died 1744.

The links with slavery continue down the family tree and in 1796 another ancestor, James Dawkins, voted against William Wilberforce's plans to abolish the slave trade[4]

(William Wilberforce was a devout Christian, philanthropist,abolitionist, and the leader of the campaign against the Slave Trade)

Thomas Sowell wrote:

While slavery was common to all civilizations, as well as to peoples considered uncivilized, only one civilization developed a moral revulsion against it, very late in hits history…not even the leading moralists in other civilizations rejected slavery at all…. Moreover, within Western civilization, the principle impetus for the abolition of slavery came first from very conservative religious activists – people who would today be called ‘the religious right.’…this story is not ‘politically correct’ in today’s terms. Hence it is ignored, as if it never happened.”[5]

See also

Notes

  1. Revealed: How atheist Richard Dawkins' family fortune came from the slave trade, Daily Mail, February 20, 2012
  2. Revealed: How atheist Richard Dawkins' family fortune came from the slave trade, Daily Mail, February 20, 2012
  3. Slaves at the root of the fortune that created Richard Dawkins' family estate, The Daily Telegragh, February 19, 2012
  4. Revealed: How atheist Richard Dawkins' family fortune came from the slave trade, Daily Mail, February 20, 2012
  5. Sowell, Thomas (2005) The real history of slavery. In Black Rednecks and White Liberals. San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books
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