By Betty Fladeland
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Additional info for Abolitionists and Working-Class Problems in the Age of Industrialization
Although Currie was dubious about the wisdom of that resolution, he was willing to bow to the majority and agreed to be one of the group's A Quartet of Liverpudlians 29 delegates to a great Dissenting meeting in Warrington to choose delegates to a London gathering. He was concerned about the importance of keeping the people of each congregation involved, not just the delegates, so that the movement would remain democratic. His hope was to use the Virginia Act of Toleration fathered by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison as a precedent for action, believing that to be consistent with respect for the British constitution.
The fates were kind enough to allow him a short tenure in the House of Commons under the 'ministry of all the talents' just when Wilberforce pushed the Abolition Act to its successful conclusion, thus affording Roscoe the honour of speaking and voting in its favour. It is interesting to note that as a banker Roscoe had a partner, Thomas Leyland, who made a fortune in the slave trade, but he also at one time had as an employee the future leader of British abolitionism, George Thompson. 11 Currie, son of a Scottish clergyman, saw slavery at first hand in Virginia, where he was living when the American Revolution broke out.
7 Among the men who worked for the Rathbones was James Cropper, later to become an outstanding abolitionist leader and one of the Anti-Slavery Society's experts on the economics of slavery. The story goes that Cropper, then a country lad from Cumberland, simply walked into the Rathbone office one day, said he had heard of their Quaker trading-firm, and asked for a job. Within three years he was a partner in the company, but eventually left to form one of his own. The families remained close friends and Cropper was of great help to William Rathbone the fifth and his brother Richard when they set up a new firm as commission merchants.
Abolitionists and Working-Class Problems in the Age of Industrialization by Betty Fladeland