That Cotton Picking Guardian!

John Edward Taylor investor in slave labour and founder of the Guardian

The Manchester Guardian  on the liberator of America’s slaves Abraham Lincoln.

“It was an evil day both for America and the world when he was chosen President of the United States” Manchester Guardian, 10th October 1862

On news of his assassination, the Guardian described Lincoln’s Proclamation of Emancipation – the act that declared “all persons held as slaves are, and henceforward shall be free.” as abhorrent

The newspaper’s founder, John Edward Taylor, made his money in the cotton trade – an industry that prospered on the backs of cotton-picking slaves. After his death in 1844, the paper continued its relationship with its cotton merchant advertisers, going as far as demanding Manchester’s cotton workers, who refused to touch cotton picked by US slaves, should be forced back into work. Source Media Guido

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10 Comments on That Cotton Picking Guardian!

  1. This allusion to our statues falls flat immediately as an analogy. In the US, Confederate memorials and public works this past century went up either during the Jim Crow era or during the Civil Rights Movement, times of increased racial tension. These two periods also coincided with the 50th and 100th anniversaries of the US Civil War.
    Now if The Guardian had continued to editorially glorify the slave trade (or actually directly finance the building of statues dedicated to slave-traders) into successive centuries then I guess there might be some tenuous logic. But nope, there ain’t none I can see, me hearties
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/…/List_of_Confederate…

  2. You have taken as a source media guido rather than a proper historical source. Presumably from the way you have written the article there is no directl ink between Taylor and slavery – it seems he wasa mill-owner and therefore some of his cotton may have come from planations where they may have been picked by slaves. For a supposedly intellectual publicaiton this is shoddy, even by your standards.

    Additionally and for your informaitn (as you seem woefully ininformed) no- has ever said that no slavery tainted penny could ever be used, however far the money was from the present, and however minimal the tainting. The point about the statues is that they are a public celebration/commemmoration of a person’s achievements (it is very dobtful if they themselves are history) – all that is being said is that they should be accurate, or if on balance they are considered not approriiate to celebrate/commemorate, such as Hitler, Mosley, Colston, etc then they should not be put in public places with no historical guide. Easy really if you don’t have an axe to grind.

    • Andrew it is Andrew isn’t it ? That’s the great thing about a religion, in this case Maoism ?, is that you can always argue that you are 100% right because of the certainty of your faith. Add a bit of personal nasty abuse and your sense of self righteousness is confirmed. The fact that the Manchester Guardian founder was an early investor in slaves, even if indirect, is just as much a public lesson in the wicked roots of British society as Colston and the paper should as a valuable public lesson, shut itself down.
      In passing I haven’t heard many chants from the BAME demonstrations about Islam and Slavery, millions were enslaved by Arab slavers over the centuries , was that a ‘good’ type of slavery or is the left still working on the correct interpretation of this embarrassing detail of history.

  3. So are they going to start the closure of the Guardian and Observer because of its attachment to slavery through its first ownership John Edward Taylot

  4. Interestingly in view of present day priorities, not all Liberals at the time saw the question as one primarily of slavery. Some saw the South as a “nation rightly struggling to be free” – the same way as they saw Italy and later Ireland – Lincoln and the Unionist North were the oppressors; Gladstone made a speech in praise of the Confederate President Jefferson Davis. History is never simple.

  5. Free speech or shut down the racists? What a no-brainer. Let’s all shut down the r … ah! Eee-yes … well, look … that’s different, see. ‘Cos it’s not about being consistent, oh no,no,no. It’s about being really, really equal an’ human, right? Which obviously means being against, like, white privilege, yeah? I mean, so … privilege, see.

    Can we burn your house down now?