This new exhibition at Jersey Museum examines the evidence of the Island’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade, including Jersey’s Lieutenant-Governor Sir George Carteret who was a founder member of the Royal Africa Company that traded in ivory, gold and enslaved people in the 17th century; Captain François Messervy of Jersey who was killed in 1722 during an uprising on board his slave ship off the coast of Africa; and Jersey trader Josué Mauger who in 1752 advertised enslaved people for sale in Nova Scotia, Canada, where his business was based.
The exhibition is in the Victorian House at Jersey Museum, with its impressive mahogany staircase, because new research has shown that the house was built partly on the profits of the transatlantic slave trade. ‘Trade Roots’ explores Jersey’s historic links to slavery, from Islanders who owned mahogany plantations overseas and traded in slave-produced goods, to those who campaigned for the abolition of slavery.
Thought-provoking, and at times challenging, this exhibition exposes some uncomfortable new stories from Jersey’s past and examines the legacy and impact of transatlantic slavery on the Island’s community today.
- The statue of Sir George Carteret was covered in red paint during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations of 2020.
- Jerseyman Joshua Mauger advertised enslaved people for sale in Nova Scotia in 1752.
- Enslaved labour was used to harvest mahogany for staircases and furniture in Jersey properties such as the Victorian House.