From the editor’s office of the Chicago Tribune on 1 May 1866, Horace White wrote to T. Perronet Thompson of Hull, England, ‘The question with us now is: Shall the negroes vote? The question with you is not unlike this: Shall the working man vote?’1 If White knew anything at all about his correspondent, these queries could hardly have been intended to stimulate a new line of thought in the mind of the recipient, for Thompson had already devoted more than half a century to the twin causes of freedom for blacks and greater opportunity for working people. He had enlisted in each of the causes as the soldier that he was and in the same spirit with which he fought his military campaigns in the Middle East and in India: striking hard and repeatedly. On one occasion he advised his son, ‘If you hit a man once, always hit him again quickly lest he think the first time was a mistake’2 — a philosophy the father applied in his own battles with people he considered to be the enemies of reform.


Free Trade Election Campaign Slave Trade Slave Labour Chicago Tribune 
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  1. 3.
    L. G. Johnson, General T. Perronet Thompson 1783–1869. His Military, Literary and Political Campaigns (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1957) pp. 11, 24–5, 39. His mother was the daughter of the Vicar of Shoreham in Kent, and her grandfather, the Revd Vincent Perronet, was connected with John Wesley in his early work.Google Scholar
  2. See William Howitt, ‘T. P. Thompson’, Howitt’s Journal, vol. ii, no. 31 (31 July 1847) pp. 65–8.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Johnson, Thompson, p. 26; Autobiographical Recollections of Sir John Bowring. With a Brief Memoir by Lewin B. Bowring (London: Henry S. King, 1877) p. 70.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    For the beginnings of the Sierra Leone colony see E. M. Howse, Saints in Politics, The ‘Clapham Sect’ and the Growth of Freedom (Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1952) pp. 45–57;Google Scholar
  5. Ellen Gibson Wilson, The Loyal Blacks (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1976).Google Scholar
  6. 16.
    Thompson to the Bradford Reform Association, 28 June and 3 July 1848, Thompson Papers. For the debates see the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Reporter throughout 1844, 1845 and 1846. Also, C. Duncan Rice, ‘“Humanity Sold for Sugar!” The British Abolitionist Response to Free Trade in Slave-Grown Sugar’, Historical Journal, vol. xiii, no. 3 (1970) pp. 402–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 36.
    [Thompson], A Catechism on the Corn Laws; with a List of Fallacies and the Answers. By a Member of the University of Cambridge (London, 1827). It went through twenty editions.Google Scholar
  8. 42.
    Dorothy Thompson, The Early Chartists (Columbia: Univ. of South Carolina Press, 1971) pp. 6–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 56.
    W. J. Linton, Threescore and Ten Years 1820 to 1890, Recollections (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1894) pp. 158–9.Google Scholar

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© Betty Fladeland 1984

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  • Betty Fladeland

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