An advertisement from the newspaper the Glasgow Courant, 28 August 1758, offering a black slave for sale.
Glasgow merchants became increasingly involved in trade with Britain's American colonies after the Act of Union of 1707 and by mid-century they were dominating the transatlantic tobacco trade. Other merchants traded with the West Indies and many owned sugar and rum plantations which relied on slave labour. Occasionally slaves from the Americas were brought back to Scotland to work as servants. Teenage boys who could be employed as pages were particularly fashionable. The legal status of these slaves in Scotland was unclear however, and in the 1770s the Court of Session ruled that "the purchaser of a negro in the British colonies has no right to the perpetual services of such a negro while in this country".
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums
advertisements, children, colonies, Court of Session, newspapers, pages, plantations, servants, slavery, slaves, teenagers, tobacco trade