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Carl Bernhard Wadstrom: Swedenborgian Abolitionist

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Swedenborgian Online Community

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Carl Bernhard Wadstrom: Swedenborgian Abolitionist

Last week, we celebrated the movie Amazing Grace and the extraordinary life of William Wilberforce.
One of the people working with Wilberforce was a Swedenborgian, Carl Bernhard Wadstrom [1746-1799].  Wadstrom is perhaps one of best known Swedenborgians involved in the British abolition movement.
Wadstrom was Swedish, and the time frames of his life overlapped with Swedenborg’s life [1688- 1772]. He was impressed with Swedenborg’s references to Africans in the spiritual world, and felt that he had to take a stand against slavery.
He worked with a number of people, including British Swedenborgians, to set up a colony on the coast of Sierra Leone for freed slaves.  The colony was attacked by French privateers in 1795, and most of the settlers were killed.  Unfortunately the colony eventually failed.
Wilberforce called a number of witnesses in the British House of Commons in support of ending the slave trade.  One person he called on was Charles Bernhard Wadstrom.

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