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The Anti-Slavery Reporter was founded in 1825 by Zachary Macaulay (1768-1838), a Scottish philanthropist who devoted most of his life to the anti-slavery movement. At the age of 16 he was sent to Jamaica, where he eventually became a plantation manager, but his unhappiness with the treatment of slaves brought about his return to England in 1792. He then obtained an appointment to the council of the new African colony of Sierra Leone, founded by William Wilberforce and other abolitionists as a settlement for liberated slaves, and became governor after his arrival there in 1793. His accomplishments in the colony were many, but difficulties finally forced him to resign his post in 1799. From 1799 to 1808 he was Secretary of the Sierra Leone Company in England.
Under Macaulay and its subsequent editors, The Anti-Slavery Reporter campaigned vigorously for the abolition of slavery throughout the world. Its articles include detailed reports of the activities of the abolitionists; reports of the Parliamentary procedures which ultimately led to the abolition of slavery throughout Britain and her colonies; details of the political activities of pro- and anti-slavery supporters in other countries; and the Annual Reports of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (later the Anti-Slavery Society and now known as Anti-Slavery International.)