Author: Dicky Sam


“Description of the Slave Ship ‘Brookes'”; chapter 6 of Liverpool and Slavery by “a Genuine ‘Dicky Sam'” (1884)

In chapter 6 of Liverpool and Slavery (1884), the writer known only as “Dicky Sam” describes the infamous slave ship Brooks, which was built in 1781 for the Liverpool merchant Joseph Brooks Jr. At 297 tons, it was bigger than most slave ships and made ten voyages to the west coast of Africa, carrying more than 600 Africans on three occasions and 740 in 1785–1786. In 1788, the abolitionist William Elford created an influential, even iconic broadside depicting the design of the Brooks and how enslaved Africans were stowed in his hold. “Dicky Sam,” meanwhile, used his book to collect and publish information about the Liverpool trade and included an image of Elford’s broadside.