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Clarkson's task was to collect information for the committee to present to parliament and the public.
He devoted his time and energy to travelling around Britain, particularly to the ports of Liverpool and Bristol, gathering evidence about the slave trade from eyewitnesses, especially from sailors who had worked on slave trading ships.
Clarkson also bought examples of equipment used on slave ships, including handcuffs, shackles and branding irons, which he used as visual aids.
In 1789, he travelled to Paris where he attempted unsuccessfully to persuade the new French government to abolish the slave trade.
Between 17, Clarkson's brother John was involved in the attempt to establish a settlement of former slaves in Sierra Leone in west Africa.
After years of hard work by the Clarksons, Sharp, Wilberforce and many others, the slave trade was abolished in the British empire in 1807.
He was the son of a clergyman who also taught at the local grammar school.
In 1779, Clarkson went to Cambridge University where he won a Latin essay competition on the subject of whether it was lawful to make slaves of others against their will.
The essay attracted a lot of attention and enabled him to meet other abolitionists, including Granville Sharp.
In 1787, Clarkson and Sharp were instrumental in forming the Committee for the Abolition of the African Slave Trade. The Committee helped to persuade the member of parliament William Wilberforce to take up the abolitionist cause.