Leaving his estates with kinsman Gill and he established a partnership with James Tobin a planter friend from Nevis. Originally based in London, Pinney moved to Bristol where it “agreed with his constitution. ” The firm of Pinney and Tobin prospered which may be due to slave labour. The inventory of negreos is reliable because it’s an official document, however it may inaccurate as for examples names of the slaves have been changed to unrealistic names such as “Butter” therefore we have no proof that the other information is correct.
The slave “Azariah” may be linked to Pinney as it is a family name. Pinney may have purchased these slaves. Furthermore, sources on Tobin are useful as they tell us Tobin was a pro-slavery activist and in his opinion “neither the slavery of the West India colonies, or the commence of the human species are to be defended. ” Therefore, Tobin may have influenced Pinney in purchasing more slaves. However, these two sources don’t really support each other because even though Tobin is pro-slavery there is no real connection that Pinney purchased the slaves on this inventory.
Furthermore, more trade was direct with the West Indies not triangular trade. Though Pinney left his estates with Gill he kept a close eye on his plantations where the slaves worked. ” I have received the several articles you sent by the Nevis after vast deal of trouble from the Revue officer -they obliged me to pay duties for the whole -My children, therefore must go without the sweetmeats in the future, for they are not worth the duty done in sugar. ” This is source is a letter which is a complaint to Pinney from Gill, I think it’s is reliable.
Furthermore it’s primary, written at the time suggested by “sweetmeats” which were favourites of his children. Pinney retired him and appointed William Coker but he wrote to Coker frequently advising him on captains allowances, how to hide rum and stores during wars. These letters are reliable because they are primary and close to the event as the letters were written so that Pinney’s plantations were run at there best. They are useful as they highlight Pinney was good at managing the plantations and knew how to do things such as smuggling.
However, the letters may be slightly biased as Pinney seem to be a perfectionist and therefore may have faulted his managers more then deserved. I can support this with another source which portrays Pinney’s desire to want things perfect. “I am sorry to acquaint you that Kate has behaved very ill, by leaving several small amounts unsatisfied-and not withstanding Mrs. P her I pr of shoes and 6yds of Muslinett for a gown, she had the impudence to go Messrs Whitty and North Coats and take up another 6yrd to make herself a petticoat, which they have charged to me 16/6.
This letter has all the exact measurements and prices “16/6” as it’s a formal complaint therefore it’s reliable and abbreviations and the use of yards tells us it’s from the Georgian period. Furthermore, it shows Pinney’s large investments mint he was equally perfect about small wastes. As a result of Pinney’s plantations and involvement in the slave trade Pinney became a very wealthy man and built his own house in Bristol now a public museum the house has many sources which suggest Pinney was involved in the slave trade.
Recently, plaques have been put up on slavery but there is primary evidence in the house. For example there are two globes in the study which suggests Pinney was interested in geography and travel which can be further supported by the books in his library. However, they don’t link Pinney to slavery whereas the painting of Nevis in the drawing room. This is a very dominant Picture and is primary so the painting was done at the time of the slave trade and Nevis was where Pinney’s plantations were as to why he had a huge painting of it in his drawing room.
Also, there are various pieces of furniture from Nevis in the house such as the desk in the house. Trade and plantations were further carried on through the family as Pinney left his plantations with his son Azariah. I have now evaluated various pieces of evidence on Pinney and how he was involved in the slave trade. Though Pinney was not directly involved in the slave trade, Pinney owned plantations which drove on slave labour. Pinney bought slaves and in order to get good work from them he treated them fairly and in return they respected him.
He then became a merchant with a pro-slavery activist Tobin who may have encouraged him to purchase slaves, there business was successful but it was mostly West Indian trade which didn’t include slavery. The effect on living in Nevis meant the family had a week relationship so he moved to England where he preferred Bristol to London. He and his family became very rich and Mrs. Pinney portrayed their wealth by wearing the latest fashions. Pinney was a perfectionist and his attention to things such as slaves and managers fulfilling their duties properly may be why Pinney became such a successful merchant and plantation owner.