Smith’s two-sentence rebuke of the slave trade was quoted in full several times in early anti-slavery literature. It helps us make sense of Part V of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and understand Smith’s posture toward slavery. Also, it might inform our understanding of the relationship between Smith’s two great works.

Klein, Daniel B., Adam Smith’s 1759 Rebuke of the Slave Trade (February 19, 2019). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 19-06. Available at SSRN: