Most of the information available about Quobna Ottobah Cugoano, otherwise known as John Stewart, stems from a brief note gummed into some of the copies of his Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil and Wicked Traffic of the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species (1787). He was born around 1757 into one of the leading families in the Fante village of Ajumako, which today is part of Ghana. Kidnapped at the age of thirteen, he spent nearly ten months in a slave-gang at Grenada and a further year shuttling between various parts of the Caribbean, before being taken to England at the end of 1772 by one Alexander Campbell. The following year he was baptised at St James’s Church, Westminster. Where he lived and what he did during the following decade has yet to be discovered. He seems to have spent at least some of the years between 1784 and 1788 in Pall Mall serving Richard Cosway, principal painter to the Prince of Wales. Increasingly he involved himself with the campaign to end the slave trade. In July 1786 he contacted Granville Sharp to alert him to the plight of Henry Demane, a negro servant who had been kidnapped and was about to be forcibly shipped back into slavery. Cugoano signed petitions addressed to the likes of Sharp and Prime Minister William Pitt, and wrote letters to Edmund Burke and the Prince of Wales. He was also one of the ‘Sons of Africa’, a loose coalition of black Londoners who issued public statements, fired off anti-slavery missives to the press, and struggled to improve the living conditions of Africans in England.