ABSTRACT

William Knox is an unusual figure among the West India propagandists, for he was an evangelical and had only a tangential connection to slavery in the Caribbean. He did, however, have a strong interest in colonial affairs, beginning when the Board of Trade appointed him as Provost Marshal for Georgia in the 1750s. While stationed in this southern North American colony, Knox took advantage of the liberal system of land distribution and quickly established himself as a significant owner of both land and slaves. His rapid economic rise, combined with a desire to leave the swampy and unhealthy climate, led to his appointment as Georgia's colonial agent in 1761. He served as the colony's representative in London for only a few years, being sacked in 1765 for voicing support for Parliament's right to impose internal taxes on the colonies. Despite losing this post, Knox continued to live as an absentee planter and played an active role in colonial matters by working as a political polemicist.