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Trenton Square in Jersey to keep slave-trade links name

image captionTrenton Square in St Helier was named after Trenton, the state capital of New Jersey

The States of Jersey has refused to rename a square linked to an 18th Century slave trader.

Trenton Square is named after the capital of New Jersey in the US, which takes its name from Scottish-born William Trent.

The merchant bought and sold slaves from the West Indies and North America in Philadelphia in the 1700s.

The Constable of St Helier Simon Crowcroft said removing the name would show "a serious lack of courtesy".

The proposition, put forward by Deputy Montfort Tadier, was rejected by 42 votes to three.

The Constable of St John Chris Taylor said racism and slavery had become "muddled", adding it was "wrong" to link the two.

"The Pyramids and Sphinxes of Egypt were built by slaves - should they be knocked down?" he asked States members.

'Excuses and glorification'

The debate also heard from Deputy Kirsten Morel, who said that while "too many" people were unaware of the island's history, the proposition "doesn't address that".

He said: "The answer is to fund the learning and teaching of Jersey's histories in school and beyond, so that all of us can begin to understand how we got here."

image captionThe name was officially adopted in May of last year

Senator Sam Mezec said the debate had seen ministers "coming up with excuses for the glorification of a slave trader".

Mr Crowcroft had originally suggested the name, which was officially adopted in May 2019 at a ceremony attended by senior Jersey politicians and the mayor of Trenton, New Jersey.

The US state was named after Jersey by the royalist and slave trader Sir George Carteret.

Carteret, who was given the land as a reward for sheltering the future King Charles II during the English Civil War, served as bailiff in Jersey during the 1640s.

Related Topics

  • New Jersey
  • Slavery

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