Stephen, Sir James

Stephen, Sir James,

1789–1859, British colonial administrator; father of Leslie and James Fitzjames Stephen. He served (1825–35) as permanent counsel to the colonial office and Board of Trade and drafted the bill (1833) for the abolition of the slave trade. As assistant undersecretary (1834–36) and undersecretary (1836–47) for the colonies, he was the effective director of British colonial policy. He promoted the extension of self-government to the colonies and rejected the "systematic colonization" schemes of Edward Gibbon WakefieldWakefield, Edward Gibbon,
1796–1862, British colonial statesman. He was attached to the British embassies in Turin (1814–16) and Paris (1820–26), but in 1826 was convicted of an attempt to marry an heiress by trickery.
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, fearing oppression of the native populations.


See study by Paul Knaplund (1953).

References in periodicals archive ?
"Stephen, Sir James (1789-1859)." Dictionary of National Biography.