It took 17 years, but Parliament finally abolished the transatlantic slave trade in 1807. After 1808, Wilberforce and his allies carried on the fight to abolish slavery itself.
From the beginning, abolition was a transatlantic effort. Abolitionists wrote and visited, financed, and supported each other across the Atlantic.
Anti-slavery pamphlets like this one written in New York were reprinted in London.
Abolitionist victories in England, like Granville Sharp's victory in the <a href="http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/archives/article/106379/James-Somerset-a-runaway-slave">Somerset Case</a>, were reported in colonial newspapers from Massachusetts to Virginia.
Writing late in life (he was to die in 1833) to the Secretary of the Anti-Slavery Society, Wilberforce endorsed the Society's activities and encouraged them to appoint stalwart "enemies to the Slave trade & Slavery" as their leaders.
He also welcomed the launch of a new abolitionist journal, but worried that the public was wearying of the subject.
Frederick Douglass was a self-emancipated former slave turned orator and writer. He emerged as the leader of the American anti-slavery movement.
In this famous 1852 speech, Douglass praises religious leaders in England, including Wilberforce, for having opposed slavery on Christian principles.
He urges Americans to likewise "assume a favorable, instead of a hostile position towards that [abolitionist] movement."
The president of Canada's aptly named Wilberforce Colony for escaped slaves, Austin Steward was himself a former slave and later a businessman in Rochester, New York.
The Wilberforce Colony flourished under Steward's leadership during the early and mid-1830s. His autobiography records his own flight to freedom and the struggles of other former slaves who found sanctuary in the Wilberforce Colony.
Just six years after Frederick Douglass invoked the memory of Wilberforce, Lincoln also reminded Americans of the successful abolition movement in England.
"School-boys know that Wilbe[r]force ... helped that cause forward; but who can now name a single man who labored to retard it?"
This photograph shows Abraham Lincoln as he appeared just two years after he mentioned Wilberforce in his Senate campaign speech. Three years later, amidst the harrowing ordeal of the Civil War, he would issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
Announced on September 22, 1862, and formally issued on January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was a carefully crafted document in which Lincoln, as commander in chief, implemented emancipation as a military act against the states in rebellion.
This poignant photograph depicts a multi-generational black family in Calhoun, Alabama. The Emancipation Proclamation, together with the Thirteenth Amendment passed in 1865, meant that they and all African Americans would live "henceforth and forever free."