what did anti-slavers do?

The other day I heard mention of a “Victorian anti-slaver” ship. I’ve never heard of these ships before, and google is of no help.

What did they look like? How did they fight slavery?

I can’t even imagine what such a ship would be like, except, maybe a glorified privateer.

If anybody could point me to some good articles on the subject, I’d be grateful. I tried searching the web, but get nothing but essays about slavery or stuff related to Star Wars (the movie franchise).

After the abolition of slavery the British government set up an anti-slavery squadron of ships which patrolled the west coast of Africa intercepting slaving ships and returning the captives to Africa.

I think a lot of them were released in Freetown, Sierra Leone since it wasn’t known where exactly they had originally come from.

Once the decision to abolish slavery was made and the law passed, it was enforced with some zeal.

One minor correction: The Royal Navy’s West Africa Squadron was established after the abolition of the slave trade (the transport of people from Africa across the ocean into slavery, with often extraordinarily brutal and even murderous conditions on board the slave ships); the process of freeing those already held in slavery in various parts of the British Empire did not begin until 1833.

In some cases the enforcement efforts unfortunately and unintentionally led to enslaved victims’ being murdered wholesale instead. From your link:

I also like to additionally note, the Slavery Abolition Act didn’t de facto actually free all slaves in British territory, which is how you get weird things where certain British colonies officially banned slavery in the 1960’s despite the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 being in effect.

Thank you. That’s exactly what I was looking for. Looks like they were closer to customs clippers than privateers.