Daniel O’Connell’s interest in anti-slavery movements is often an intricate story. In Britain, while it was always motivated by the notion that no human being should be the property of another, it was also complicated by a more political consideration: that the renewed British Empire should be the epitome of progress and humanitarianism, which would underline its status as a new type of world power. Aside from his own humanitarianism, such wider political reasons led O’Connell to take an interest in India. Although for him, slavery in India was linked to land reform as well as social and economic improvement, it was also informed by the view that in so far as the British Empire was concerned, the East India Company was hindering those reforms in India and by extension, tarnishing its reputation. This paper examines O’Connell’s views on slavery in India as well as how they both drove and were driven by his attitudes to empire and what it should represent.