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Showing papers in "Slavery & Abolition in 2011"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: For 2010 the bibliography of secondary writings published since 1900 in western European languages on slavery or the slave trade anywhere in the world: monographs, essays, reviews, etc. as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: For 2010 the bibliography continues its customary coverage of secondary writings published since 1900 in western European languages on slavery or the slave trade anywhere in the world: monographs, ...

110 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, by David Eltis and David Richardson, New Haven, CT, Yale University Press, 2010, xxvi + 336 pp., US$50.00 (hardback), ISBN 978-0-3001-2460-6 http://dx.doi.or.
Abstract: Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, by David Eltis and David Richardson, New Haven, CT, Yale University Press, 2010, xxvi + 336 pp., US$50.00 (hardback), ISBN 978-0-3001-2460-6 http://dx.doi.or...

96 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Abolition: A History of Slavery and Antislavery, by Seymour Drescher, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2009, xi++ + + + 1.471 pp., £15.99, ISBN 978-0-521-60085-9 DOI: 10.1080/0144039X.2011.568235 Hot...
Abstract: Abolition: A History of Slavery and Antislavery, by Seymour Drescher, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2009, xi + 471 pp., £15.99, ISBN 978-0-521-60085-9 DOI: 10.1080/0144039X.2011.568235 Hot ...

62 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the shifting meanings of British liberty and subjecthood in relation to persons of African descent in the West Indian colonies were traced from tentative acceptance and ambivalence in the early eighteenth century, to outright hostility after 1760, arguing that planter elites ultimately embraced a rigid, outmoded racial ideology in order to preserve white hegemony.
Abstract: Tracing the shifting meanings of British liberty and subjecthood in relation to persons of African descent in the West Indian colonies – from tentative acceptance and ambivalence in the early eighteenth century, to outright hostility after 1760 – this article argues that planter elites ultimately embraced a rigid, outmoded racial ideology in order to preserve white hegemony. In Jamaica in particular, the master class came to see free ‘black’ participation in civil society as a threat to their own birthright and privileged status as transplanted Britons. Yet non-white West Indians also made use of the English system of law and liberty in their efforts to affirm their identity as British subjects and to be considered as such by metropolitan Britons.

43 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a close reading of two rare eighteenth-century judicial opinions from Lima, Peru exposes the rationale of the judges, particularly the Creole judges, who admitted slave cases.
Abstract: There exists a long-standing historiographical mystery concerning the legal origins of the practice of Spanish American slaves suing their masters for freedom in royal courts. This essay highlights the importance of working judges' judicial philosophy in the formulation of this customary ‘right’. A close reading of two rare eighteenth-century judicial opinions from Lima, Peru, exposes the rationale of the judges, particularly the Creole judges, who admitted slave cases. High court minister Pedro Jose Bravo de Lagunas y Castilla considered two legal issues that made slavery distinctive in the region: the right to self-purchase and grants of conditional liberty. In a 1746 letter, the judge rendered a relatively liberal opinion on slaves' legal rights by reading Creoles' own political ‘liberty’ into freedom suits. But as Lima's slaves increasingly entered the secular court system, his judicial philosophy would contract.

41 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Horrible Gift of Freedom: Atlantic Slavery and the Representation of Emancipation, by Marcus Wood, Athens, University of Georgia Press, 2010, xi++ 442 pp., £66.50 (hb.), £26.95 ISBN 13 978-0-82...
Abstract: The Horrible Gift of Freedom: Atlantic Slavery and the Representation of Emancipation, by Marcus Wood, Athens, University of Georgia Press, 2010, xi + 442 pp., £66.50 (hb.), £26.95 ISBN 13 978-0-82...

34 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors discusses the nature of Price's antislavery and his relationship with Americans such as Thomas Jefferson and sheds more light on the degree to which the emergence of abolitionism depended upon circumstances and how well it combined with other aims and priorities.
Abstract: Revd Richard Price was one of the leading intellectual lights of Rational Dissent in late eighteenth-century Britain and was prominent in campaigns for religious and parliamentary reform. Hailed as an ‘Apostle of Liberty’ by the American and French Revolutionaries, Price was also an early subscriber to the Abolition Society in London. While prominent among British Enlightenment figures he had, however, a low profile as an abolitionist and is seldom mentioned in scholarship on abolition. This study discusses the nature of Price's antislavery and his relationship with Americans such as Thomas Jefferson. It sheds more light on the degree to which the emergence of abolitionism depended upon circumstances and how well it combined with other aims and priorities.

31 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors explored the development of legal history as well as individual case histories of the Dutch slave trade and its justification within the Netherlands, and presented the long absence of visibly black communities in Europe as the result of practical restrictions and consc...
Abstract: Dutch merchant and maritime history includes a black presence from the sixteenth century onwards. As a country that self-identifies as freedom-loving, the Dutch involvement in the slave trade and slavery creates a problem of justification within the Netherlands. This article explores the development of legal history as well as individual case histories. Slaves could obtain freedom from their owners as a result of an owner's individual decision, by marriage, by baptism, by remaining in the Netherlands long enough, or when their enslaved parents were freed. The Dutch authorities attempted to keep the involvement in slavery out of sight in the Netherlands. The small presence of blacks in the country was the result of a highly selective process of enabling and restricting access. The Netherlands remained ‘white’ for centuries, in spite of its colonial empire, but not entirely. This article presents the long absence of visibly black communities in Europe as the result of practical restrictions as well as consc...

27 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors build upon previous work on the discourse of legal and illegal slavery in Islamic West Africa and on the issue of illegal enslavement as a major cause of the Sokoto jihad.
Abstract: This article builds upon previous work on the discourse of legal and illegal slavery in Islamic West Africa and on the issue of illegal enslavement as a major cause of the Sokoto jihad. It argues that the protection of freeborn Muslims was a major policy concern for the Sokoto government but that, due to internal factors, the government could not stop the enslavement of freeborn Muslims nor enforce the legally preferred remedy of free release. The government's acceptance of the ransoming of illegally captive individuals by family and friends is interpreted as a demonstration of the weakness of the Sokoto Caliphate government.

27 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article argued that what have usually been called slave narratives sometimes more accurately describe freedom narratives, especially when individuals who had regained their freedom wrote or dictated such accounts and argued that most stories that are associated with slavery often focus on the quest for and achievement of freedom through escape, self-purchase or other means.
Abstract: It is argued that what have usually been called ‘slave narratives’ sometimes more accurately describe ‘freedom narratives’, especially when individuals who had regained their freedom wrote or dictated such accounts. Most stories that are associated with slavery often focus on the quest for and achievement of freedom through escape, self-purchase or other means. Moreover, it is argued here that there is a distinction between narratives composed by individuals who had once been free in Africa and those who were born into slavery in the Americas. By focusing on the lives of four individuals, Venture Smith, Gustavus Vassa (Olaudah Equiano), Mahommah Gardo Baquaqua, and Muhammad Kaba Saghanughu, this article assesses the importance of regaining lost freedom as a motive in compiling the narratives and life histories of these individuals. Smith, Vassa and Baquaqua left autobiographical accounts of their lives, while Kaba left a significant paper trail that allows a study of his life, moving from freedom in Afric...

26 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the early institutionalisation of slavery in the Cabo Verde islands was analyzed and it was shown that initially slavery in Cabo verde borrowed heavily from existing practices and ideologies in Iberia, in which slavery was legitimated through religious discrimination.
Abstract: This paper analyses the early institutionalisation of slavery in the Cabo Verde islands. It is shown that initially slavery in Cabo Verde borrowed heavily from existing practices and ideologies in Iberia, in which slavery was legitimated through religious discrimination. However, the pivotal early role of the archipelago in the transatlantic slave trade meant that practices changed according to Atlantic factors. The frequent exchanges between Cabo Verde and the West African coast thereby created a mechanism for Atlantic factors to influence institutions within Africa itself. Both West Africa and the early Atlantic world were deeply interconnected even at this early period, and neither can be studied in isolation from the other.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The case of Dona Leonor de Carvalho Fonseca as mentioned in this paper illustrates how a free black could be subject to arbitrary capture, but also could claim original freedom and hence be protected from enslavement.
Abstract: This article focuses on the vulnerability of free blacks in Benguela, in West Central Africa, during the first decades of the nineteenth century at the height of slave exports. After the British abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in 1807, slavers moved south of the Equator leading to the pressure for more captives and the expansion of violence around Benguela. Focusing on the case of a free black woman, Dona Leonor de Carvalho Fonseca, this study discusses how she was captured, enslaved, transported to the coast, and sold. However she did not remain in captivity for a long time, since she was able to claim the principle of ‘original freedom.’ A legal mechanism created by the vassalage treaty, the principal of original freedom differentiated the local population between vassals and non vassal, Christians and non-Christians. The case of Dona Leonor illustrates how a free black could be subject to arbitrary capture, but also could claim original freedom and hence be protected from enslavement. Like h...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Although each national regime in the Atlantic world developed its own unique legal tradition in regulating slavery and abolition, similar social conditions and the interactions throughout the hemis... as mentioned in this paper showed that each country developed a unique legal system in regulating slaves and abolition.
Abstract: Although each national regime in the Atlantic world developed its own unique legal tradition in regulating slavery and abolition, similar social conditions and the interactions throughout the hemis...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors focus on the competing identities that came to be associated with British West Indians during the foundational period of British abolitionism and evaluate the competing images of the West Indian planter class, paying particular attention to how place and time influenced political, cultural and racial perceptions of British planters in the Caribbean.
Abstract: This essay focuses on the competing identities that came to be associated with British West Indians during the foundational period of British abolitionism. The essay evaluates the competing images of the West Indian planter class, paying particular attention to how place and time influenced political, cultural and racial perceptions of British planters in the Caribbean. The article addresses the impact that a rising tide of abolitionism in Britain had on perceptions of West Indian planters, and contends that planters became relatively powerless to define their own image in the face of growing abolitionist attacks on slavery.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In 1761, when the kingdom of Portugal was home to a large slave population, particularly in the south, a decree was published prohibiting the transportation of slaves to the kingdom and declaring a...
Abstract: In 1761, when the kingdom of Portugal was home to a large slave population, particularly in the south, a decree was published prohibiting the transportation of slaves to the kingdom and declaring a...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examines the creation and meaning of the Pennsylvania anti-slavery borderland that developed in the United States during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and argues that enslaved people and their allies defined Pennsylvania's territorial boundaries in ways that abetted black freedom claims.
Abstract: This essay examines the creation and meaning of the Pennsylvania anti-slavery borderland that developed in the United States during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Drawing on the voluminous legal files of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society (the world's oldest anti-slavery organisation), as well as recent insights by scholars working on both emancipation and borderlands history in the Atlantic world, I argue that enslaved people and their allies defined Pennsylvania's territorial boundaries in ways that abetted black freedom claims. Indeed, though a seemingly small outpost of Atlantic slave culture, the Pennsylvania borderland became a crossroads of freedom for generations of enslaved people and kidnapped free blacks in the United States.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article examined the medical aspects of Thistlewood's journals, contextualizing them in the social, political, and cultural environment in the latter half of the eighteenth century and investigated examples of his provisions for medical care throughout his life.
Abstract: This essay uses the Thistlewood family papers as a health record for the enslaved population in Jamaica. It examines the medical aspects of Thistlewood's journals, contextualising them in the social, political and cultural environment in the latter half of the eighteenth century. Examples of his provisions for medical care throughout his life are investigated systematically. Through counts from the original documents, the author identifies a seasonal pattern of disease and mortality on large and small Jamaican plantations and estimates an infant mortality rate of approximately 420 per 1000 births for Jamaican infants born into slavery.


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the combined forces of slave trading, slaveholder relocation, and colonisation removed African Americans from their homes and further dispersed them throughout the cultural contact zones of the American tropics and Black Atlantic.
Abstract: During the nineteenth century, migration was a central feature of black life in the USA. The combined forces of ‘local’ slave trading, slaveholder relocation, and colonisation removed African Americans from their homes and further dispersed them throughout the cultural contact zones of the American tropics and Black Atlantic. Insofar as they have been linked to one another, these migrations have been situated as aspects of the African or Black Diasporas, yet the migrants' letters reveal identities secured to US homes and homelands, suggesting that their self-conceptions as Americans, albeit enslaved, formerly enslaved or slave-descended, should qualify or even supersede any description of them as members of the Black or African diasporic communities.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Through the experiences of two West Africans shipped to Bahia as slaves, then sold south to Rio de Janeiro where they met, became lovers, bought their freedom, married, and divorced, a comment on an ongoing debate over the refashioning or transfer of African ethnic identities in American slave societies is made.
Abstract: Through the experiences of two West Africans shipped to Bahia as slaves, probably in the 1840s, then sold south to Rio de Janeiro where they met, became lovers, bought their freedom, married, and divorced, I comment on an ongoing debate over the refashioning or transfer of African ethnic identities in American slave societies. The sources in this Brazilian case suggest that previous identities were not suddenly erased, but rather, new layers of understanding and ways of responding were added. Whatever the dynamic of cultural formation, it was memory that crucially bridged the distance between the past they carried with them and the present into which they were thrust; and so it becomes illuminating to reconstruct the plausibly remembered African pasts on which this couple drew to make sense of an unfamiliar Brazilian present.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Byr Byrd as mentioned in this paper, "Captives and Voyagers: Black Migrants across the Eighteenth Century British Atlantic World, by Alexander X. Byrd, Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, 2008, xi++ 346 pp., $49.95, ISBN 978...
Abstract: Captives and Voyagers: Black Migrants across the Eighteenth Century British Atlantic World, by Alexander X. Byrd, Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, 2008, xi + 346 pp., $49.95, ISBN 978...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article argued that Emmer's "excellent work as a historian would have had wider acclaim beyond his scholarly and social peer groups" had he shown some sensitivity and empathy with regard to issues of existential significance to specific communities that he writes about.
Abstract: Emmer’s position and only in the very last paragraph does Emmer come back into play. The author subtly argues that Emmer’s ‘excellent work as a historian would have had a wider acclaim beyond his scholarly and social peer groups’ had he shown ‘some sensitivity and empathy with regard to issues of existential significance to specific communities’ that he writes about (327). I do not expect retirement to dull Emmer’s pen, so more debates in Dutch and international journals will undoubtedly follow in the future.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Turner's Hall was a sugar plantation in Barbados from 1770 to 1793 as discussed by the authors, where the most significant internal challenge was the maintenance of a sufficient labour force and the two greatest external challenges were the American Revolution and the hurricane of 1780.
Abstract: This article is a detailed case study of the financial records of a Barbadian sugar plantation, Turner's Hall, from 1770 to 1793. It explores the challenges faced by the managers and the strategies they adopted. The most significant internal challenge was the maintenance of a sufficient labour force and the two greatest external challenges were the American Revolution and the hurricane of 1780. Sugar production was an uncertain and volatile business, especially in this era, but the potential for high returns, even during the war, offset these risks and planters could adapt quickly to the changing business environment.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argued that employing Muslim rowers served pragmatic and symbolic ends, while provoking relatively little consternation among French leaders, only after colonial slaves began claiming liberty in the metropole did questions about the lawfulness of keeping esclaves turcs arise.
Abstract: Ottomans and Moroccans on France's galleys from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century violated the kingdom's ‘free soil’ principle. Evaluating naval, spatial, strategic, theological and juridical explanations, this article argues that employing Muslim rowers served pragmatic and symbolic ends, while provoking relatively little consternation among French leaders. Only after colonial slaves began claiming liberty in the metropole did questions about the lawfulness of keeping esclaves turcs arise. The rationales proposed suggest that a categorical shift in French understandings of servitude accompanied more limited access to freedom as the Atlantic slave trade eclipsed the Mediterranean one.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: For slaves living in different economic regions of the nineteenth-century American South, the nature of pregnancy and childcare, as well as childhood itself (from birth until working age), differed by degrees.
Abstract: For slaves living in different economic regions of the nineteenth-century American South, the nature of pregnancy and childcare, as well as childhood itself (from birth until working age), differed by degrees. This study employs a comparative approach to uncover the relationship between regional agricultural economies, on the one hand, and slave childcare and childhood, on the other. Focusing on two very different southern communities – namely, Fairfax County, Virginia, and Georgetown District, South Carolina – this study underscores the economic and cultural diversity of the antebellum South, as well as the variations in the experiences of slave children in different economic regions. It also suggests that scholars' contrasting views of childcare as having been either adequate or inadequate, or of childhood as having amounted to a stolen childhood or not, are not mutually exclusive.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Paths to Freedom: Manumission in the Atlantic World, edited by Rosemary Brana-Shute and Randy J. Sparks, Columbia, University of South Carolina Press, 2009, viii + + +398 pp., $59.95, ISBN 978-1-57003...
Abstract: Paths to Freedom: Manumission in the Atlantic World, edited by Rosemary Brana-Shute and Randy J. Sparks, Columbia, University of South Carolina Press, 2009, viii + 398 pp., $59.95, ISBN 978-1-57003...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the transition to slavery in Maryland was modeled as a process that occurred in two stages, during the first stage a small number of early plungers demonstrated by example that African slavery could be employed profitably They also created the legal and institutional structures needed to guarantee property rights in slaves.
Abstract: Our Maryland research suggests that it might be possible to integrate the labour supply and planter preferences approach to the transition to slavery by thinking of it as a process that occurred in two stages During the first stage a small number of ‘Early Plungers’ demonstrated by example that African slavery could be employed profitably They also created the legal and institutional structures needed to guarantee property rights in slaves Prominent among the early plungers was a group of Barbadians, perhaps recruited by Lord Calvert specifically for their expertise operating within that island's slave system The activities of these early plungers brought a small but noticeable population of African descent to Maryland During the second stage, late in the seventeenth century, when the labour shortage occurred, their activities helped to persuade a majority of planters to invest in Africans

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The case of Thomas Jeremiah and Lord William Campbell is discussed in this paper, where it is argued that Campbell's weak position, as a new governor of a colony that increasingly ignored royal government, ensured that any attempt to save Jeremiah would be perceived as confirmation that the British were in cahoots with slaves.
Abstract: Carolina and particularly as a slaveholder himself. Much of this is familiar to students of colonial South Carolina, since Laurens’s extensive personal papers have made him probably the best known, and certainly most frequently cited, resident of the colony. Far less is known of Lord William Campbell, who endeavoured to save Jeremiah’s life, and Harris does an excellent job of providing new information about South Carolina’s last royal governor. Newly arrived in the colony, Campbell was shocked when he learned of the details of Jeremiah’s case, and spent many fruitless days trying to persuade the justices and even Laurens himself that Jeremiah should not be executed. Harris argues that Campbell’s weak position, as a new governor of a colony that increasingly ignored royal government, ensured that any attempt to save Jeremiah would be perceived as confirmation that the British were in cahoots with slaves. Harris’s book is an excellent read, beautifully written and illustrated. While the broad outline of this story has been told by historians before, particularly by Robert Olwell, Harris adds new detail based on his own meticulous archival research. The case of Thomas Jeremiah reminds us that the American Revolution could have a very detrimental impact on the enslaved, especially in a colony where white liberty was predicated on black slavery.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper examined the medieval antecedents for France's freedom principle, arguing that Louis X's oft-cited 1315 ordinance did not free all slaves in France and was not the primary source of the French free soil tradition.
Abstract: Since the fifteenth century, French lawyers and magistrates have upheld the principle that ‘no one is a slave in France’ [nul n'est esclave en France], extending freedom to many slaves who set foot on French soil. This article examines the medieval antecedents for France's Freedom Principle, arguing that Louis X's oft-cited 1315 ordinance did not free all slaves in France and was not the primary source of the French free soil tradition. Rather, municipal officers of the independent medieval domain of Toulouse were strong advocates of slaves' claims to freedom there by virtue of the city's liberties. In the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, as Toulouse entered the royal domain, this principle was first resisted, but ultimately adopted, by French judicial officers until its foreign roots were erased from legal memory.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Hanging of Thomas Jeremiah: A Free Black Man's Encounter with Liberty, by J. William Harris, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009, 223 pp., $27.50 ISBN 9780300152142 J.William Har...
Abstract: The Hanging of Thomas Jeremiah: A Free Black Man's Encounter with Liberty, by J. William Harris, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009, 223 pp., $27.50 ISBN 9780300152142 J. William Har...