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Wednesday, November 15, 5:00-6:30pm, NVC 14-270
“The International Dimensions of a Slave Ship Revolt”
Professor Jeffrey Kerr Ritchie, Department of History, Howard University
The Globus Fund
Dean of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, Baruch College
Department of History, Baruch College
From: Prof. Thomas Heinrich, Department of History
The lecture situates an uprising aboard a U.S. slave ship in 1841 within an international framework of clashing interests over slavery, slave trading, abolition, and empire building.
In early November 1841, the U.S. slave trader Creole left Richmond, Virginia, bound for New Orleans with 137 captives on board. On the night of the 9th, the ship hove to off Providence Island, Bahamas. Nineteen rebels killed and maimed the crew, successfully seized the ship, and took it to Nassau. A weeklong standoff between the British and American authorities in Nassau harbor resulted in the liberation of the captives. While they made new lives as British colonial subjects, Washington and London argued over this latest clash between a slaveholding Republic dedicated to the protection of slave property and its contestation by anti-slavery politicians and abolitionists in the United States as well as the world’s most powerful seagoing empire recently dedicated to abolishing slave trading and slave societies for purposes of global power. The issue remained unresolved until the American Civil War when the United States agreed to British rights of search and the US coastal slave trade was abolished. This remarkable tale is not unknown but is currently locked in American, African-American, and Anglo-American diplomatic narratives. Drawing from an unpublished book manuscript currently under review with Cambridge press, this talk situates an American coastal slave ship revolt within an international framework of clashing interests over slavery, slave trading, abolition, and empire building.
Associate Professor of Business and Naval History
Dept. of History
Room VC 5-265
Baruch College/City University of New York
55 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY 10010