The dramatic story of the slave ship Neirsee springs vividly to life in Rafe Blaufarb's graphic mircohistory, Inhuman Traffic. The story, set in the early nineteenth century, moves from the slave port of Old Calabar to the Caribbean and to the courts of Britain and France where the history of the illegal slave trade, slavery in the Caribbean, and diplomatic history all come into focus as Blaufarb follows the ship, its crew, and its captives. Students will be taken in by the vivid drawings and the rich narrative, but they will also find themselves immersed in an unusual learning experience. Blaufarb not only presents the history of the ship and captives, he takes the reader inside the project itself. He explains how he came upon the story, how he and his editor envisioned the project, and how he worked with the illustrator Liz Clarke to craft the 350 "cells" that compose the book. He and Clarke even take the reader inside archives in Britain and France which are themselves illustrated and their histories explained.
Like all the best examples of the genre, Inhuman Traffic tells a compelling story through a complex interplay of image and text - it will keep students reading, and learning, to the very end.
Rafe Blaufarb (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is Ben Weider Eminent Scholar Chair and Director of the Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution in the history department at the Florida State University. He is the author of books and articles on French history, as well as several articles on other topics, including Atlantic and Latin American history.
Contents ; Maps and Figures ; Preface: The Making of Inhuman Traffick ; About the Author and Illustrator ; Part 1 ; Historical Context ; The Atlantic Environment ; The Slave Trades of Africa ; Who Were the Captives? ; Temporalities of the Trade ; The Middle Passage ; In America ; The Origins of Abolitionism ; Abolition in 1807 ; Internationalizing Abolitionism ; The West African Squadron ; Effects of Interdiction ; Beyond the 1817 Treaties ; Results of British Abolitionism ; How the End of the Transatlantic Slave Trade Effected African Society ; Emancipation in America and Africa ; The Neirsee Incident in Atlantic Context ; Cast of Characters ; Part 2 ; The Graphic History ; Chapter 1: International Efforts Against the Transatlantic Slave Trade ; Chapter 2: The Neirsee Incident ; Chapter 3: Sold into Slavery ; Chapter 4: An International Incident ; Chapter 5: From Happening to History ; Part 3 ; The Primary Sources ; Documents 1-4: West Africa: Seizure of the Neirsee ; Documents 5-10: Caribbean: Enslaved on Guadeloupe ; Documents 11-20: Caribbean: Colonial Authorities in Action ; Documents 21-37: Europe: A Diplomatic Incident ; Part 4 ; The Questions ; Time, space, and technology ; Identities ; Agency ; Slave Trade Database ; Primary Source Documents ; Making of the Graphic History ; Values ; Gaps and Silences ; Timeline of the Atlantic-Slave Trade ; Bibliography ; Glossary