Slave Ship Sailors and Their Captive Cargoes, 1730-1807

Slave Ship Sailors and Their Captive Cargoes, 1730-1807

By: Emma Christopher (author)Paperback

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Despite the vast literature on the transatlantic slave trade, the role of sailors aboard slave ships has remained unexplored. This book fills that gap by examining every aspect of their working lives, from their reasons for signing on a slaving vessel, to their experiences in the Caribbean and the American South after their human cargoes had been sold. It explores how they interacted with men and women of African origin at their ports of call, from the Africans they traded with, to the free black seamen who were their crewmates, to the slaves and ex-slaves they mingled with in the port cities of the Americas. Most importantly, it questions their interactions with the captive Africans they were transporting during the dread middle passage, arguing that their work encompassed the commoditisation of these people ready for sale.

About Author

Emma Christopher is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Historical Studies, Monash University. She has held fellowships from Mystic Seaport Museum, Connecticut; the Huntington Library, California; the National Maritime Museum in London; and the Atlantic World Center at Harvard University. She has published articles in Atlantic Studies, the Journal of Australian Colonial Studies, and the Times Higher Education Supplement. She has travelled extensively in many parts of the world, including wide-ranging travels around areas of West Africa and the Caribbean mentioned in this work.


Preface; Introduction; Part I. Sailors and Slave Ships: 1. Slaving merchants and merchant seamen; 2. The multiracial crews of slave ships; 3. The bloody rise of Western freedom; Part II. The Slaving Voyage: 4. Life in the white man's grave; 5. Sea changes; 6. Lives for sale; Conclusion; Appendix 1. Black sailors on Liverpool slave ships, 1794-1805; Appendix 2. Black sailors on Bristol slave ships, 1748-95; Appendix 3. Black sailors on Rhode Island slave ships, 1803-7.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780521679664
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 260
  • ID: 9780521679664
  • weight: 360
  • ISBN10: 0521679664

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