Illegal Trade in Human Flesh: Illicit Slave Trading in the Atlantic World, 1833-1867

Thursday, March 9, 2017 @ 12pm
Lewis Eliot, PhD Candidate, University of South Carolina.
Illegal Trade in Human Flesh: Illicit Slave Trading in the Atlantic World, 1833-1867

Abolition in the British Caribbean has been celebrated as a vital cornerstone in the ending of slavery in the Atlantic basin. The realities of life for the now free Afro-Caribbean people, however, remained dangerous, given the consistent threat of reenslavement from slavers from Latin America, Caribbean pirates, and nefarious people traffickers.

As European empires did not end slavery in unison, the Atlantic World remained a slaveholding one long after British emancipation. This resulted in a thriving illegal trade between West Africa and the Caribbean, and between Caribbean islands and the mainland Americas. Eliot’s talk will examine the ramifications of this trade for the imperial governments involved, for the smugglers capturing and selling their prohibited cargoes, and most importantly for the newly reenslaved themselves.

For more:

Laura Rosanne Adderley, “New Negroes from Africa:” Slave Trade Abolition and Free African Settlement in the Nineteenth-Century Caribbean (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006).

Richard Huzzey, Freedom Burning: Anti-Slavery and Empire in Victorian Britain (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012).

Dale T. Graden, Disease, Resistance, and Lies: The Demise of the Transatlantic Slave Trade to Brazil and Cuba(Baton Rouge: Louisiana University Press, 2014).

Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic (Boston: Beacon Press, 2000).

-Rebecca J. Scott and Jean M. Hébrard, Freedom Papers: An Atlantic Odyssey in the Age of Emancipation(Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014).