The Royal African Company and the Politics of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1672-1752
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: The University of North Carolina Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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List of Illustrations and Tables
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Prologue: “This African Monster”
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When a wave broke directly onto the outer wall of the castle prison, its force conducted along the arches of the ceiling, drowning out the noise as much as the darkness obscured the captives’ sight of one another. The vibration and the wind that followed it nonetheless provided some comfort to those contained...
Part One. Deregulation, 1672–1712
One: The Politics of Slave-Trade Escalation, 1672–1712
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The Royal African Company of England shipped more enslaved African women, men, and children to the Americas than any other single institution during the entire period of the transatlantic slave trade. From its foundation in 1672 to the early 1720s, the African Company transported close to 150,000...
Two: The Interests: “A Well-Governed Army of Veteran Troops” versus “an Undefinable Heteroclite Body” of “Pirates” and “Buccaneers”
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In January 1690, when the African Company began its parliamentary appeal to obtain statutory support for its monopoly, its directors had every reason to be confident of success. The Hudson’s Bay Company had recently received a statute to support its operation. The African Company had received the endorsement...
Three: The Ideas: Challenging the “Tales of . . . Mandevil”
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The conspicuous emergence of a population of independent slave traders and their wish to associate themselves with certain areas of the country and particular ideas led contemporary observers of the Africa trade debates to develop a stereotype of the independent slave trader. Thomas Southerne’s slave-trading...
Four: The Strategies: “As Witches Do the Devil”
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Daniel Defoe left the public gallery of the House of Commons late on March 17, 1709. As he hurried past chamber porters whose pockets stretched with bribes, into the Court of Requests filled with tireless lobbyists, printers, petitioners, and beleaguered members of Parliament, and out into a cold...
Part Two. Re-regulation, 1712–1752
Five: The Outcomes: Tropical Burlesques
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In the summer of 1712, the Africa trade appeared in a confused state. Each side in the slave-trade debates claimed that the expiration of the 1698 act favored its cause. The expiration seemed to favor the separate traders because the 10 percent duty had expired with the act. In June 1712, however, the African...
Six: The Legacies: Free to Enslave
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The Royal African Company and the separate traders disagreed publicly about a lot of things. Their political disputes rose above one shared assumption, however: that the forced transportation of enslaved Africans to the British American colonies was legitimate, moral, and of national strategic importance...
Epilogue: Confused Commemorations
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Like the Royal African Company, the separate traders also established a legacy that influenced the movement to abolish the slave trade. Two features of the independent slave traders’ political campaign from the 1690s would be central to the abolitionists’ political campaign from the 1780s: their natural rights argument...
Appendix 1: Data Supplements for Annual Slave-Trading Voyages, 1672–1752
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Appendix 2: A Directory of Independent Slave Traders, 1672–1712
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Appendix 3: A Directory of Lobbying Independent Traders, 1678–1713
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Appendix 4: A Directory of Royal African Company Directors, 1672–1750
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Appendix 5: Africa Trade Petitions to Parliament on the Royal African Company’s Monopoly, 1690–1752
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Many people helped me complete this book. I am obliged to the staff at the following libraries: the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, especially Mary Robertson; the Upper Reading Room and Duke Humphreys Library at the Bodleian Library in Oxford; the Vere Harmsworth Library and Rothermere American Institute in Oxford; Lincoln’s Inn...
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Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 4 illus.
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia