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Final Passages

The Intercolonial Slave Trade of British America, 1619-1807

Gregory E. O'Malley

Publication Year: 2014

Hundreds of thousands of captive Africans continued their journeys after the Middle Passage across the Atlantic. Colonial merchants purchased and then transshipped many of these captives to other colonies for resale. Drawing on a database of over seven thousand intercolonial slave trading voyages compiled from port records, newspapers, and merchant accounts, O'Malley identifies and quantifies the major routes of this intercolonial slave trade. He argues that such voyages were a crucial component in the development of slavery in the Caribbean and North America and that trade in the unfree led to experimentation with free trade between empires.

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

Title page, Copyright, Dedication Acknowledgments

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introduction

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pp. 1-29

In November 1755, more than three hundred Angolan men, women, and children sailed into the Caribbean Sea, crowded aboard the French ship l’Aimable. They were bound for the French sugar colony of Saint- Domingue but never got there. As l’Aimable traversed the Lesser Antilles, she ran across “his [British]...

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1. Final Passages: Captives in the Intercolonial Slave Trade

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pp. 30-84

In both popular portrayals, like that of Kunta Kinte in Roots, and scholarly studies, the story of the slave trade typically ends (and the story of slavery in America begins) with a vessel reaching the Americas aft er the Atlantic crossing. Traders sold captives in port, and the journey was over. The enslaved...

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2. Black Markets for Black Labor: Pirates, Privateers, and Interlopers in the Origins of the Intercolonial Slave Trade, ca. 1619–1720

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pp. 85-113

By the mid-eighteenth century, networks of intercolonial trade would link the many European colonies of the Americas, facilitating a dispersal trade in the enslaved African people arriving from across the Atlantic. But during the early decades of English colonization in the Americas, such regular intercolonial...

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3. Captive Markets for Captive People: Legal Dispersals of Africans in a Peripheral Economy, ca. 1640–1700

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pp. 114-138

Although the first several decades of the intercolonial slave trade saw a significant role for the black (or gray) markets of piracy, privateering, and interloping, most trafficking in African people was not illegal. Trading African slaves was perfectly permissible in the seventeenth-century English empire, as...

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4. To El Dorado via Slave Trade: Opening Commerce with Foreign Colonies, ca. 1660–1713

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pp. 139-170

In 1662, acting deputy governor of Jamaica Charles Lyttelton faced a dilemma. Spanish American colonists kept arriving at his island with silver, hoping to trade the mineral wealth of South America for African people delivered to Jamaica as slaves. Faced with these affluent outsiders, Lyttelton waffled...

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5. The North American Periphery of the Caribbean Slave Trade, ca. 1700–1763

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pp. 171-218

In the eighteenth century, the British slave trade reached its awful apogee, but North American colonies remained on the margins of a British colonial slave system centered in the Caribbean. From 1701 to 1775, British traders delivered just over 1.5 million African people to the Americas as slaves. More...

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6. A for Asiento: The Slave Trade from British to Foreign Colonies, ca. 1713–1739

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pp. 219-263

In 1724, the heads of the South Sea Company wrote to their agents in Jamaica to commend their new plan for keeping tabs on African people at the island. The company sought a means to discourage theft of the company’s captives awaiting transshipment and to differentiate those Africans the company...

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7. Entrepôts and Hinterlands: African Migration to the North American Backcountry, ca. 1750–1807

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pp. 264-290

By the mid-eighteenth century, as European settlers in North America pushed well away from the Atlantic coast to colonize interior regions, they forced enslaved Africans to move with them. In the Chesapeake, the quest for arable land prompted ever more settlers to venture to the piedmont. By the...

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8. American Slave Trade, American Free Trade: Climax of the Intercolonial Slave Trade, ca. 1750–1807

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pp. 291-336

From 1751 to 1800, European and American merchants forced nearly four million Africans across the Atlantic and into American slavery. Those four million captives account for almost one-third of all people who endured the Middle Passage in its entire 350- year history. Plantation economies grew...

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epilogue: Defending the Human Commodity; or, Diversity and Diaspora

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pp. 337-350

In 1806, frustrated by a recent string of defeats, British abolitionists developed a strategy to neutralize two key arguments for the slave trade, changing the debate in a way that forced defenders of the commerce to articulate the value of the intercolonial branch of the trade. In the late eighteenth and early...

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appendix: Estimating the Scale of the Intercolonial Slave Trade

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pp. 351-382

All estimates of the volume of the intercolonial slave trade in the present work derive primarily from a database, compiled by the author, of individual shipments carrying African people between American colonies. This database is modeled on the website Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database (www.slavevoyages.org), but...

Index

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pp. 383-394


E-ISBN-13: 9781469615554
E-ISBN-10: 146961555X
Print-ISBN-13: 9781469615349
Print-ISBN-10: 1469615347

Page Count: 432
Illustrations: 7 illus.
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia

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Subject Headings

  • Slave trade -- Great Britain -- History.
  • Slave trade -- Great Britain -- Colonies -- America -- History.
  • Great Britain -- Colonies -- History.
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