The Voyage of the Slave Ship Hare: A Journey into Captivity from Sierra Leone to South Carolina

UNC Press Books
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From 1754 to 1755, the slave ship Hare completed a journey from Newport, Rhode Island, to Sierra Leone and back to the United States—a journey that transformed more than seventy Africans into commodities, condemning some to death and the rest to a life of bondage in North America. In this engaging narrative, Sean Kelley painstakingly reconstructs this tumultuous voyage, detailing everything from the identities of the captain and crew to their wild encounters with inclement weather, slave traders, and near-mutiny. But most importantly, Kelley tracks the cohort of slaves aboard the Hare from their purchase in Africa to their sale in South Carolina. In tracing their complete journey, Kelley provides rare insight into the communal lives of slaves and sheds new light on the African diaspora and its influence on the formation of African American culture.

In this immersive exploration, Kelley connects the story of enslaved people in the United States to their origins in Africa as never before. Told uniquely from the perspective of one particular voyage, this book brings a slave ship's journey to life, giving us one of the clearest views of the eighteenth-century slave trade.

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About the author

Sean M. Kelley is senior lecturer in history at the University of Essex.

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Additional Information

Publisher
UNC Press Books
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Published on
Feb 23, 2016
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781469627694
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / Colonial Period (1600-1775)
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
Social Science / Slavery
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Historians have long believed that the "frontier" shaped Texas plantation society, but in this detailed examination of Texas's most important plantation region, Sean M. Kelley asserts that the dominant influence was not the frontier but the Mexican Republic. The Lower Brazos River Valley -- the only slave society to take root under Mexican sovereignty -- made replication of eastern plantation culture extremely difficult and complicated. By tracing the synthesis of cultures, races, and politics in the region, Kelley reveals a distinct variant of southern slavery -- a borderland plantation society.
Kelley opens by examining the four migration streams that defined the antebellum Brazos community: Anglo-Americans and their African American slaves who constituted the first two groups to immigrate; Germans who came after the Mexican government barred immigrants from the U.S. while encouraging those from Europe; and African-born slaves brought in through Cuba who ultimately made up the largest concentration of enslaved Africans in the antebellum South. Within this multicultural milieu, Kelley shows, the disparity between Mexican law and German practices complicated southern familial relationships and master-slave interaction. Though the Mexican policy on slavery was ambiguous, alternating between toleration and condemnation, Brazos slaves perceived the Rio Grande River as the boundary between white supremacy and racial egalitarianism. As a result, thousands fled across the border, further destabilizing the Brazos plantation society.
In the1850s, nonslaveholding Germans also contributed to the upheaval by expressing a sense of ethnic solidarity in politics. In an attempt to undermine Anglo efforts to draw a sharp boundary between black and white, some Germans hid runaway slaves. Ultimately, Kelley demonstrates how the Civil War brought these issues to the fore, eroding the very foundations of Brazos plantation society.
With Los Brazos de Dios, Kelley offers the first examination of Texas slavery as a borderland institution and reveals the difficulty with which southern plantation society was transplanted in the West.
Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History
A New York Times Notable Book
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection
A Providence Journal Best Book of the Year
Winner of the Organization of American Historians Merle Curti Award for Social History
Finalist for the Harriet Tubman Prize
Finalist for the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize

"This book is an original achievement, the kind of history that chastens our historical memory as it makes us wiser." —David W. Blight, author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

Widely hailed as a “powerfully written” history about America’s beginnings (Annette Gordon-Reed), New England Bound fundamentally changes the story of America’s seventeenth-century origins. Building on the works of giants like Bernard Bailyn and Edmund S. Morgan, Wendy Warren has not only “mastered that scholarship” but has now rendered it in “an original way, and deepened the story” (New York Times Book Review). While earlier histories of slavery largely confine themselves to the South, Warren’s “panoptical exploration” (Christian Science Monitor) links the growth of the northern colonies to the slave trade and examines the complicity of New England’s leading families, demonstrating how the region’s economy derived its vitality from the slave trading ships coursing through its ports.

And even while New England Bound explains the way in which the Atlantic slave trade drove the colonization of New England, it also brings to light, in many cases for the first time ever, the lives of the thousands of reluctant Indian and African slaves who found themselves forced into the project of building that city on a hill. We encounter enslaved Africans working side jobs as con artists, enslaved Indians who protested their banishment to sugar islands, enslaved Africans who set fire to their owners’ homes and goods, and enslaved Africans who saved their owners’ lives. In Warren’s meticulous, compelling, and hard-won recovery of such forgotten lives, the true variety of chattel slavery in the Americas comes to light, and New England Bound becomes the new standard for understanding colonial America.

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