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Rebellious Passage
The Creole Revolt and America's Coastal Slave Trade


  • Date Published: February 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108700009

£ 22.99

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About the Authors
  • In late October 1841, the Creole left Richmond with 137 slaves bound for New Orleans. It arrived five weeks later minus the Captain, one passenger, and most of the captives. Nineteen rebels had seized the US slave ship en route and steered it to the British Bahamas where the slaves gained their liberty. Drawing upon a sweeping array of previously unexamined state, federal, and British colonial sources, Rebellious Passage examines the neglected maritime dimensions of the extensive US slave trade and slave revolt. The focus on south-to-south self-emancipators at sea differs from the familiar narrative of south-to-north fugitive slaves over land. Moreover, a broader hemispheric framework of clashing slavery and antislavery empires replaces an emphasis on US antebellum sectional rivalry. Written with verve and commitment, Rebellious Passage chronicles the first comprehensive history of the ship revolt, its consequences, and its relevance to global modern slavery.

    • Provides a lively and detailed analysis of an important historical event that remains largely speculative and undocumented
    • Draws on unique documentation from federal, state, British, and Caribbean archives to bring the story of the Creole revolt alive to readers
    • Connects United States history to broader hemispheric and Atlantic histories
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'We have waited almost two centuries for the full, gripping story of Madison Washington and his fellow mutineers aboard the Creole. Here at long last comes Jeffrey R. Kerr-Ritchie to narrate their magnificent tale with acuity and power. This is inspirational 'history from below' at its best.' Marcus Rediker, author of The Amistad Rebellion

    'Rebellious Passage provides a comprehensive account of the most successful slave revolt in the history of the United States. At the same time, through a detailed analysis of the domestic slave trade along the southern Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, it offers a maritime history of the antebellum era from a truly transnational and transatlantic perspective.' Matthew J. Clavin, author of Aiming for Pensacola: Fugitive Slaves on the Atlantic and Southern Frontiers

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108700009
    • length: 372 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • contains: 19 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Eagle versus lion
    2. The coastal passage
    3. 'Several cases'
    4. 'Engaged in the business ever since she was constructed'
    5. 'The Negroes have risen'
    6. 'Their determination to quit the vessel'
    7. 'Old neighbors'
    8. 'A new state of things'
    9. 'Property rights' versus 'rights of man'
    10. Causa Proxima, Non Remota, Spectator
    11. 'Full and final settlement'

  • Author

    Jeffrey R. Kerr-Ritchie, Howard University, Washington DC
    Jeffrey R. Kerr-Ritchie is Professor of History at Howard University, Washington DC and author of Freedpeople in the Tobacco South: Virginia, 1860–1900 (1999); Rites of August First: Emancipation Day in the Black Atlantic World (2007); and Freedom's Seekers: Essays on Comparative Emancipation (2014).

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