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Inhuman Traffick tells for the first time a story of enslavement and freedom that spans the entire Atlantic world. Beginning in 1829 off the west coast of Africa with the recapture of the slave ship Neirsée--previously seized by the British Navy in its efforts to suppress the "inhuman traffick"--and ending with the liberation of the African passengers who had been sold into slavery in the French Caribbean, Rafe Blaufarb puts a human face on the history of the transatlantic slave trade and the efforts to suppress it. He addresses a neglected aspect of this tragic history in the wide geographical and thematic contexts in which it took place--Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Atlantic Ocean--and situates the story in familial, social, economic, diplomatic, and military spheres. Inhuman Traffick shows how history is done by explaining how the documents on which it is based moved through time and space from the ships, African outposts, colonial buildings, and ministerial offices to the archives of present-day Britain and France.
Blaufarb follows the ship, its crew, and its captives from the slave port of Old Calabar to the Caribbean and into the courts of Britain and France, where the history of the illegal slave trade, slavery in the Caribbean, and diplomatic history all come into focus. Students will be taken in by the vivid drawings and the rich narrative, but in Blaufarb's skilled hands, they will also find themselves immersed in a unique learning experience. Blaufarb not only presents the history of the ship and its captives, he takes the reader inside the project itself. He explains how he came upon the story, how he and his editor envisioned the project, and how he worked with illustrator Liz Clarke to craft more than 300 "cells" that comprise Part II of the book. He and Clarke even take the reader inside archives in France and Britain.
This powerful combination of historical essay, graphics, primary-source documents, and discussion questions gives students insight into the Atlantic World plantation complex, the transatlantic slave trade, and the process of historical storytelling itself.
Rafe Blaufarb is Professor of History and the Ben Weider Eminent Scholar at Florida State University.
Liz Clarke is a professional illustrator based in Cape Town, South Africa.
Table of Contents
Maps and Figures Preface: The Making of Inhuman Traffick About the Author and Illustrator
Part 1: Historical Context
The Atlantic Environment The Slave Trades of Africa Who Were the Captives? Temporalities of the Trade The Middle Passage In America The Origins of Abolitionism Abolition in 1807 Internationalizing Abolitionism The West African Squadron Effects of Interdiction Beyond the 1817 Treaties Results of British Abolitionism How the End of the Transatlantic Slave Trade Effected African Society Emancipation in America and Africa The Neirsée Incident in Atlantic Context Cast of Characters
Part 2: The Graphic History
Chapter 1: International Efforts Against the Transatlantic Slave Trade Chapter 2: The Neirsée Incident Chapter 3: Sold into Slavery Chapter 4: An International Incident Chapter 5: From Happening to History
Part 3: The Primary Sources
Documents 1-4: West Africa: Seizure of the Neirsée Documents 5-10: Caribbean: Enslaved on Guadeloupe Documents 11-20: Caribbean: Colonial Authorities in Action Documents 21-37: Europe: A Diplomatic Incident
Part 4: The Questions
Time, space, and technology Identities Agency Slave Trade Database Primary Source Documents Making of the Graphic History Values Gaps and Silences
Timeline of the Atlantic-Slave Trade Bibliography Glossary