“All We Have Done, We Have Done for Freedom”: The Creole Slave-Ship Revolt (1841) and the Revolutionary Atlantic

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Abstract

The revolt aboard the American slaving ship, the Creole (1841), was an unprecedented success. A minority of the 135 captive African Americans aboard seized the vessel as it sailed from Norfolk, Virginia, to the New Orleans slave markets. They forced the crew to sail to the Bahamas where they claimed their freedom. Building on previous studies of the Creole, this article argues that the revolt succeeded due to the circulation of radical struggle. Condensed in collective memory, political solidarity, and active protest and resistance, this circulation breached the boundaries between land and ocean, and gave shape to the Revolutionary Atlantic. These mutineers achieved their ultimate aim of freedom due to their own prior experiences of resistance, their preparedness to risk death in violent insurrection, and because they sailed into a Bahamian context in which Black Atlantic co-operation from below forced the British to serve the letter of their own law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-277
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Review of Social History
Volume58
Issue numberS21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013

Bibliographical note

© 2013 The author

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