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The Two Princes of Calabar: An Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Odyssey

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The Two Princes of Calabar: An Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Odyssey Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1767, two "princes" of a ruling family in the port of Old Calabar, on the slave coast of Africa, were ambushed and captured by English slavers. The princes, Little Ephraim Robin John and Ancona Robin Robin John, were themselves slave traders who were betrayed by African competitors--and so began their own extraordinary odyssey of enslavement. Their story, written in their own hand, survives as a rare firsthand account of the Atlantic slave experience.

Randy Sparks made the remarkable discovery of the princes' correspondence and has managed to reconstruct their adventures from it. They were transported from the coast of Africa to Dominica, where they were sold to a French physician. By employing their considerable language and interpersonal skills, they cleverly negotiated several escapes that took them from the Caribbean to Virginia, and to England, but always ended in their being enslaved again. Finally, in England, they sued for, and remarkably won, their freedom. Eventually, they found their way back to Old Calabar and, evidence suggests, resumed their business of slave trading.

The Two Princes of Calabar offers a rare glimpse into the eighteenth-century Atlantic World and slave trade from an African perspective. It brings us into the trading communities along the coast of Africa and follows the regular movement of goods, people, and ideas across and around the Atlantic. It is an extraordinary tale of slaves' relentless quest for freedom and their important role in the creation of the modern Atlantic World.

Synopsis:

In 1767, two "princes" of a ruling family in the port of Old Calabar, on the slave coast of Africa, were ambushed and captured by English slavers. The princes were themselves slave traders who were betrayed by African competitors--and so began their own extraordinary odyssey of enslavement. Their story, written in their own hand, survives as a rare firsthand account of the Atlantic slave experience. Sparks made the remarkable discovery of the princes' correspondence and has managed to reconstruct their adventures from it.

About the Author

Randy J. Sparks is Professor of History at Tulane University.

Tulane University

Table of Contents

Prologue

1. "A Very Bloody Transaction": Old Calabar and the Massacre of 1767

2. "Nothing But Sivellety and Fare Trade": Old Calabar and the Impact of the Slave Trade on an African Society

3. "This Deplorable Condition": The Robin Johns' Enslavement in British America

4. "We Were Free People": Bristol, the English Courts, and the Question of Slavery

5. "A Very Blessed Time": The Robin Johns and English Methodism

6. "We Go Home to Old Calabar": The Robin Johns' Legacy in Old Calabar and England

Notes

Acknowledgments

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674032057
Author:
Sparks, Randy J.
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Historical - British
Subject:
World - General
Subject:
Modern - 18th Century
Subject:
World
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Africa, West
Subject:
World History-1650 to Present
Subject:
History : Modern - 18th Century
Subject:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Discrimination & Race Relations
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
September 2008
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
2 maps
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8 x 5 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
History and Social Science » African American Studies » General
History and Social Science » African American Studies » Slavery and Reconstruction
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Slavery
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » Africa
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Two Princes of Calabar: An Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Odyssey New Trade Paper
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Product details 208 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674032057 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In 1767, two "princes" of a ruling family in the port of Old Calabar, on the slave coast of Africa, were ambushed and captured by English slavers. The princes were themselves slave traders who were betrayed by African competitors--and so began their own extraordinary odyssey of enslavement. Their story, written in their own hand, survives as a rare firsthand account of the Atlantic slave experience. Sparks made the remarkable discovery of the princes' correspondence and has managed to reconstruct their adventures from it.
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