When the abolitionist Granville Sharpe bought land in Sierra Leone to repatriate freed slaves, one former slave living in London foresaw trouble Is it possible, asked Ottobah Cugoano, biblically, that a fountain should send forth both sweet water and bitter Could the slave trade be abolished from West Africa when West Africa was its source The answer was no SweetWhen the abolitionist Granville Sharpe bought land in Sierra Leone to repatriate freed slaves, one former slave living in London foresaw trouble Is it possible, asked Ottobah Cugoano, biblically, that a fountain should send forth both sweet water and bitter Could the slave trade be abolished from West Africa when West Africa was its source The answer was no Sweet Water and Bitter is the extraordinary sequel to Britain s abolition of the slave trade in 1807 The last legal British slave ship left Africa that year, but other countries and illegal slavers continued to trade When the Napoleonic Wars ended in 1815, British diplomats negotiated anti slave trade treaties and a Preventive Squadron was formed to cruise the West African coast In six decades, this small fleet liberated 150,000 Africans and lost 17,000 of its own men in doing so This is the tale of their exciting and arduous campaign.It is also a story of unforeseen consequences What to do with the freed slaves How to manipulate international law so that you could board the ships of other nations How to fight the intense hostility of African leaders to abolition In tracing these complex questions Sian Rees shows how the campaign was linked to British imperial and commercial ambition as well as to philanthropy the colonising of West Africa was a direct, though unintended result.Above all, however, this is a swashbuckling naval adventure, full of sensational, first hand accounts of life at sea, of the grim barracoons where slaves are held, of the luxurious compounds of the slave brokers and the lonely garrisons dotting the coast Sailors speak of the boredom of patrol, the terror of detached service in small boats upriver, the sudden, violent battles and the horror of seeing, close up, the cruelties of slaving Combining flawless research with an intimate and dramatic narrative, this is a voyage that no one will forget.
Sweet Water and Bitter The Ships That Stopped the Slave Trade When the abolitionist Granville Sharpe bought land in Sierra Leone to repatriate freed slaves one former slave living in London foresaw trouble Is it possible asked Ottobah Cugoano biblically that
Rees unravels an amazingly complex story, played out over 62 years, from the abolition of the slave trade in 1807 till its fulfilment, the Atlantic slave trade has ended , in 1869 though she makes the point that slavery in many other forms continues to this day.The broad statements of the Prologue make much sense when it is read again, after reading the book It is the history of the Preventive Squadron of the British Navy, with its own mixed motives, frustrated by dissimulation, ineffective tre [...]
Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807, it took over 60 years for the West African slave trade to be eradicated Sian Rees s book chronicles the work of the Preventative Squadron, the Royal Naval vessels who patrolled, the coast the West Africa, stopping slave ships and freeing their unfortunate cargoes Britain was alone for much of the 60 years, most European countries, along with America, Cuba and Brazil and notably the African chiefs opposed and attempted to thwart their humanitarian effort [...]
Didn t take this with me on holiday, so will resume reading when I return.Back from vacation, have picked this up again April 14.Although this was quite a slow read for me, with a long break as I didn t take it on Easter holiday with me, I found this a very interesting read The events recounted here were not at all known to me This book certainly added a great deal of detail to the overall picture that has been forming over the years now that this spiral on the theme of slavery has been running [...]
I had vaguely heard of the British naval squadron s work off the African coast Rees introduced me to the British attempt to stop the slave trade at the source Africa This is a story of diplomacy, duplicity, fear, revenge and some success Good read for an American who knows nothing about this side of the slave trade.
I tried It couldn t make it past the third chapter I wanted some of the historical characters fleshed out so I had someone to hang on to An important story but the writing droned too much for me I might try again another time.