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 and. 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.
Jeffrey R. Kerr-Richie is Professor at Howard University, Washington DC has taught at Wesleyan, Columbia, Penn, SUNY-Binghamton, and UNC-Greensboro. He has been teaching the African Diaspora field at Howard University since 2006. His research interests include slavery, abolition, and post-emancipation societies, especially in North America and the Caribbean during the nineteenth century. He has spoken on these topics in numerous countries, including Cuba, the Netherlands, Egypt, and Vietnam. He has written three monographs on the post-emancipation US tobacco economy, transnational connections between African American and British abolitionist movements, and the comparative dimensions of abolition and post-emancipation in the nineteenth-century Atlantic world. His latest book is entitled Rebellious Passage: The Creole Revolt and America’s Coastal Slave Trade