Squadron: Ending the African Slave Trade, by John Broich #BookReview

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

I am indebted to Somali Bookaholic who recommended this book to me in conversation about my review of Petals of Blood.  It’s a very interesting book about four British naval captains who in the mid 18th century undertook anti-slavery activity off the African coast without always having had official authority to do so.

Britain had abolished slavery, but still, there was significant trade even after the end of the American Civil War.  Some of the ships involved were British operating illegally and some were French operating legally, and the persisting trade was done in collusion with African rulers and traders themselves.  These local ‘diplomatic’ issues made Britain reluctant to interfere with ongoing slavery as practised in Africa and also in what was then British India, and in the Jamaican plantations.  And the French involvement, whose position on slavery vacillated according to its latest revolution, was additionally complicated because interfering…

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