Academic journal article The International Journal of African Historical Studies

A Slaving Voyage to Africa and Jamaica: The Log of the "Sandown," 1793-1794

Academic journal article The International Journal of African Historical Studies

A Slaving Voyage to Africa and Jamaica: The Log of the "Sandown," 1793-1794

Article excerpt

A Slaving Voyage to Africa and Jamaica: The Log of the "Sandown," 1793-1794. Edited by Bruce L. Mouser. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2002. Pp. xxii, 15; maps, illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $27.95.

Bruce Mouser, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, has brought his considerable knowledge of the precolonial history of the upper coastal regions of West Africa and his superb skills in editing European manuscripts on the region to his latest project, A Slaving Voyage to Africa and Jamaica: The Log of the "Sandown," 1793-1794. This project surpasses his previous work by far in its informative introduction, its careful rendering of the manuscript into contemporary English, and its clear and detailed annotation of obscure terms, places, and people. In the process, Mouser has made a valuable document much easier for academics and students to follow, one that would have been incredibly difficult to read even for specialist researchers working in the area.

The log itself is an almost daily record of the transactions of a seasoned British slave trader, Samuel Gamble, who set off in early April 1793 to procure Africans to sell in the Caribbean. Gamble spent nearly a year on the West African coast trying to secure his desired cargo of 220 captive Africans and left for the ' British Caribbean on March 26, 1794. He eventually made landfall in Jamaica on May 13, 1794, with a decimated crew of six and a complement of fewer than 200 African captives, which he had great difficulty auctioning off because of the wretched state of their health. The entire voyage is a vivid testimony of how even the most carefully planned and well-financed commercial venture in humans could go awry due to rancor among the crew members, the ravages of disease, the intransigence and resistance of captive Africans, and the miscalculations of slave traders. Gamble struggled to keep order among his cantankerous and dwindling crew, which was down to six by the time he reached Kingston. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.