Liberated Africans Imagery

Liberated Africans

Dedicated to the people involved in the effort to abolish the Atlantic and Indian Ocean slave trades

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Points of Pride
  • Retraces the lives of over 250,000 people emancipated under global campaigns to abolish slavery
  • Consolidates as much data as possible regarding the transnational links between international courts and the lives of Liberated Africans
  • Reorganizes voluminous documentation generated during hundreds of trials and follows individuals before, during, and after emancipation
Liberated Africans Imagery
Regent Town, Freetown, 1821 Church Missionary Paper

The Atlantic slave trade involved an estimated 12.7 million enslaved Africans and lasted nearly four centuries, while the Indian Ocean trade included more than a million people, but began earlier and continued longer. Over one quarter of those victims boarded slave ships after 1807, when the British and US governments passed legislation curtailing (and ultimately banning) maritime human trafficking. As world powers negotiated anti-slave trade treaties thereafter, British, Portuguese, Spanish, Brazilian, French, and US authorities began seizing ships suspected of prohibited trade, raiding coastal slave barracks, and detaining newly landed slaves in the Americas, Africa, Atlantic and Indian Ocean islands, Arabia, and India. In this process, naval courts, international mixed commissions, and local authorities decided the fates of the survivors around the Atlantic and Indian Ocean littorals. Between 1808 and 1896, this judicial network emancipated roughly 6 percent of an estimated 4 million enslaved Africans. This website retraces the lives of over 250,000 people emancipated under global campaigns to abolish slavery, as well as thousands of officials, captains, crews, and guardians of a special class of people known as "Liberated Africans."