US Slave Trading on the Rio Pongo: Evidence from the Capture and Trial of the Spitfire of New Orleans, 1845

By Bruce Mouser, published February 2015


In March 1845 vessels of the British and American surveillance squadrons cooperated in the capture of the schooner Spitfire of New Orleans which was collecting a slave cargo at the Rio Pongo on Africa’s western coast. This article considers the context of that collaboration, the trial of the Spitfire‘s captain in Boston, and the complex methods that slavers used to conceal a vessel’s nationality and ownership and to avoid seizure. It also focuses on an American trader who lived on the African coast and acted as a broker to facilitate that trade.

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Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Administration | Miscellaneous

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