Sunday, March 13, 2011


Africans resisted their decrease of freedom by individual works of resistance and by organised revolts. Most of the revolts were unsuccessful along with were punished with brutal ferocity. Some captives ignored by committing suicide, generally by jumping overboard.

Boat captains and crews were usually fearful of revolt and this added to the atmosphere of violence and suspicion. They searched the retains daily for possible weapons and severely punished actually minor acts of opposition.

In the following extracts from the log e book of the Liverpool vessel Unity, owned by the actual Earle family, Captain Richard Norris recorded attempted uprisings on board. Your log book is the main collections in the Nautical Archives and Library.

6 June 1770

"The slaves made an rebellion which was soon quelled with the loss associated with two women."

23 06 1770

"Died a gal slave, No. 13. The particular slaves attempted an rebellion, lost a man involving Capt Monypenny's purchase, who jumped over board as well as was drown'd. Employed obtaining the men in stores and gave the ladies concerned 24 lashes each and every."

26 June 1770

"The slaves this day recommended making an insurrection and a few of them got off of their handcuffs but were detected in time."

27 June 1770

"The slaves attempted to force up the gratings at night with a design for you to murder the whites or drown themselves, but were prevented by the enjoy. In the morning these people confessed their intention along with the women as well because the men were determined in the event that disappointed of cutting in the whites, to jump over the top but in case to be prevented by their irons were resolved as his or her last resource to burn up the ship. Their pigheadedness put me under the need of shooting the Band Leader."

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