The Voyage of the Slave Ship Hare

The Voyage of the Slave Ship Hare : A Journey into Captivity from Sierra Leone to South Carolina

3.67 (15 ratings by Goodreads)
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From 1754 to 1755, the slave ship Hare completed a journey from Newport, Rhode Island, to Sierra Leone and back to the United States-a journey that transformed more than seventy Africans into commodities, condemning some to death and the rest to a life of bondage in North America. In this engaging narrative, Sean Kelley painstakingly reconstructs this tumultuous voyage, detailing everything from the identities of the captain and crew to their wild encounters with inclement weather, slave traders, and near-mutiny. But most importantly, Kelley tracks the cohort of slaves aboard the Hare from their purchase in Africa to their sale in South Carolina. In tracing their complete journey, Kelley provides rare insight into the communal lives of slaves and sheds new light on the African diaspora and its influence on the formation of African American culture.

In this immersive exploration, Kelley connects the story of enslaved people in the United States to their origins in Africa as never before. Told uniquely from the perspective of one particular voyage, this book brings a slave ship's journey to life, giving us one of the clearest views of the eighteenth-century slave trade.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 20.32mm | 408.23g
  • Chapel Hill, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 11 halftones, 3 maps, 12 tables
  • 1469654768
  • 9781469654768

Review quote

Performs a feat of historical forensics. . . . Tells the story of [the enslaved peoples'] voyage on the Hare and recovers their identities as people, not just slaves." - Zocalo Public Square

"Offers readers a devastating picture of the practices that ravaged West African societies while forming the foundation of colonial America's economy." - Publishers Weekly

"A well-researched account of a slave ship that highlights the larger experience of those involved in the transatlantic slave trade. Recommended." - CHOICE

"An innovative and timely addition to the historiography of the Atlantic slave trade. . . . A synthesis of the cast and intricate worlds across continents that produced one of the great tragedies in world history." - H-Net Reviews

"A deeply researched and elegantly written book that takes full advantage of one of micro-history's greatest strengths -- capturing a sense of historical events unfolding in a real world for real people." - Reviews in American History

"Kelley's extensive research and use of deductive reasoning has crafted a remarkably detailed narrative of the voyage from beginning to end. . . . Very strongly recommended." - Civil War News

"An important book that not only shows how the slave trade operated, but also provides a clearer picture of the victims' origins, language, and methods of survival." - Kirkus Reviews

"Kelley's book is the best biography of a slave ship that sailed from British North America." - Journal of African History

"Possibly the best book on a single slave voyage. . . . Paints on a human scale the larger picture of forced Atlantic passages. . . . Provides rich details about how the slave sale took place and who the purchasers were." - William and Mary Quarterly
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About Sean M. Kelley

Sean M. Kelley is senior lecturer in history at the University of Essex.
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Rating details

15 ratings
3.67 out of 5 stars
5 7% (1)
4 53% (8)
3 40% (6)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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