British blockade of Africa – and the destiny of the freed slaves

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,846
Portugal
#1
This month it begun a Course of the History of Angola, in Lisbon, UCCLA (UCCLA vai acolher 2.ª edição do Curso Livre História de Angola | UCCLA), given by the Professor Alberto Oliveira Pinto, and in great part based on his book about the history of that country from the pre-history to the 21st century (História de Angola, Alberto Oliveira Pinto - Livro - Bertrand) (both links are in Portuguese)

And this morning, while driving, I was hearing in TSF (a news radio station), an interview with the professor, and at some point, talking about the end of the slave trade in the 19th century, and that the British control/blockade of the traffic in the Atlantic, led to the capture of some Portuguese slave ships, and the hanging of the crews.

It seems that some years ago, a student of his asked him what happened to the slaves in those ships, where they returned to their original settlements? At the time the professor didn’t knew the answer, and it was only some years latter he found out that the slaves were freed in Jamaica and Sierra Leone, where they could be employed in plantations.

Sierra Leone as a destiny didn’t surprised me, but I confess that Jamaica did.

I don’t have the mentioned book. But can anyone give me some more information about this (the capture of Portuguese ships, the destiny of the crews and of the slaves)? Thanks.
 
Nov 2010
7,404
Cornwall
#2
Blockade of Africa - Wikipedia

Interesting topic so Iooked up this, which explains the whole background and the British relations with Portugal, Brazil and the US. Also mentions - which I had heard before - that slavers would throw the evidence overboard (still shackled) if there was any sign of a British West Africa Squadron ship.

Ref 12 in this gives the source for 150,000 slaves being freed. The article says because of crewing difficulties liberian people were hired - this sort of suggests they dropped them off there. Returning people home would be a job for a whole refugee agency and personally I cannot see naval ships on the West Africa station going anywhere near Jamaica either, makes no sense at all.

How did the old naval saying go- may explain the crewing/fever problem even if from a later date (possibly):

Beware, beware the Bight of Benin
Few come out, though many go in
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,846
Portugal
#3
Blockade of Africa - Wikipedia

Interesting topic so Iooked up this, which explains the whole background and the British relations with Portugal, Brazil and the US. Also mentions - which I had heard before - that slavers would throw the evidence overboard (still shackled) if there was any sign of a British West Africa Squadron ship.

Ref 12 in this gives the source for 150,000 slaves being freed. The article says because of crewing difficulties liberian people were hired - this sort of suggests they dropped them off there. Returning people home would be a job for a whole refugee agency and personally I cannot see naval ships on the West Africa station going anywhere near Jamaica either, makes no sense at all.

How did the old naval saying go- may explain the crewing/fever problem even if from a later date (possibly):

Beware, beware the Bight of Benin

Few come out, though many go in
Yep, meanwhile I also took a look to that wiki entry. If I recall correctly Liberia was where the USA dropped the freed slaves from the Atlantic traffic and even returned some black people that where freed in the USA (with the help of the American Colonization Society). That inclusive created a “caste” in Liberia that still today as some dominance in the politics of the country. Don’t know if the British also drop them there, never heard of it.

But the mention to Jamaica also made me think. It was strange. Professor Alberto Pinto named a Angolan journalist of the 19th century (something like the first Angolan independentist, in his words), I think it was his source (in the interview it was hard to understand if it was about Jamaica or the all thing), and I didn’t catch the name of the journalist (Alfredo Mântua?? Urbano de Castro?? No idea!).

Anyway didn’t knew that old naval saying. Quite curious.

As for the Portuguese-British relations and the end of the slave trade, well after the end, already in the 20th century, there is a Portuguese historical novel “Equador” by Miguel Sousa Tavares, that in my opinion is one of the best Portuguese novels of the last century. There are two British characters (a couple) and scenes in India, before all the characters find themselves in São Tomé: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Equator-Miguel-Sousa-Tavares/dp/074759662X
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,603
Stockport Cheshire UK
#4
It seems that some years ago, a student of his asked him what happened to the slaves in those ships, where they returned to their original settlements? At the time the professor didn’t knew the answer, and it was only some years latter he found out that the slaves were freed in Jamaica and Sierra Leone, where they could be employed in plantations.

Sierra Leone as a destiny didn’t surprised me, but I confess that Jamaica did.
Why would the RN go to the trouble of transporting the free slaves across the Atlantic ?
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,846
Portugal
#5
Why would the RN go to the trouble of transporting the free slaves across the Atlantic ?
That is also my doubt, redcoat, and one of the reasons I asked help here. I am considering buying the book, it seems that the second edition will come out soon, since the first one is already sold out.
 
Nov 2010
7,404
Cornwall
#6
I'm a big fan of historical novels as you know (well researched ones). It's only in Portuguese, English and Catalan. I need it in Castellano or - if I get really adventurous - I'm thinking of going to Northern Portugal in October, brush up on my very basic Portuguese, and read it there!! Or start
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,846
Portugal
#7
I'm a big fan of historical novels as you know (well researched ones). It's only in Portuguese, English and Catalan. I need it in Castellano or - if I get really adventurous - I'm thinking of going to Northern Portugal in October, brush up on my very basic Portuguese, and read it there!! Or start
Wow! :D
I must say that I avoid reading novels in English or Spanish, I prefer to read the translations to Portuguese, I only go the English or Spanish when translations aren’t available.

But “Equador” was translated to Castilian, they just changed the title, didn’t translated it, apparently to avoid confusion with the country “Ecuador” and with the Ecuadorian emigration to Spain, the title is “El Gobernador”: EL GOBERNADOR | MIGUEL SOUSA TAVARES | Comprar libro 9788478889860 (but it seems it is not available here or in Amazon.es).

If you come to Portugal feel free to PM me and say the areas/towns that you plan to visit. I already lived near Porto, and know some areas in the North relatively well. Unfortunately most of the small book stores that I knew in Porto are now closed. The internet and the FNAC stores were bad for the business.
 
Likes: Futurist
Nov 2010
7,404
Cornwall
#8
Wow! :D
I must say that I avoid reading novels in English or Spanish, I prefer to read the translations to Portuguese, I only go the English or Spanish when translations aren’t available.

But “Equador” was translated to Castilian, they just changed the title, didn’t translated it, apparently to avoid confusion with the country “Ecuador” and with the Ecuadorian emigration to Spain, the title is “El Gobernador”: EL GOBERNADOR | MIGUEL SOUSA TAVARES | Comprar libro 9788478889860 (but it seems it is not available here or in Amazon.es).

If you come to Portugal feel free to PM me and say the areas/towns that you plan to visit. I already lived near Porto, and know some areas in the North relatively well. Unfortunately most of the small book stores that I knew in Porto are now closed. The internet and the FNAC stores were bad for the business.
Yes I don't think it's available in Castilian right now.

Booked for just west of Huelva in March and got this one on the way for topical onsite reading (as well as Guia Total etc):

Evolución histórica y poblamiento del territorio onubense durante la época andalusí (siglos VIII-XIII)

García Sanjuán, Alejandr

Booked flights to Bilbao for June as it's £75 for 2 return flights. No clear idea of where to stay yet but may well be the mountains of Navarra or maybe La Rioja (which was once in Navarra) , an area which I seem to have read a hell of a lot about in the last 2 or 3 years, not least through the novels of Toti Martinez de Lezea. I reckon June in Navarra will satisfy my historical needs and the Mrs's love of our feathered friends

Possibly west of Bilbao instead, so who knows??

So In October I was looking at Porto or Lisbon - problem with Porto being late night flights (from Bristol). Don't like late night flights - arriving in the dark to strange casa/villa, no time to shop and on the way back leaving the villa at 10am and dawdling about for 6 hours before flights.

It's a tough life
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,846
Portugal
#9
Seems a good finding. I am beginning to envy too much your private library! :D

Anyway when you know what cities you will visit in Portugal feel free to tell me. The tips that you gave me about Girona, the last year (or was the previous?) really made me gain many hours of searching, and I would be quite happy to be helpful in a similar manner.
 
Likes: Futurist
Nov 2010
7,404
Cornwall
#10
Seems a good finding. I am beginning to envy too much your private library! :D

Anyway when you know what cities you will visit in Portugal feel free to tell me. The tips that you gave me about Girona, the last year (or was the previous?) really made me gain many hours of searching, and I would be quite happy to be helpful in a similar manner.
Thanks Tulius. It's fair to say my wife is not quite as envious as you of my ever-growing private library :)
 

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