Transatlantic Family Enterprises: Slave Trade Networks in the Caribbean World, 1745–1808

Saturday, January 7, 2012: 11:30 AM
Belmont Room (Chicago Marriott Downtown)
Nadine Hunt, York University
The paper examines how several trans-Atlantic family enterprises facilitated the forced migration of African peoples to the Americas. The paper focuses on the Atlantic world, as it traces the slave trade network from Britain to West Africa to the Caribbean world in the eighteenth century. It  shows that a network consisted of at least one family member residing in Britain, while working with a relative in Jamaica, who was responsible for disembarking enslaved Africans. In some instances, the family network worked as a partnership in the commissioning of slave trade sailing vessels, while in other cases, a family member simply hired a relative in Jamaica to be a slave factor. In Jamaica, the resident family member was responsible for disembarking enslaved Africans and then embarking these people once again for a further slave trade voyage to a colony within the Caribbean world. There is no scholarly work on the role of family enterprises in the intra-Caribbean slave trade; the paper is part of a larger project that attempts to fill this gap in the historiography on the forced migration of Africans within the Caribbean world in the era of the Atlantic slave trade.
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