Fighting Slavery in the Caribbean: The Life and Times of a British Family in Nineteenth-Century Havana

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M.E. Sharpe, Apr 15, 1998 - History
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Fighting Slavery in the Caribbean is a social history of mid-nineteenth century Cuba as experienced by George Backhouse (and his wife, Grace), who served on the Anglo-Spanish Havana Mixed Commission for the Suppression of the Slave Trade. Through richly textured prose, enlivened with extracts from the Backhouses' correspondence, diaries, and other contemporary papers, Martinez-Fernandez paints a detailed picture of the Cuban slave trade, its role in the sugar industry, and the interrelated contradictions within Cuba's economy, society, and politics.

The Backhouse story provides insights into important aspects of life in the male city of Havana, social antagonisms between Britons and North Americans, interactions within European social circles, religious tension, gender relations, and the reality of tropical disease. High drama is added to the narrative in the author's description of the tragic and mysterious murder of George Backhouse in August 1855, possibly the result of a slave traders' conspiracy.


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Page 11 - Treaty of 1835, between Great Britain and Spain, for the Abolition of the Slave Trade.
Page 18 - Spain ; the blue, white and red — blood to the fingers' end —of La Grande Nation ; the Union crosses of the Royal Commonwealth ; the stars and stripes of the Great Republic, and a few flags of Holland and Portugal, of the states of Northern Italy, of Brazil, and of the republics of the Spanish Main. We thread our slow and careful way among these, pass under the broadside of a ship-of-the-line, and under the stern of a screw frigate, both bearing the Spanish flag, and cast our anchor in the Regla...

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