James DeWolf and the Rhode Island Slave Trade

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Arcadia Publishing, Apr 1, 2014 - Biography & Autobiography - 160 pages

An unsettling story of corruption and exploitation in the Ocean State from slave ships to politics.


Over thirty thousand slaves were brought to the shores of colonial America on ships owned and captained by James DeWolf. When the United States took action to abolish slavery, this Bristol native manipulated the legal system and became actively involved in Rhode Island politics in order to pursue his trading ventures. He served as a member of the House of Representatives in the state of Rhode Island and as a United States senator, all while continuing the slave trade years after passage of the Federal Slave Trade Act of 1808. DeWolf's political power and central role in sustaining the state's economy allowed him to evade prosecution from local and federal authorities--even on counts of murder. Through archival records, author Cynthia Mestad Johnson uncovers the secrets of James DeWolf.

 

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Contents

Preface
Murder on the High Seas
Laws and Economics
The Pious Brother
Indians and Kidnapping
Slave Trade Accelerates
Slaves and Cuba
Appendix Slave Trade Laws
Bibliography
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Cynthia Mestad Johnson earned an MA in history from California State University, San Marcos, and teaches U.S. history for the Oceanside Unified School District. She has been a guest speaker at the Bristol Historical and Preservation Society in Rhode Island for her historic research.

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