Africa Squadron: The U.S. Navy and the Slave Trade, 1842-1861

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Potomac Books, Inc., Nov 30, 2006 - Antislavery movements - 292 pages
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Donald L. CanneyOCOs study is the first book-length history of the U.S. NavyOCOs Africa Squadron. Established in 1842 to enforce the ban on importing slaves to the United States, in twenty yearsOCO time the squadron proved ineffective. To officers and enlisted men alike, duty in the squadron was unpopular. The equatorial climate, departmental neglect, and judicial indifference, which allowed slavers back at sea, all contributed to the sailorsOCO frustration. Later, the most damaging allegation was that the squadron had failed at its mission. Canney investigates how this unit earned a poor reputation and whether it is deserved. Though U.S. warships seized slave vessels as early as 1800, four decades passed before the Navy established a permanent squadron off the western coast of Africa to interdict U.S.-flag vessels participating in this trade. Canney traces the NavyOCOs role in interdicting the slave trade, Great BritainOCOs pressure on the U.S. government to curb slave traffic, the creation of the squadron, and how individual politicians, department secretaries, captains, and squadron commanders interpreted the laws and orders from higher authorities, changing squadron operations. While famous ships and captains served on this station, none won distinction in the Africa Squadron. In the final analysis, the squadron was unsuccessful, even though it was the NavyOCOs only permanent squadron with a specific, congressionally mandated mission: to maintain a quasi-blockade on a foreign shore. While Canney exonerates southern-born naval captains, who approached their work as diligently as their counterparts from the north, he demonstrates how the secretaries of the NavyOCopro-slavery southern politiciansOConeglected the squadron."
 

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Canney focuses on the American naval squadron designated to patrol for slave traders. His main focus in on the period after the Webster-Ashburton treaty of 1842 which committed the U.S. to maintain a ... Read full review

Contents

ILLUSTRATIONS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
INTRODUCTION
1THE SLAVE TRADE OUTLAWED 18081821
US NAVY ANTISLAVE TRADE ACTIVITIES 18221841
WEBSTERASHBURTON AND THE US NAVY 18401842
4CAPT MATTHEW C PERRY AND THE FIRST AFRICA SQUADRON 18431845
5COMMODORE SKINNER THE FEVER AND THE NOTORIOUS PONS 18451846
11COMMODORE MAYO AND THE CONSTITUTIONS LAST CAPTURE 18531855
CRUISING TO NO REWARD 18551857
13COMMODORE CONOVER AND COMMANDER MCBLAIR 18571859
14FLAG OFFICER INMAN AND THE GREAT SEA CHANGE 18591861
US NAVAL VESSELS
VESSELS SEIZED
MEDIUM AND SMALL STEAM VESSELS AVAILABLE FOR SERVICE 18431858
SECRETARIES OF THE NAVY 18421861

THE FEDERAL COURTS TAKE A HAND 18461847
7BOLTON AND COOPER AND THE NADIR OF THE SQUADRON 18471849
8THE BRAZIL SQUADRON AND THE SLAVE TRADE 18451849
9COMMODORE GREGORY AND LIEUTENANT FOOTE REVIVE THE SQUADRON
A LULL IN THE TRADE 18511853
NOTES
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Copyright

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