Colonial Period

Mutiny on the Rising Sun: A Tragic Tale of Slavery, Smuggling, and Chocolate

A little-known story of mutiny and murder illustrating the centrality of smuggling and slavery in early American society

On the night of June 1, 1743, terror struck the schooner Rising Sun. After completing a routine smuggling voyage where the crew sold enslaved Africans in exchange for chocolate, sugar, and coffee in the Dutch colony of Suriname, the ship traveled eastward along the South American coast. Believing there was an opportunity to steal the lucrative cargo and make a new life for themselves, three sailors snuck below deck, murdered four people, and seized control of the vessel. […Learn More]

Book cover of Unfreedom: Slavery and Dependence in Eighteenth-Century Boston by Jared Ross Hardesty
History

Unfreedom: Slavery and Dependence in Eighteenth-Century Boston

Reveals the lived experience of slaves in eighteenth-century Boston

Instead of relying on the traditional dichotomy of slavery and freedom, Hardesty argues we should understand slavery in Boston as part of a continuum of unfreedom. In this context, African slavery existed alongside many other forms of oppression, including Native American slavery, indentured servitude, apprenticeship, and pauper apprenticeship. […Learn More]

Book cover of Black Lives, Native Lands, White Worlds: A History of Slavery in New England by Jared Ross Hardesty
Colonial Period

Black Lives, Native Lands, White Worlds: A History of Slavery in New England

Shortly after the first Europeans arrived in seventeenth-century New England, they began to import Africans and capture the area’s indigenous peoples as slaves. By the eve of the American Revolution, enslaved people comprised only about 4 percent of the population, but slavery had become instrumental to the region’s economy and had shaped its cultural traditions. This story of slavery in New England has been little told. […Learn More]