Book cover of Recaptured Africans: Surviving Slave Ships, Detention, and Dislocation in the Final Years of the Slave Trade by Sharla Fettby Sharla M. Fett 

In the years just before the Civil War, during the most intensive phase of American slave-trade suppression, the U.S. Navy seized roughly 2,000 enslaved Africans from illegal slave ships and brought them into temporary camps at Key West and Charleston. In this study, Sharla Fett reconstructs the social world of these “recaptives” and recounts the relationships they built to survive the holds of slave ships, American detention camps, and, ultimately, a second transatlantic voyage to Liberia. Fett also demonstrates how the presence of slave-trade refugees in southern ports accelerated heated arguments between divergent antebellum political movements–from abolitionist human rights campaigns to slave-trade revivalism–that used recaptives to support their claims about slavery, slave trading, and race.

Interview with the Author

Podcast Art for the New Book NetworkNew Books Network 
Sharla Fett, “Recaptured Africans: Surviving Slave Ships, Detention, and Dislocation in the Final Years of the Slave Trade” (UNC Press, 2017)
4/12/18          68 min


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