“Our Little Piratical Intentions”: Select Narratives of British Abolition in East Africa, 1849-1873

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Tyler Yank


This paper examines efforts of the British Royal Navy to abolish the slave trade along the East African coast in the mid-nineteenth century through the select narratives of George L. Sulivan and William Cope Devereux. The abolition campaign was weakened by numerous factors, including the Royal Navy’s lack of instruction, organization and central command. I argue that these problems resulted in various acts of misconduct by British Navy men. Increasingly, compensation and “success” depended upon antagonistic relationships with slave traders, Zanzibari locals, Omani elite and other European agents. 

Article Details

Working Paper
Author Biography

Tyler Yank, Indian Ocean World Centre, McGill University

Tyler Yank is a doctoral student at the Indian Ocean World Centre and the Department of History and Classical Studies at McGill University.


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