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Liberated Africans Project

During the nineteenth century, a number of individuals and organizations from around the globe advocated abolishing slavery and the international slave trade. Between 1808 and 1896, international authorities began to seize and detain ships suspected of participating in the slave trade. Once these ships were seized or detained, a network of international courts "decided the fates of the survivors." In total, these courts secured the freedom of 250,000 enslaved Africans - approximately 6% of the total number of Africans forced into slavery during this time period. The Liberated Africans project aims to uncover the story of these individuals, as well as the stories behind "the world's earliest international courts dedicated to the humanitarian effort to stop human trafficking." To do so, this project provides access to archival materials relating to this court case, including records held in the British National Archives and the Sierra Leone National Archives. Researchers can explore these archival materials by court (including the Sierra Leone Vice-Admiralty Court and the Havana Slave Trade Commission), cases, people, or by document ("source"). The Liberated Africans project is headed by historian Henry Lovejoy of the University of Colorado Boulder and contains contributions from numerous researchers and other specialists.
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Date of Scout Publication 2018-06-22
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