"'The Proper Instruments for Carrying on War': War and Maritime Enslavement in the Lesser Antilles, 1756–63"

Brown Bag Session
Christopher Baldwin, University of Toronto
Oct 12, 2022 at - | McNeil Center, Room 105/Zoom

Christopher Baldwin

Papers are circulated in advance. For copies, please contact the McNeil Center office.  


Chris is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto and a Dissertation Fellow at the Library Company of Philadelphia completing his dissertation entitled “An Empire of Plunder: Slavery and the Prize Economy in the British Caribbean, 1739– 1763.” His dissertation explores the enslavement of Black captives during the War of Jenkins’ Ear (1739–48) and the Seven Years’ War (1756–63). Specifically, it shows how British privateers and the Royal Navy raided French and Spanish shipping and plantations and trafficked the Black captives they seized as human plunder. It shows how Black sea-goers navigated the wartime Caribbean as the British Empire read Blackness as a marker of enslavability. Racialized violence and torture differentiated between white prisoners of war and Black captives whose humanity European empires questioned, suspended, and ignored. My research demonstrates how prize taking not only accommodated, but reinforced Atlantic slavery as admiralty legal systems categorized Black seafarers as human prizes.