“Freedom on the Horizon: Transmarine Marronage and the Abolition of Slavery in Dominica, Martinique, and St. Lucia, 1824-1848”
“Freedom on the Horizon: Transmarine Marronage and the Abolition of Slavery in Dominica, Martinique, and St. Lucia, 1824-1848” explores the cross-imperial movement of enslaved French men and women in the wake of Great Britain’s abolition of slavery and seeks to reconstruct their conceptions of refuge and freedom. I focus on Dominica, Martinique, and St. Lucia, and on the waters between them, to understand how French fugitives navigated constantly changing policies that defined and redefined where liberty could be secured. My research in French and British colonial archives has allowed me to trace individuals and groups of fugitives from Martinique to Dominica and St. Lucia, and back. I use their stories to reconstruct a Black geography of the region that shows the complexity of who was able to participate in this kind of fugitivity and why. In analyzing this history of movement, I draw on the insights of historians of marronage and enslaved mobility and theorists of Black geography to argue that enslaved men and women’s geopolitical knowledge and autonomous movement across the sea was a critical part of the process of emancipation in the Caribbean and beyond. Ultimately, I argue, the actions of French fugitives shaped the political and legal landscapes around slavery and emancipation in both in the British and the French colonies.
Read more about Tayzhaun Glover on his Fellow Profile page.