This study examines the recapture, detention, and removal from U.S. soil of approximately 2,000 people, most of them children, who had survived passage on four slave ships—Echo, Wildfire, William and Bogota. It is primarily concerned with the newly liberated Africans’ confinement in camps at the Florida Keys and Charleston and their shipment to, and arrival in, Liberia between 1858 and 1861. Instead of issues of legality, diplomacy, and naval supremacy, Fett centers her discussion on the human dimension of transatlantic slave-trading in its illegal phase, confronting a familiar problem for historians working in this field, “[t]he absence of any reliable first-person evidence” (7). The solution is a careful parsing of eyewitness documentation, including records of naval officers, marshals, and agents of the American Colonization Society, which Fett compares to recent research of “liberated Africans” throughout the nineteenth-century Atlantic world. She also draws upon anthropological studies to...

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