By Christine E. Sears (auth.)
Read or Download American Slaves and African Masters: Algiers and the Western Sahara, 1776–1820 PDF
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Additional resources for American Slaves and African Masters: Algiers and the Western Sahara, 1776–1820
6 If broadly similar cultural backgrounds, religion, a common enslavement, and close proximity bred community among slaves in other locales, it seems logical that American and European slaves might develop communal ties in Algiers. ” At the same time, “competition, as well as cooperation” informed slaves’ interactions with one another. 8 In some ways, American and European slaves relied on one another from the time they were enslaved. When first seized, Foss and his crewmates feared being punished for inadvertently performing their work incorrectly.
Shaler’s view of slavery mutated between 1815 and 1826 because US slavery, its practice and perception, changed. Historian Gillian Weiss tracked how French conceptions of slavery and freedom also shifted over time. She found that from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, slaves were those who were unlucky enough to be seized by corsairs. By the late eighteenth century, Frenchness was equated with freedom; thus, if one were French, one should be free. 51 Slavery, then, is culturally specific, and what slavery is depends on where and when it was practiced.
Certainly, North and West African slaveries cannot be equated with the “institutionalized chattel slavery” that existed in the antebellum United States. ”53 None of these describe the North or West African tradition of enslaving Americans and Europeans. Europeans and Americans held in Africa had few opportunities to procreate; thus, their status was rarely passed to offspring. Religion and national affiliation, not race, determined who would be enslaved. Few Europeans or Americans in Africa worked in agricultural settings.