Freedom Burning: Anti-Slavery and Empire in Victorian Britain. By Richard Huzzey. (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2012. Pp. 316. Cloth, $29.95.) Richard Huzzey opens this marvelous history of British antislavery with an account of the attack of the HMS Penelope on three villages along the Gallinas River in West Africa in 1845. The villages lay within the domain of Manna, a Vai prince accused of "countenancing and encouraging" a slave trade in British subjects from Sierra Leone, as well as keeping two of those subjects, both women, enslaved in his own domain (3). British marines burned down the villages, driving their inhabitants into the bush, but when the marines found Prince Manna he offered evidence and testimony that showed that the British had severely overreacted. Manna had sold slaves to a Spanish merchant, but the slaves were not British subjects, and both of the Sierra Leone women had married Manna's subjects on their own volition; they were not slaves. Despite the weak case for the use of such force, Commodore William Jones, commander of the West Africa squadron who ordered the attack, reported an antislavery victory: "We have evidently impressed these people with a very wholesome terror, and
The Journal of the Civil War Era – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Aug 9, 2014
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