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date: 27 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This essay uses hemispheric perspectives to discuss slave narratives from the Caribbean, Latin America, and Canada. Although the abolitionist movement and later the Federal Writers’ Project facilitated slave narratives in the United States, only a few full-length accounts document slavery or the apprenticeship system in the British Caribbean, Cuba, or Brazil. The narratives by Mary Prince, Ashton Warner, James Williams, Archibald Monteath, Juan Francisco Manzano, Esteban Montejo, and Mahommah Baquaqua are supplemented, however, by black testimony in reports, petitions, letters, and Inquisition or trial transcripts. Little black testimony is available concerning slavery in Canada, but a substantive corpus is produced by self-emancipated slaves who arrived as black loyalists in eighteenth-century Nova Scotia and then via the Underground Railroad in Canada West, among them Josiah Henson, Henry Bibb, Austin Steward, Jermain Wesley Loguen, and Samuel Ringgold Ward. Over one hundred further short narratives were collected by Benjamin Drew and published in 1856.

Keywords: slave narratives, testimony, hemispheric, Canada, Caribbean, Latin America, black loyalists, underground railroad

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