From Kealoo to James Will: Slavery and Liberation in Yorubaland and Sierra Leone

Posted: 16 Apr 2013 Last revised: 7 Oct 2013

See all articles by Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson

Yale University

Maria Clara Sampaio

University of Sao Paulo - Programa de Pos Graduaduacao em Historia Social; Yale Graduate School of Arts and Science

Date Written: April 16, 2013

Abstract

Between 1808 and 1862 the British Navy liberated an estimated 99,000 Africans from the transatlantic slave trade and settled them in and around Freetown, Sierra Leone. Many of these Liberated Africans received a missionary education, allowing to them to record accounts of their enslavement. The narratives of Liberated Africans Samuel Crowther and Joseph Wright rank among the best-known narratives of Africans who endured enslavement in Africa. Equally detailed but heretofore unpublished is the narrative of James Will, born Kealoo in the western extremities of Yorubaland in the present-day Republic of Benin. Captured in war as a child around 1830, Kealoo was sold into transatlantic slavery by the notorious Brazilian slave dealer Francisco Felix de Souza, passing through the port of Ouidah. This paper traces Kealoo’s voyage from enslavement to emancipation, and his rise from apprentice to affluent trader and Methodist preacher in colonial Freetown. As a victim of the Yoruba wars, Kealoo’s narrative elucidates the personal impact of processes that dispersed an unprecedented number of Yoruba speakers throughout the Atlantic in the nineteenth century.

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Richard and Sampaio, Maria Clara, From Kealoo to James Will: Slavery and Liberation in Yorubaland and Sierra Leone (April 16, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2252236

Richard Anderson (Contact Author)

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Maria Clara Sampaio

University of Sao Paulo - Programa de Pos Graduaduacao em Historia Social ( email )

Rua Oscar Freire 1412
Sao Paolo
Brazil
11 30813786 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.historia.fflch.usp.br/posgraduacao/hs

Yale Graduate School of Arts and Science ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States
203-432-1361 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.yale.edu/graduateschool/index.html

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