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Post Hugh Crow, Slave Trader, Memoirist (from Gary Moore)
Created by John Eipper on 06/22/21 4:28 AM

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Hugh Crow, Slave Trader, Memoirist (from Gary Moore) (John Eipper, USA, 06/22/21 4:28 am)

Gary Moore writes:

John E asked, re my mention of the 1830 memoir of Hugh Crow, captain of the last legal English slave-trading ship in 1807, whether Crow's reminiscences showed remorse.

I found a section recalling his reluctance to go into the slave trade, but then he became a veteran, surviving many adventures including a French prison in the revolution, along with the requisite glimpses of many affections for individual Africans, and he was said to take special care on his voyages, though with more than 15% slave fatalities by arrival in the Caribbean. A number of seamen also died. In the climactic voyage of 1807 Crow was originally only the supercargo, but the original captain died before they reached the slave coast. Crow's book has an ominous subsection, perhaps not penned by him: "Anecdotes and Observations Illustrative of the Negro Character."  Anyone wishing to further undertake the important task of pinning down his psychology will find a helpfully linked table of contents at:

Memoirs of the late Captain Hugh Crow, of Liverpool; comprising a narrative of his life:


Also offering well-organized information are:

The Navy and the Slave Trade, by naval historian Christopher Lloyd, 1949, 1968:


(I'm indebted to Lloyd for the idea of opening discussion with the ship Kitty's Amelia.)


"'This Horrid Hole': Royal Authority, Commerce and Credit at Bonny, 1690-1840," by Paul E. Lovejoy and David Richardson, Journal of African History, 2004.


JE comments:  Crow's entire book is available at the first link.  For now I invite WAISers to check out his engraved portrait at this same source.  His Dickensian vibe is of a chubby, avuncular chap--more office clerk than reviled slave trader.  Gary, you've made a very interesting find.

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