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In October of 1841, the slave ship Creole sailed from Virginia to New Orleans, carrying a crew of 19 and 135 slaves. On November 7, 1841, as the ship approached the Bahamas, Madison Washington ran up to the deck and called on the other slaves to join his resistance. Led by Washington and other slaves, a total of 18 slaves participated in taking over the ship by overwhelming and taking over the crew. This forced them to steer the ship into Nassau, a British port in the British colony of the Bahamas. The slave revolt on this ship was a mutiny according to international law and fell under the jurisdiction of the local authority where the crime occurred. The Creole arrived in Nassau and British authorities imprisoned the 18 slave revolt participants. The rest of the slaves were taken off the ship by local British residents who demanded that the British grant freedom to the slaves.
To what extent, if any, did these incidents involve violence? There was violence in the Creole revolt due to Washington, who was the first to spark the overthrow. The slaves were kept in a forward hold and when a grate was lifted, Washington overtook the deck. Washington and 17 other men used violence to overtake the captain’s crew and overwhelm them. They killed one of the slave traders in the process. The captain of the ship was also wounded in the uprising. As well, some other crew members were wounded also but survived. Yet, one of the slaves was badly wounded and later died.
What was the outcome? The British took Washington and eighteen conspirators into custody under charges of mutiny. On April 16, 1842, the Admiralty Court in Nassau ordered the surviving seventeen slaves to be released and free including Washington. The rebellion ultimately gained 128 slaves freedom after taking control of the slave trading ship and sailing it to the Bahamas which caused tension between the British Colonial and American forces. Creole revolt was the most successful slave revolt in due to the number of people freed.
How did it influence sectional differences? The Creole case influence sectional differences as the Americans were for freedom, and had just freed the Amistad Africans, but were now outraged that the British had freed the Creole Blacks. The United States demanded compensation. Common citizens criticized the British action in saying that it encouraged mutiny and murder, which is wrong. Nonetheless, Britain freed the slaves, which raising fears among Southern planters that the British West Indies would become a safe haven for runaway slaves. Much of the American South believed that slavery was vital to the continuation of its source of income and situation, therefore they upheld the instituted of slavery. The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society was founded in 1839 and had a particular concern with American slavery.
What connections can you make between the incident you are researching and the Amistad case? The case was similar to another slave ship that the Spanish owned called the Amistad and the Amistad case. The Amistad had been transporting 53 slaves captured illegally in Africa from Havana to another Cuban port in 1839. Cinque a slave on the ship, led the revolt against the Spanish and the ship ended up to be found in Connecticut. The Supreme Court ruled that the slaves should be freed, due to the fact that Spain had prohibited slave trade in 1820. But in the case of the Creole, the slaves were legally purchased in Virginia and were being legally transported to another American port. The British in Nassau ruled that local laws applied to the Creole, and since the British Emancipation Act of 1833 ended slavery in the British empire, the slaves were free.
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