5 Slave Ship Uprisings Other Than Amistad

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ship uprising

In 1747, a ship commanded by Captain Beers was overtaken in West Africa. Upon its departure from the shore of Cape Coast Castle in Ghana, hundreds of African captives on board began fighting the captain and crew who were attempting to sail the ship to the Caribbean.

After muscling weapons away from the slavers, the Africans engaged in a short battle, killing the captain and all crew members, except for two men, who jumped off the vessel and swam ashore.

The incident is recounted in the papers: “By a letter from the Coast of Guiney, via Barbadoes, dated the 14th of January last, we have Advice, that Captain Bear in a Vessel belonging to Rhode Island, being off Cape Coast Castle with a Number of enslaved Africans, and a considerable Quantity of Gold Dust on board; the said Africans found an opportunity to rise against the Master and Men, and kill’d the said Master and all the Crew, except the two Masters [Mates], who by jumping over board and swimming ashore sav’d their lives.”

The Africans reportedly returned ashore and the vessel was never seen again.

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