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Eighteenth Century ‘Prize Negroes’: From Britain to America
Faculty Research & Creative Activity
  • Charles R. Foy, Eastern Illinois University
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Eighteenth-century Anglo-American prize systems were highly organized enterprises for the provision of coerced labor. Offering whites opportunities to participate in a lucrative market, they extended the reach of American slavery beyond the shores of the Americas, reinforced slavery in North America and greatly limited opportunities for freedom for black seamen. Although Americans desired that their new nation provide greater individual liberty, the American prize system applied the same presumption - that captured black mariners were slaves - as had its British predecessor, resulting in the sale of hundreds of black seamen into slavery.

The final, definitive version of this document, which should be used for reference and citation purposes, may be found online at Slavery and Abolition

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Foy, C. R. (2010). Eighteenth century 'prize Negroes': From Britain to America. Slavery and Abolition, 31(3), 379-393. doi: 10.1080/0144039X.2010.504532