March 29, 2023 “Dark Voyages”, Lecture by Christian McBurney
Portsmouth Historical Society Presented “Dark Voyage” by Historian Christian McBurney on March 29.
Portsmouth, RI – Historian Christian McBurney spoke his new book, Dark Voyage: An American Privateer’s War on Britain’s African Slave Trade (Westholme, 2022). Based primarily on a little-known ship’s log penned by a Newport captain’s clerk, McBurney’s new book chronicles the remarkable voyage by this Rhode Island privateer to Africa with its goal of advancing the cause of America’s War of Independence by attacking British slave forts and capturing British slave ships in Africa. The program focused on the mastermind behind the voyage, merchant John Brown of Providence, the mixed motivations of Brown and his mostly Rhode Island privateersmen, and the startling unintended consequences of the attacks by this privateer and other American privateers in disrupting Britain’s huge slave trading industry.
This is Christian McBurney’s sixth book on the American Revolutionary War, four of which have Rhode Island as a focus. Christian is President of The George Washington American Revolution Round Table of the District of Columbia, and is the founder and publisher of Rhode Island’s leading history blog at smallstatebighistory.com. He is an independent historian residing in Kensington, Maryland, with a second home in West Kingston, Rhode Island. For more on Christian’s books, go to www.christianmcburney.com.