Slave Captain

BookSlave Captain

Slave Captain

The Career of James Irving in the Liverpool Slave Trade


May 1st, 2008

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As few accounts written by slave ship captains are known to have survived, the personal papers of James Irving are of tremendous interest and academic significance. Irving built a successful career in the slave trade of eighteenth-century Liverpool, first as a ship’s surgeon and then as a captain. Remarkably he was himself enslaved when his ship was wrecked off the coast of Morocco and he was captured by people described as ‘wild Arabs’ and ‘savages’. This edition of forty letters and his journal reveals the reaction of the slaver to the experience of slavery, as well as throwing light on the complex and, to modern eyes, repugnant features of the transatlantic slave trade. The result is both a compelling narrative and a valuable reference text. This thoroughly revised edition of Suzanne Schwarz’s best-selling book includes recently discovered archive material.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
List of Illustrations, Maps and Tables8
Preface to the Second Edition9
The Documents and Editorial Conventions13
List of Abbreviations15
Part One: James Irving’s Career17
1: Introduction19
2: Early Career in the Liverpool Slave Trade23
3: Irving’s Voyages in the Irving’s Voyages in the36
4: Shipwreck and Enslavement55
5: Freedom and Return to England81
6: Conclusion86
Part Two: James Irving’s Correspondence, 1786–179197
Part Three: Journal of James Irving’s Shipwreck and Enslavement, May 1789-October 1790141
A ‘Short Account’ by James Irving II, June–October 1789165