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Black Poor and White PhilanthropistsLondon's Blacks and the Foundation of the Sierra Leone Settlement 1786–1791$
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Stephen J. Braidwood

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780853233770

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317293

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Emigration or Deportation?

Emigration or Deportation?

(p.129) 3: Emigration or Deportation?
Black Poor and White Philanthropists
Liverpool University Press

London's Black Poor were initially eager to join the Sierra Leone expedition, but many had had second thoughts by November 1786. Those who were chosen were so slow to embark because of the rumour that they would be sent to Botany Bay, or that the settlement was intended as a penal colony, a rumour which was confirmed by Granville Sharp as the most important factor that made the Black Poor hesitant to board the ships which would take them to their destination. This chapter examines the rumour as well as the problems that beset the planned expedition, including the disputes involving Gustavus Vassa, the Commissary, and John Irwin, the Superintendent, when the ships reached Plymouth. It also explores the question of whether the voyage was a voluntary emigration on the part of the blacks or whether it constituted a deportation.

Keywords:   Sierra Leone, expedition, settlement, emigration, deportation, West Africa, Black Poor, London, Botany Bay, Gustavus Vassa

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