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Black SaltSeafarers of African Descent on British Ships$
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Ray Costello

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318184

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317675

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From Sail to Steam

From Sail to Steam

(p.114) Chapter Seven From Sail to Steam
Black Salt
Liverpool University Press

This chapter reviews the use of steam power at sea. The engine had recently been utilised as supplementary to sails. The start of steam-driven vessels had significant implications for seafarers of African descent. William Hall was one of the most highly decorated black sailors and was a Victoria Cross winner. He was one of the first to get the new medal for gallantry. The Zulu War of 1879 gives an example of recruitment from a non-traditional naval source. Tramp ships symbolised the best opportunities for Afro-Caribbean and other black seamen. Furthermore, it is noted that after this time the sailing ship was to be consigned to nostalgia, the craft of sailing limited to tourist attractions and small private vessels.

Keywords:   steam power, sea, steam-driven vessels, seafarers, African descent, William Hall, black sailors, Zulu War, tramp ships, sailing ship

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