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Navigating African Maritime History$
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Carina E Ray and Jeremy Rich

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780986497315

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780986497315.001.0001

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Rough Sailing: Risks and Opportunities for Immigrant African Maritime Workers in Gabon, ca. 1860-1914

Rough Sailing: Risks and Opportunities for Immigrant African Maritime Workers in Gabon, ca. 1860-1914

Chapter:
(p.117) Rough Sailing: Risks and Opportunities for Immigrant African Maritime Workers in Gabon, ca. 1860-19141
Source:
Navigating African Maritime History
Author(s):

Jeremy Rich

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780986497315.003.0006

This essay explores the risks and opportunities to West African sailors migrating to Gabon, Central Africa in search of high pay and to answer the demand for skilled labour. It explores the harsh conditions faced by these sailors due to brutality from European officers, hostile indigenous communities, and dangerous working conditions. However, it argues that despite the hazards, maritime work in the Atlantic offered opportunities for African sailors and freed slaves that meant travel, connection, and the growth of communities in Africa could function independently, free of ties to American and European influence.

Keywords:   West African Sailors, In-Migration, African Commerce, Nineteenth Century Africa, Post-Slave Trade Africa

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