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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Re: British Military History
In Response To: Re: British Military History ()

Hello Robert:

I enjoyed reading your comments. Thanks for the suggestion of the book entitled, "Bury the Chains". When I found the url that lists the early British regiments in the Caribbean, I realized how important it is to know the history of the Caribbean. I was surprised to see the names of islands that were once owned by the French and Spanish and the present day British Caribbean countries that were by occupied them. (Trinidad) Caribbean history is a legacy of warring nations jostling for dominance in the New World.

Sugar as you mentioned, was one its agricultural "diamonds of the Caribbean." I've just ordered "Sugar Masters: Planters and Slaves in Louisiana's Cane World 1820-1860" from LSU Press. Although its focus is not the Caribbean, it nevertheless links Afro-Caribbeans who lived on both sides of the Gulf of Mexico. I'll let you know how it reads, either here or on the Afrigeneas Book Forum.

Sugar's opposite is salt. Dr. Larry Rivers' monumental work entitled "Slavery in Florida" comments on the importance of salt during the Civil War. Contrabands and newly enlisted Colored Troops along the coasts of Florida aided the Union Navy in locating its vital salt works. He writes "One key service of the black soldiers from Florida helped union naval forces to undermine the ability of rebels to preserve foods. ...thanks to information related by Blacks, the Union was subsequently able to target for destruction."

Olaudah Equiano is a legendary figure in black history. Like the nameless contrabands, there were countless numbers of sailors of color, free and enslaved, who contributed to naval history. Just as memorable as Equiano but not so glorious was one of the Caribbean's bad boys, pirate Captain Diego Martin. His reputation in the Caribbean was legendary. In 1638, he cut a audacious deal with Spain. If Spain would give him a royal pardon "no Dutch ship or any other enemy would any longer stop along Cuba's coast 'especially knowing', he said, ‘that I am here very few would dare pas on to the Indies, for they certainly fear me." (from Black Pirates in the Spanish Lake “Black Society in Spanish Florida”)

The link below will take you to the history of one island and a mention of Martin.

Your question about Blacks moving or fleeing to Nova Scotia reminds me of the pompous American slave owners who traveled to Spanish Florida and demanded the return of their property. According to Jane Landers, the ex-slaves, now free under Spanish rule, taunted and laughed at them. (“Black Society in Spanish Florida")

The arrogance of Americans to assume that American slave laws overshadowed all governments is incredible.

Thanks again for your book suggestion and comments. It inspired me to share the titles of some of my favorite books.

K Wyer Lane

Messages In This Thread

British Military History
Re: British Military History
Re: British Military History
Re: British Military History

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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