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Horrors of Slavery: Or, The American Tars in Tripoli

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Barbary pirates in Africa targeted sailors for centuries, often taking slaves and demanding ransom in exchange. First published in 1808, Horrors of Slavery is the tale of one such sailor, captured during the United States's first military encounter with the Islamic world, the Tripolitan War. William Ray, along with three hundred crewmates, spent nineteen months in captivity after his ship, the Philadelphia, ran aground in the harbor of Tripoli. Imprisoned, Ray witnessed-and chronicled-many of the key moments of ...
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Overview


Barbary pirates in Africa targeted sailors for centuries, often taking slaves and demanding ransom in exchange. First published in 1808, Horrors of Slavery is the tale of one such sailor, captured during the United States's first military encounter with the Islamic world, the Tripolitan War. William Ray, along with three hundred crewmates, spent nineteen months in captivity after his ship, the Philadelphia, ran aground in the harbor of Tripoli. Imprisoned, Ray witnessed-and chronicled-many of the key moments of the military engagement. In addition to offering a compelling history of a little-known war, this book presents the valuable perspective of an ordinary seaman who was as concerned with the injustices of the U.S. Navy as he was with Barbary pirates.

Hester Blum's introduction situates Horrors of Slavery in its literary, historical, and political contexts, bringing to light a crucial episode in the early history of our country's relations with Islamic states.

A volume in the Subterranean Lives series, edited by Bradford Verter

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813544137
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Series: Subterranean Lives
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Hester Blum is an assistant professor of English at Penn State University. She is the author of The View from the Masthead: Maritime Imagination and Antebellum American Sea Narratives

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vii Introduction ix Chronology xxxi A Note on the Text xxxv Exordium 3 I Introductory Remarks 15 II Commencement of Service 19 III A Sketch of Biography 26 IV Suicide Attempted 31 V Embarkation-Celebration of Independence-Exemplary Punishment, &c. 37 VI A Voyage 43 VII Exercising Ship 49 VIII Remarks on Dr. Cowdery's Journal 56 IX A Petition 70 X Commodore Preble's Engagement with the Tripolitans 82 XI Elegy 97 XII Description of the Place 109 XIII Manners, Customs, &c. of the Tripolitans 119 XIV Public Transactions of the United States with the Regency of Tripoli; Including General Eaton's Expedition 125 XV Sketch of General Eaton's Expedition 164 XVI Return Home 181 Poetry, Published in The Albany Register, during the summer of 1807 183 Explanatory Notes 197 Further Reading 201
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