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David Richardson

David Richardson
University of Hull · WISE (The Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation)

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78
Publications
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (78)
Article
John Broich. Squadron: Ending the African Slave Trade. New York: Overlook Duckworth, 2018. Pp. 315. $32.50 (cloth). - Volume 58 Issue 3 - David Richardson
Article
Full-text available
One important, but overlooked, risk mitigation device that facilitated the growth of the slave trade in the eighteenth century was the increasing availability of insurance for ships and their human cargoes. In this article we explore, for the first time, the relative cost of insurance for British slave traders, the underlying processes by which thi...
Book
Slavery and coerced labor have been among the most ubiquitous of human institutions both in time - from ancient times to the present - and in place, having existed in virtually all geographic areas and societies. This volume covers the period from the independence of Haiti to modern perceptions of slavery by assembling twenty-eight original essays,...
Article
The Capital and the Colonies: London and the Atlantic Economy, 1660–1700. By ZahediehNuala. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Pp. xviii, 329. $95.00, cloth. - Volume 71 Issue 4 - DAVID RICHARDSON
Conference Paper
In the famous series of letters published in the decade before the declaration of American independence, Hector St. John de Crevecoeur asked what is an American? He did not include enslaved Africans in his enquiry. From the late eighteenth century, the publication of various slave narratives began to address issues of the identity of former slaves...
Article
Among the many issues surrounding Parliament’s outlawing of British Caribbean slavery in 1833, the £20 million raised by the British government to compensate slave owners for the loss of property in people has attracted the greatest outrage, not least because the enslaved received no compensation. Controversial as it has been among modern scholars...
Article
Full-text available
In the eighteenth century, the British were the most successful slavers in the Atlantic world. Their unexpected political conversion to anti-slavery in 1787-1833 proved to be a pivotal moment in the global history of slavery and abolition. In this article, we explore how the extraordinary growth of British towns and cities offered an environment in...
Article
Cultural factors have often been invoked to explain parliament's decision in 1807 to outlaw slave carrying by British subjects but they have only infrequently been cited in efforts to explain why the Atlantic slave trade itself became so large in the three centuries preceding 1807. This paper seeks to redress this imbalance by looking at ways in wh...
Article
Did living standards stagnate before the Industrial Revolution? Traditional real-wage indices typically show broadly constant living standards before 1800. In this paper, we show that living standards rose substantially, but surreptitiously because of the growing availability of new goods. Colonial luxuries such as tea, coffee, and sugar transforme...
Article
Full-text available
The growth of the Atlantic economy during the eighteenth century has been associated with developments in business networking to mitigate the hazards of communication in long-distance trade. Such social capital-based mechanisms reduced transaction costs, but also proved to have their limitations in the changing conditions of eighteenth-century inte...
Article
This chapter presents a new assessment of the transatlantic slave trade, including the organization and publication of the massive amount of new data on slave-trade voyages, the production of accessible reference to summary statistics derived from these data, and sustained scholarly attention to several branches of the slave trade. The reassessment...
Article
This chapter focuses on the importance of the French slaving activities to the origin of the French Atlantic world before 1716. The 1999 CD-ROM contained 159 records of French slaving voyages before 1716 and another twelve captured English slavers taken into French territories with slaves onboard. The 1701–1715 distribution of slaves arriving in bo...
Chapter
This chapter examines the concept that along with the post-1710 French traffic, the Dutch slave trade was the first to be documented. Overall, it is estimated that a total volume of 554,300 slaves was carried from the African coast in Dutch vessels in 1596–1829. All slave-trading nations drew on a surprisingly small number of individual ports on th...
Book
Since 1999, intensive research efforts have vastly increased what is known about the history of coerced migration of transatlantic slaves. A huge database of slave trade voyages from Columbus' era to the mid-nineteenth century is now available on an open-access Web site, incorporating newly discovered information from archives around the Atlantic w...
Article
Full-text available
In the last three decades, successive books by Peter H. Wood, Daniel C. Littlefield and Judith A. Carney have progressively made the case that the major export crop of eighteenth-century South Carolina and Georgia was predominantly a creation of Africans. This African contribution to New World agriculture is epitomized by the arresting title of Car...
Article
Full-text available
The mortality of enslaved Africans in the Atlantic crossing has long preoccupied historians but the relationship between slave traders purchasing strategies and slave mortality rates in transit has escaped close investigation. We address these issues by using records of 39 eighteenth-century voyages of the Dutch Middelburgsche Commercie Compagnie....
Article
We draw wide-ranging implications about slave productivity change by making use of newly collected data on the prices paid for nearly 230,000 slaves as they arrived in the Americas from Africa between 1674 and 1807. Prices for the product that most slaves were destined to produce-sugar-are also available. Together the comprehensive series allow us...
Article
Bristol's eighteenth century ‘golden age’ has conventionally been linked to the rise of slavery in British America after 1660. This paper seeks to add substance to this linkage by exploring Bristol's involvement in the Atlantic slave trade, without which slavery in the Americas could not have developed to the level it did, and goes on to explore th...
Article
We draw wide-ranging implications about slave productivity change by making use of newly collected data on the prices paid for nearly 230,000 slaves as they arrived in the Americas from Africa between 1674 and 1807. Prices for the product that most slaves were destined to produce - sugar - are also available. Together the comprehensive series allow...
Article
Full-text available
This article suggests that differences in local political structures and credit protection regimes largely account for Bonny's displacement of Old Calabar as the principal slave port of the Bight of Biafra in the eighteenth century, despite Bonny's reputation for being particularly unhealthy for Europeans. We argue that this displacement occurred i...
Article
Prices of slaves in the Atlantic slave trade are of central importance to understanding not only the slave trade, but also the larger Atlantic economy in the two centuries after 1660. In the last thirty years, a range of sources have yielded data from sales of slaves for the nineteenth century United States, Cuba, Brazil and Mauritius. Although the...
Article
Full-text available
O presente artigo analisa as flutuações dos preços dos escravos recém-desembarcados nas Américas, com ênfase especial para as colônias britânicas do Caribe e para os Estados Unidos. Parte-se do suposto de que os preços podem ajudar a determinar aspectos cruciais da história do tráfico negreiro, tais como a interconexão entre os mercados e as determ...
Article
Full-text available
We welcome the seriousness with which the concept of networking is being taken in the history of the industrial revolution.' It suggests that our argument favouring pluralism as a factor behind collective diversification and capital-intensive ventures in the service sector is more than simply 'probabilistic and unworthy of comment'.2 Our emphasis o...
Article
Full-text available
Business networking in early industrial Britain delivered efficiency gains by lowering transaction costs as resources were shared across webs of acquaintances whose non-economic forms of association assisted networking. The pooling of resources through trust and associational conventions allowed the spreading of risk, notably when groups of associa...
Article
Violent resistance by Africans forced on board slave ships in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans has received less attention than plantation-based resistance. Evidence now suggests that, notwithstanding measures taken by shippers to prevent them, rebellions by enslaved Africans occurred on perhaps 10 per cent of slave ships. The same evidence also reve...
Article
The use of people as pawns to underpin credit was widespread in western Africa during the era of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This study examines where and when pawns were used in commercial transactions involving European slave merchants in the period c. 1600–1810. It is shown that European merchants relied on pawnship as an instrument of c...
Article
plantation-based revolts were but one element in a spectrum of resistance that transcended Africa, the Middle Passage, and the Americas.2 This article seeks to redress the imbalance in the literature by examining patterns of slave revolts on board ships at the African coast and in the Atlantic crossing between circa i650 and i86o. Using newly revea...
Article
The Atlantic Slave Trade. Edited by NorthrupDavid. Lexington MA: D. C. Heath, 1994. Pp. xvii + 221. £9.95, paperback (ISBN 0-669-33145-7). - Volume 37 Issue 3 - David Richardson
Article
In 1974 Thomas and Bean argued that the slave trade from Africa was similar to an ocean fishery, with profits being dissipated by unrestricted entry into the trade. This article questions the appropriateness of common property resource models to slaving and suggests, instead, that slaving generated economic rents within Africa. Invoking recent theo...
Article
This article challenges the widely held view that slave prices in Africa fell substantially and permanently after Britain abolished its slave trade in 1807. Examination of slave-price data shows that, when allowance is made for movements in prices of trade goods bartered for slaves, real slave prices fell sharply between 1807 and 1820 but that the...
Article
The paper employs a standard production function to measure total factor productivity in the transatlantic slave trade, mainly French and British, between 1673 and the mid-19th century. Substantial new data are new added to the Mettas-Daget data set to yield evidence of 13,000 slaving voyages, of which 1800 have sufficient information for an analys...
Article
Full-text available
ResumeL'odyssee de J. Inikori : a propos de l'evaluation de la traite britannique des esclaves, 1655-1807. — Dans une contribution publiee dans les Cahiers d'Etudes africaines (n° 128, 1992), J. Inikori a tente de reviser a la hausse les chiffres fournis par D. Richardson en 1989 sur la traite britannique des esclaves au cours de la periode 1698-18...
Article
Currently available price series for slaves during the eighteenth century need to be treated with much caution, and it seems unlikely that large quantities of new evidence will be unearthed. Further progress toward the creation of more reliable price series will thus require new methods of estimation. In this paper, a new price series for slaves at...
Article
Rum and the American Revolution: The Rum Trade and the Balance of Payments of the Thirteen Continental Colonies. ByMcCuskerJohn J. · New York: Garland Publishing Company, Inc., 1989. viii + 1367 pp. Charts, tables, appendixes, bibliographic materials, and notes. 2 vols. $210. - Volume 64 Issue 4 - David Richardson
Article
Using new evidence on the British, French and North American slave-carrying trades, this article seeks to revise Lovejoy's recently published estimates of the levels of slave exports from West and West-Central Africa in the eighteenth century. The figures suggest that Lovejoy's estimate of the total volume of slave exports from the west coast of Af...
Article
This paper argues that the slave cargo itself and its peculiar transport requirements in the middle passage were more prominent factors in shaping the pattern of profits in the British slave trade than historians have traditionally assumed. It appears that slaves were relatively expensive to transport but were subject to heavy and unpredictable lev...
Article
In his rejoinder in the September 1983 issue of this JOURNAL to our comment on his article that appeared in December 1981, J. E. Inikori claims that we fail to address effectively any of the six major points raised by his article. We confess that we did not respond to his arguments about temporal fluctuations and interfirm variations in profit marg...
Article
Full-text available
The main purpose of this short paper is to estimate the profitability of the English outport slave trade and to consider the English experience against the background of recent work on the profits achieved by Continental, notably French, Dutch and Danish, slave traders. An assessment of profits in the English trade is attempted by a brief analysis...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
To publish a 15,000 word essay in a forthcoming volume on Slaveries since emancipation, editor James Brewer Stewart and others, Cambridge UP, 2017.