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The Chattel PrincipleInternal Slave Trades in the Americas$
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Walter Johnson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300103557

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300103557.001.0001

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The Kelsall Affair

The Kelsall Affair

A Black Bahamian Family's Odyssey in Turbulent 1840s Cuba

(p.275) 12 The Kelsall Affair
The Chattel Principle

Manuel Barcia Paz

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Major General Sir Francis Cockburn's letter to the British consul in Havana, Joseph Tucker Crawford. Major Cockburn was the commander in chief and governor of the Bahamas. The aim of his message was to inform Crawford about some individuals from the Bahamas who remained in slavery in Cuba after they had been freed in 1822. This letter marked the beginning of a turbulent affair involving Crawford, Cuban governor Captain General Leopoldo O'Donnell, and the Bahamian slaveholders in the eastern neighborhood of Candelaria who kept the freed slaves in slavery. This was a minor episode in the fight between two of the empires interested in the destiny of the “ever faithful island of Cuba.”

Keywords:   Major General Sir Francis Cockburn, commander in chief, Bahamas, Joseph Tucker Crawford, British consul, Captain General Leopoldo O'Donnell, Bahamian slaveholders

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