Friday, December 01, 2006

Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution by Simon Schama

Very readable nonfiction account of a little known migration that resulted in runaway slaves siding with England during the American Revolution and their struggle to become free. The promised land is Sierra Leone and the unlikely moses was Thomas Clarkson, an undistinguished second son. After getting to know some of the slaves who had risked their lives to fight with the British army, Thomas became a relentless advocate for and leader of over 1,000 ex-slaves.

Sadly, the dream of abolitionists and Thomas Clarkson of a free black self-governing colony in Sierra Leone did not come to pass but the tale is still riveting and the historical figures are well drawn.

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