Dr Matthew Hopper

UK Host Institution: King's College London
Project status

Liberated Africans in the Indian Ocean World, 1808-1897

In this project, I explore the lives of African captives removed from slave ships in the Indian Ocean. Drawing on archival research, including registers, correspondence, and photographs, this new book traces the lives of “liberated Africans”—the term British officials used to describe Africans removed from slave ships—from their origins in East Africa to their final destinations around the Indian Ocean. Liberated Africans were taken to seven main port cities—Cape Town, Mauritius, Zanzibar, Mombasa, Aden, the Seychelles, and Bombay— where their labour was in demand and where they could be indentured for periods of up to 14 years. The book explores the daily lives, labour, education, mobility, family lives, and deaths of liberated Africans and the ways they found to resist domination and make their own way in British colonies in the Indian Ocean. I will collaborate with Dr Maeve Ryan of King's College London, a leading historian of British antislavery.

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