Dark Continents: Africa and the American Abolition of Slavery


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This dissertation examines the role of Africa in the American abolition of slavery. At its heart is the story of the Mendi Mission, operated by American abolitionists in what is now Sierra Leone between 1842 and 1882. The story of the mission challenges conventional interpretations of the era of the United States Civil War. Ranging from Indian Territory to Nova Scotia, Connecticut to South Carolina, Alabama to Guyana, England to the Gold Coast, the mission illuminates the geographies of abolition in all their breadth and complexity. Most importantly, it reveals a vibrant and ongoing engagement with Africa, connecting the sectional debate over slavery to the broader matrix of the Atlantic World.