Trans-Atlantic Lives: Slavery and Freedom in West Africa and Brazil


ACLS Fellowship Program




This project uses court records from the British colony of Lagos to identify persons of slave origin and recover information about their lives. Stories told by these individuals in court are analyzed to recover memories of the slave trade, slavery, and freedom in West Africa and Bahia, as well as insights into the trans-Atlantic social worlds and cultural practices of these individuals. Further research drawing on previously gathered archival and oral data from Nigeria and Britain and new archival research in Bahia flesh out the biographies and social networks of slaves and freed people uncovered in the Lagos court records, illuminating how they sustained relationships with one another through time and across space and created a trans-Atlantic community.