Slavery and the Birth of an African City

Slavery and the Birth of an African City

Lagos, 1760–1900
Mann, Kristin
Distribution: World
Publication date: 01/25/2010
Format: Paperback 1 b&w illus., 3 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-22235-0
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As the slave trade entered its last, illegal phase in the 19th century, the town of Lagos on West Africa’s Bight of Benin became one of the most important port cities north of the equator. Slavery and the Birth of an African City explores the reasons for Lagos’s sudden rise to power. By linking the histories of international slave markets to those of the regional suppliers and slave traders, Kristin Mann shows how the African slave trade forever altered the destiny of the tiny kingdom of Lagos. This magisterial work uncovers the relationship between African slavery and the growth of one of Africa’s most vibrant cities.

Author Bio

Kristin Mann is Professor of History at Emory University. She is author of Marrying Well: Marriage, Status, and Social Change among the Educated Elite in Colonial Lagos and editor (with Edna G. Bay) of Rethinking the African Diaspora: The Making of a Black Atlantic World in the Bight of Benin and Brazil.


Kristin Mann has been stimulating us with fine articles on this subject for years. . . . This is a major contribution to African history to slave studies, and to urban history.

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Table of Contents


1. The Rise of Lagos as an Atlantic Port, c. 1760<N>1851
2. Trade, Oligarchy, and the Transformation of the Precolonial State
3. The Original Sin: Anti-slavery, Imperial Expansion, and Early Colonial Rule
4. Innocent Commerce: Boom and Bust in the Palm Produce Trade
5. Britain and Domestic Slavery
6. Redefining the Owner-Slave Relationship: Work, Ideology, and the Demand for People
7. The Changing Meaning of Land in the Urban Economy and Culture
8. Strategies of Struggle and Mechanisms of Control: Quotidian Conflicts and Court Cases


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