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The Creole. Jonathan Wyatt. The Story. On November 7, 1841, a slave-trading ship sailing between Hampton Roads and New Orleans was taken over slaves on the eleventh day of their voyage. Led by Madison Washington, nineteen of the 135 slaves on board took hold of the ship. The Ship.

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the creole

The Creole

Jonathan Wyatt

the story
The Story
  • On November 7, 1841, a slave-trading ship sailing between Hampton Roads and New Orleans was taken over slaves on the eleventh day of their voyage.
  • Led by Madison Washington, nineteen of the 135 slaves on board took hold of the ship.
the ship
The Ship
  • The ship itself carried hemp, tobacco, flax, three passengers and 135 slaves.
  • It left port on October 27, 1841, and eventually landed in New Orleans on December 2.
madison washington
Madison Washington
  • The earliest record of Madison Washington comes from a slave holder in Virginia upon his escape in 1840. He fled to Canada, but returned in 1841 for his wife.
  • He was recaptured in Virginia and set aboard the Creole. His wife was also on board, unbeknownst to him until the revolt started.
the revolt
The Revolt
  • On November 7, Washington was found in the women’s galley of the ship. He then ran up to the deck, calling on his fellow slaves to join him.
  • Two slaves were injured, one died. One white man died as well due a faulty muskett.
where to go
Where to Go?
  • Washington had originally wanted to sail to Liberia, but William Merrit, the captain on board, convinced him that there would not be enough supplies to make the trip.
  • They decided to travel to Nassau in the Bahamas.
the aftermath
The Aftermath
  • There was very little press coverage of the Creole. With the slaves in the Bahamas, no reporters could hold interviews.
  • Most stories consisted of rumors, open to the political slant of the particular journalist or paper doing the writing.
webster ashburton treaty
Webster-Ashburton Treaty
  • Once congress found out about the Creole, Secretary of State Daniel Webster traveled down to the Bahamas to negotiate a deal with Lord Ashburton from Britain.
  • This was a very important step forward in diplomacy between the US and Great Britain. Important features included an Article on extradition and a $119,000 compensation for the owners of the Creole slaves.
the heroic slave
The Heroic Slave
  • In 1852, Frederick Douglass was commissioned to write a short novella for the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society. They were compiling anti-slavery texts for a book, Autographs for Freedom. The work he wrote for them is called The Heroic Slave, and centers around the life of Madison Washington. The book paints him as an almost God-like figure, fantasizing on the revolt as one of the most important events in the 19th century for the abolitionist cause.
works cited
Works Cited
  • "creole 4." creole 4. http://www.sunnycv.com/steve/civilwar/03/creole4.html (accessed November 21, 2013).
  • "The Colored-American Magazine." CRL. http://www.crl.edu/sites/default/files/imagecache/thickbox/images/tg/MF11864C.jpg (accessed November 24, 2013).
  • "The Heroic Slave." UNC. http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/douglass1853/doug174.jpg (accessed November 24, 2013).