The Rhode Island Historical Society will host veteran research and writer Christian McBurney on Wednesday, August 17th, at 6 p.m., for a program highlighting his latest work Dark Voyage: An American Privateer’s War on Britain’s African Slave Trade.
Based primarily on a little-known primary source penned by a Newport captain’s clerk, The Journal of the Good Ship Marlborough, McBurney’s new book chronicles the remarkable voyage by this Rhode Island privateer to Africa with its goal of advancing the cause of America’s War of Independence by attacking British slave forts and capturing British slave ships in Africa. The program will focus on the mastermind behind the voyage, merchant John Brown of Providence, the disturbing mixed motivations of Brown and his privateersmen, and the startling unintended consequences of the attacks by the Marlborough and other American privateers in disrupting Britain’s huge slave trading industry. This is a previously unknown Rhode Island story with international implications.
The program will be hosted at the Rhode Island Historical Society’s Aldrich House in Providence. Tickets are free and are available at rihs.org.
McBurney is author of six books on the American Revolutionary War, as well as many articles on American Revolution and Rhode Island history. He is president of the George Washington American Revolution Round Table of the District of Columbia and is the publisher and chief editor of the online journal at smallstatebighistory.com, devoted to Rhode Island history. He practices law in Washington, DC and he and his wife have a second home in West Kingston, Rhode Island.