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Open Access “Canniball Negroes,” Atlantic Creoles, and the Identity of New England’s Charter Generation

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“Canniball Negroes,” Atlantic Creoles, and the Identity of New England’s Charter Generation

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In the early seventeenth century, New England merchants were heavily involved in privateering raids on Spanish and Portuguese shipping in the Caribbean and in capturing slave ships, almost entirely sent from Angola. Knowing the specific background and historical events in Angola allows us to solve a number of mysterious appearances, such as Imbangala (“canniball negroes”) raiders, and a “queen” who was probably a member of the Kongo-Ndongo nobility whose enslaved members also appear in Brazilian records of the same epoch. Careful use of contemporary and dense documentation of Angola and shipping allow this greater nuance and opens the way for other research.

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