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Zephaniah Kingsley Jr. and the Atlantic WorldSlave Trader, Plantation Owner, Emancipator$
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Daniel L. Schafer

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813044620

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813044620.001.0001

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“My Saddle Bags Loaded with Specie”

“My Saddle Bags Loaded with Specie”

Caribbean Commerce in the Age of Revolution

(p.35) 3 “My Saddle Bags Loaded with Specie”
Zephaniah Kingsley Jr. and the Atlantic World

Daniel L. Schafer

University Press of Florida

During the 1790s, Zephaniah Kingsley Jr. was a ship captain engaged in sugar and coffee trade in the West Indies. In 1793, his ship was seized by a French privateer and sold at an Admiralty Court auction at Charleston. With France and Britain at war and privateers capturing commercial vessels owned by citizens of an enemy nation, Kingsley decided to change his British nationality to that of a neutral nation. He pledged loyalty to the United States, and continued his maritime trade in the West Indies with an added degree of protection while sailing under a neutral flag. Between 1793 and 1797, while a massive slave rebellion against the French colonial government was underway in Saint-Domingue, the French colony on the Island of Hispaniola, Kingsley traded for coffee in the southern province then under military control of Britain. The United States then became involved in an undeclared naval war against France, however, endangering Kingsley’s neutral trading status. In 1798, he moved to the Danish Island of St. Thomas and pledged loyalty to neutral Denmark.

Keywords:   Age of Revolution, Privateer, Overseas wars of the French Revolution, Slave rebellion in Saint-Domingue, Oath of loyalty, Neutral port, West Indies coffee trade, British occupation of Saint-Domingue

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