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Freedom and ResistanceA Social History of Black Loyalists in the Bahamas$
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Christopher Curry

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813054476

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813054476.001.0001

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Codifying Power, Challenging the Law

Codifying Power, Challenging the Law

(p.158) 5 Codifying Power, Challenging the Law
Freedom and Resistance

Christopher Curry

University Press of Florida

“Codifying Power, Challenging the Law” focuses on the ongoing political battles that emerged in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries between black loyalists and the white mercantile elite. The central argument advanced is that despite gaining freedom from bondage, a series of legislative Acts passed between 1795 and 1817 challenged the efforts of black loyalists to enjoy the kind of civil liberties that they anticipated receiving as loyal subjects of the British Empire. Black loyalists did not remain quiescent. Rather, their efforts to achieve civil liberties remained a constant source of friction that was contested by black loyalist leaders in various public spaces. In this respect black loyalist evangelicals provided tangible support for their congregants, often witnessing land transactions, funding manumission efforts, and administering wills and testaments in order to safeguard the property of their members.

Keywords:   British Empire, Public spaces, Black evangelicals, Bondage, Mercantile elite

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