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The Slaveholding RepublicAn Account of the United States Government's Relations to Slavery$
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Don E. Fehrenbacher and Ward M. McAfee

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195158052

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195158052.001.0001

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The African Slave Trade, 1842 to 1862

The African Slave Trade, 1842 to 1862

(p.173) 6 The African Slave Trade, 1842 to 1862
The Slaveholding Republic

Don E. Fehrenbacher

Ward M. McAfee

Oxford University Press

There is no evidence of Abel P. Upshur giving anything beyond perfunctory attention to the problem of the slave trade. Only after months of delay did he appoint Matthew C. Perry to command the African squadron, and it was in August of 1843 when Perry arrived off Cape Mesurado, where he had cruised with the Shark twenty two years earlier. Upshur's instructions made it plain that the squadron's primary assignment was the protection of American commerce. Upshur put together an African squadron consisting of one frigate, two sloops-of-war, and one brigantine, only the last of which measured less than 500 tons. The squadron mounted a total of eighty-two guns and thus met the terms of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, but scarcely in a way calculated to maximize the American effort against the slave trade.

Keywords:   Abel P. Upshur, slave trade, Matthew C. Perry, squadron, Cape Mesurado, Webster-Ashburton Treaty

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