Catalogue


Rough crossings /
by Simon Schama ; adapted for the stage by Caryl Phillips.
imprint
London : Oberon Books, 2007.
description
126 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
ISBN
1840028041, 9781840028041
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
series title
imprint
London : Oberon Books, 2007.
isbn
1840028041
9781840028041
catalogue key
6324773
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2007-04-01:
This powerful, engaging narrative tells the rich story of African American loyalists, their British supporters, and their adversaries from the onset of the American Revolution to 1808, when the British Crown assumed formal control over Sierra Leone, where perhaps a thousand of these loyalists settled after a sojourn in Nova Scotia. Specialists knew many portions of this saga, but its complexity--not to mention US racism--has kept it outside the mainstream. Weaving the stories of freedom-seeking African Americans--Thomas Peters, David George, and Phyllis Halstead, among others--with the actions of British abolitionists Granville Sharp and John Clarkson, Schama (Columbia Univ.) illustrates how African Americans used their understanding of law, including the Somerset case, and their belief in British proclamations of liberty in exchange for loyalty to gain freedom and ultimately, in many cases, their own land. Frustrated by slaveholding loyalists, southern interests impacting the Treaty of Paris, British racism, and the vicissitudes of climate and weather, black loyalists experienced hardship and cruelty, but consistently acted on their preference for freedom over comfort. Schama's story serves as a powerful corrective for any who seek a simplistic meaning of the American Revolution. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. E. R. Crowther Adams State College
Appeared in Library Journal on 2006-01-01:
Promised freedom if they served King George, slaves fled Southern plantations en masse during the American Revolution. A new look at our country's beginnings from a celebrated historian. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2006-03-06:
Has there ever been a patch of history more celebrated than the American Revolution? The torrent is endless: volume after volume about the glory of 1776, the miracle of 1787 and enough biographies of the Founding Fathers to stretch from the Liberty Bell to Bunker Hill and back again. The Library of Congress catalogue lists 271 books or other items to do with George Washington's death and burial alone. Enough! By contrast with the usual hagiography, distinguished historian Schama has found a little-known story from this era that makes the Founding Fathers look not so glorious. The Revolution saw the first mass emancipation of slaves in the AmericasAan emancipation, however, not done by the revolutionaries but by their enemies. Many American rebel leaders were slave owners. To hit them where it most hurt, Britain proclaimed freedom for all slaves of rebel masters who could make their way to British-controlled territory. Slaves deserted their horrified owners by the tens of thousands. One, who used his master's last name, was Henry Washington; another renamed himself British Freedom. The most subversive news in this book is that the British move so shocked many undecided Southern whites that it actually pushed them into the rebel camp: "Theirs was a revolution, first and foremost, mobilized to protect slavery." Even though they lost the war, most British officers honored their promise to the escaped slaves. The British commander in New York at the war's end, where some 3,000 runaway slaves had taken refuge, adamantly refused an irate Washington's demand to give them back. Instead, he put them on ships for Nova Scotia. And there, nearly a decade later, another saga began. More than a thousand ex-slaves accepted a British offer of land in Sierra Leone, a utopian colony newly founded by abolitionists, which for a few years in the 1790s was the first place on earth where women could vote. Sadly, however, financial problems and the British government's dismay at so much democracy soon brought an end to the self-rule the former slaves had been promised. Schama once again gives his readers something rare: history that is both well told and well documented. In this wonderfully sprawling epic, there are a few small errors about dates and the like, and perhaps a few more characters than we can easily keep track of, but again and again he manages to bring a scene, a person, a conversation dramatically to life. Would that more historians wrote like this. (On sale Apr. 25) Adam Hochschild is the author of, most recently, Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves, a National Book Award finalist. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Guardian UK, September 2005
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Summaries
Long Description
Simon Schama's extraordinary novel in a new stage adaptation by Caryl Philips. As the American War of Independence reaches its climax, a plantation slave and a British Naval Officer embark on an epic journey in search of freedom. Divided by barriers of race but united in their ambitions for equality, their convictions will change attitudes towards slavery forever. Sweeping from the deep south of America to the scorched earth of West Africa, Rough Crossings is a compelling true story that marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire.Rough Crossings is a production by Headlong Theatre Company which opens at Birmingham Rep in September 2007 and tours to the Lyric Hammersmith, Liverpool Playhouse and West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Main Description
Simon Schama’s extraordinary novel in a new stage adaptation by Caryl Philips. As the American War of Independence reaches its climax, a plantation slave and a British Naval Officer embark on an epic journey in search of freedom. Divided by barriers of race but united in their ambitions for equality, their convictions will change attitudes towards slavery forever. Sweeping from the deep south of America to the scorched earth of West Africa, Rough Crossings is a compelling true story that marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. Rough Crossings is a production by Headlong Theatre Company which opens at Birmingham Rep in September 2007 and tours to the Lyric Hammersmith, Liverpool Playhouse and West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Main Description
Simon Schama's extraordinary novel in a new stage adaptation by Caryl Philips. As the American War of Independence reaches its climax, a plantation slave and a British Naval Officer embark on an epic journey in search of freedom. Divided by barriers of race but united in their ambitions for equality, their convictions will change attitudes towards slavery forever. Sweeping from the deep south of America to the scorched earth of West Africa, Rough Crossings is a compelling true story that marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. Rough Crossings is a production by Headlong Theatre Company which opens at Birmingham Rep in September 2007 and tours to the Lyric Hammersmith, Liverpool Playhouse and West Yorkshire Playhouse.

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