The paper explains a methodology, where previously there was none, for identifying African and diasporan naval personnel hired by the British Royal Navy to serve in the West African Station in the mid-nineteenth century. The methodology employs a variety of naval documents including: ship's musters, description books, daily sick lists, and medical journals to identify African and diasporan personnel. The Royal Navy employed four categories (Kroomen, Liberated Africans, Africans, Blacks) to describe and to differentiate the African and diasporan work force within the Station. By identifying African and diasporan naval personnel more can be learned about the ways in which race and ethnicity were constructed and applied during the age of abolition. It also provides a method capable of examining the shipboard lives and socio-economic niches carved out by 'subject' people within the British maritime Atlantic World.
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Rankin, John. 2014. Nineteenth-Century Royal Navy Sailors From Africa and the African Diaspora: Research Methodology. African Diaspora. Vol.6(2). 179-195. https://doi.org/10.1163/18725457-12341246 ISSN: 1872-5457