The Two Princes of Calabar [Chapter 4] Sparknotes

Chapter 4: “We Were Free People”

  • You thought they were finally gonna make it home? PSYCH. Turns out O’Neil was – you guessed it! – a skeeze. He put them on the Brickdale, commanded by William Wood and ownded by Henry Lippincott, and told them it was headed to Africa. It wasn’t, it was headed straight back to Virginia.
  • Bristol, the port where they were put on the Brickdale, was one of the busiest trading ports.
  • Slave traders/Bristol merchants often formed ad hoc partnerships because ventures were so expensive.
  • After 2 weeks in the harbor, the RJs wrote to Thomas and James Jones to ask for help. It took 3 letters for Jones to assist, and even then he shuffled about it. He tried to employ the help of Lace, but Lace wasn’t much inclined to be of much help. Jones brought the RJ’s case to trial to get them freed.
  • There is a lot about the 1772 Somerset case. Google it.
  • Lippincott and William Jones refused to free the RJs unless they were paid 80 pounds for each of them.
  • They were kept in a “‘Lock-up House and afterwards to the House of Correction'”
  • O’Neil had them arrested for not paying for their ship over.
  • LRRJ appealed to Lord Mansfield, who resided over the Somerset case. The similarities caught his attention, and he took their case.
  • “On November 6, 1773, the defendants asked for a ten-day delay, and a week later they announced a compromise.” James Bivins had to pay the “alleged” Virginian owners 120 pounds, O’Neil had to go without being paid, and the RJs went free.

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