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Billy Blue: An African American Journey through Empire in the Long Eighteenth Century

CASSANDRA PYBUS
Early American Studies
Vol. 5, No. 2 (Fall 2007), pp. 252-287
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23546610
Page Count: 36
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Billy Blue: An African American Journey through Empire in the Long Eighteenth Century
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Abstract

This article traces the remarkable life of William Blue, who was probably born into slavery in colonial New York about 1737 and who died a much-celebrated founding figure in the colony of New South Wales (present-day Australia) in 1834. Like the recent biography of Equiano, so carefully researched by Vincent Carretta, the recovered life of William Blue allows us to consider the competing claims of slave owners and the military for the labor of expropriated Africans, the complex strategies of resistance and survival that these Africans could employ, and the shifting constructions of race and class within the complex and interconnected sphere of the Anglo colonial world in the long eighteenth century.

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