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Damian Clavel, EHS Anniversary Fellow (University of Oxford)

A Miskitu Loan in the City of London? Revealing Indigenous Peoples in Early 19th-Century Transatlantic Trade and Finance

Damian Clavel is a historian of European financial markets and colonialism. This paper provides a case study centred on George Frederic, the king of the Miskitu (in present Honduras and Nicaragua) in the first decades of the 19th century. Putting together scattered archival material found on both sides of the Atlantic reveals how this particular American Indigenous polity sought to finance its political and commercial independence through the London-based capital market. Concentrating on a marginal actor seldom considered by economic historians allows a move away from Eurocentric historiographies, studying early dynamics of financial and commercial globalization. It also sheds light on the global financial influence American Indigenous actors sought to have in a politically and commercially reshaped Atlantic world.

Joseph la Hausse de Lalouvière, EHS Tawney Fellow (Harvard University)

Enslaving Citizens: The Restoration of Slavery in French Caribbean Empire

Joseph la Hausse de Lalouvière is a historian of slavery, law, empire and economic life in the 18th- and 19th-century Atlantic world, with a focus on France and the Caribbean. Joseph’s research analyses the power relations, institutions and social practices that underpinned Atlantic slavery, focusing on the French Caribbean in the era of the Haitian Revolution. France was the first nation to abolish slavery in its Atlantic empire but was also unique in subsequently re-enslaving many of its black citizens. A revolutionary slave uprising in the Caribbean colony of Saint-Domingue (Haiti) prompted France, then also engulfed in revolution, to outlaw slavery throughout its empire in 1794. Yet, as Joseph’s current book project shows, a mounting political reaction against these events enabled colonists in France’s remaining New World territories of Guadeloupe, Martinique and Guiana to force many tens of thousands of free people—French citizens—back into slavery in the service of plantation capitalism.


All welcome- this seminar is free to attend, but booking is required. It will be held online with details about how to join the virtual event being circulated via email to registered attendees 24 hours in advance.

The event will begin at 2:00pm GMT, but you will be able to join the event's online waiting room from 1:45pm GMT.