Almost Home Maroons between Slavery and Freedom in Jamaica, Nova Scotia, and Sierra Leone Ruma Chopra

Publication date:
22 May 2018
Yale University Press
336 pages: 210 x 140mm
8 b-w illus.

The unique story of a small community of escaped slaves who revolted against the British government yet still managed to maneuver and survive against all odds

After being exiled from their native Jamaica in 1795, the Trelawney Town Maroons endured in Nova Scotia and then in Sierra Leone. In this gripping narrative, Ruma Chopra demonstrates how the unlikely survival of this community of escaped slaves reveals the contradictions of slavery and the complexities of the British antislavery era.

While some Europeans sought to enlist the Maroons’ help in securing the institution of slavery and others viewed them as junior partners in the global fight to abolish it, the Maroons deftly negotiated their position to avoid subjugation and take advantage of their limited opportunities. Drawing on a vast array of primary source material, Chopra traces their journey and eventual transformation into refugees, empire builders—and sometimes even slave catchers and slave owners. Chopra’s compelling tale, encompassing three distinct regions of the British Atlantic, will be read by scholars across a range of fields.

Ruma Chopra is professor of history at San Jose State University and the author of Unnatural Rebellion: Loyalists in New York City During the Revolution and Choosing Sides: Loyalists in Revolutionary America. She lives in Oakland, CA.