The Creole Slave Ship Revolt

The Creole revolt took place in November, 1841, on an American ship carrying 135 slaves from Virginia to Louisiana. The rebels led by Madison Washington took the ship to the British port of Nassau in the Bahamas where they were declared by the British to be free. The incident became an issue in the negotiation of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty and the British agreed to compensate the owners of the ship.

This summary of the revolt is based on Howard Jones, "The Peculiar Institution and National Honor: The Case of the Creole Slave Revolt," Civil War History, 1975, pp. 28-50.

This account of the revolt is from The Late Contemplated Insurrection in Charleston, South Carolina, published in New York, 1850.

This account of the revolt is quoted from R. Edward Lee, "Madison Washington, Slave Mutineer," Blacfax, Winter/Spring 1998.

This introduction by Robin MacDonald to The Heroic Slave written by Frederick Douglass in 1852 argues that Douglass romanticised the leader of the Creole revolt.

This pamphlet The Duty of the Free States or Remarks Suggested by the Case of the Creole published in Boston in 1842 by William Channing refuted the American claims that the property of U.S. slave owners should be protected in foreign ports, from African American Odyssey exhibit at Library of Congress.


revised 2/9/2000 by Schoenherr