Work and Community Among West African Migrant Workers since by Diane Frost

By Diane Frost

Frost reclaims the forgotten background of a bunch of West Africans, the Kru, who as ship’s employees and seafarers contributed vastly to British colonial alternate with West Africa.

"Ms. Frost presents us with an enticing account of this highly cellular workforce of Africans... she is ready to attach the previous with the current not just by utilizing archival fabric but additionally lately carried out interviews."—International Migration evaluation

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19 It is significant that African seamen used here to relieve white seamen were predominantly Kru, and continued to be so until at least the 1880s. ’20 Whilst Europeans actively sought to recruit Kru labour for work on their ships, the Kru themselves simultaneously chose work on certain types of vessels in preference to others, because of the higher rates of pay. Thus, most preferred service with naval squadrons, for example. In the 1850s, Kru could earn a maximum of $2 per month on US men-of-war and £1 10s with food on British naval vessels.

45 Kroomen, one headman and Kroo stokers were requested from Freetown by the administration of the Oil Rivers Protectorate in 1893, and in 1891, to service the government yacht. A telegram requested: 41 Harrell-Bond et. , Community Leadership, pp. 31, 71. 42 Martin, ‘Krumen “down the coast”’, p. 410; J. B. Webster, A. A. Boahen, H. O. Idowu, The Growth of African Civilisation: The Revolutionary Years. West Africa Since 1800 (London, Longman, 1973), p. 167. 43 T. Winterbottom, ‘Account of the native Africans in the neighbourhood of Sierra Leone’, The African Repository and Colonial Journal, May 1825, p.

It became the first major port of call on the West African coast where supplies could be replenished and labour in the form of deck-hands and articled seamen could be hired. West African labour employed in the British mercantile trade can be traced back to at least the eighteenth century, when black sailors were used to fill shortages left by white sailors. As trade grew with Africa in the eighteenth century, increasing numbers of Africans were employed on board ship, and throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, transient black seamen’s settlements could be found around 11 Schuler, ‘Kru emigration’, pp.

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