Williams’ Gang: A Notorious Slave Trader and his Cargo of Black Convicts

We rated this book:


The life of slave traders is often overlooked in pre-Civil War American history, while they are talked about it is often in passing and mostly related to slave auctions and the banning of imports of slaves from Africa in the early 1800s. Jeff Forret looks at one slave trader in-depth, and mostly because of his legal troubles with one transport of slaves to the South, and how slave traders like Williams H. Williams lived, made money, and operated within the larger sphere of early American culture. Not much is known about Williams H. Williams, beyond that, he owned a slave pen in Washington D.C., sent slaves to the South to sell, and got caught up in lawsuits over one such transport.

I felt this book would have been much better, and more useful to students if it looked at the role of slave traders like Williams H. Williams than just looking at Williams specifically. It is a topic, especially how states dealt with slaves who committed crimes, that really is not explored that much. And a couple of things bothered me as well, the use of anachronistic language at times and the book is a bit too long; it would have been better if it was shorter.

Reviewed By:

Author Jeff Forret
Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 450 pages
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Publish Date 2020-01-31
ISBN 9781108493031
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue January 2020
Category History


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Williams’ Gang: A Notorious Slave Trader and his Cargo of Black Convicts”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *