Thinking Back: John Christian Sterling, Captain of the Archangel

Who are you?

John Christian Sterling

What are your dealings with the Archangel?
I am part Owner and Captain of the Archangel.

What is your most memorable event concerning that relationship, and do you have any prized possessions connected to the event?
After I left the Royal Navy, I became Captain of the merchant Vessel, The Hart. She were shipwrecked off the rocky Coast of Algiers in 1697. The surviving Members of my Crewe and myself were captured and sold into Slavery. Blinded in my left Eye as a Punishment for refusing to convert to Islam, I was ransomed three Years later. My Crewe Members, them that were not murdered, never saw Home again. My most memorable Event concerning the Archangel is every time I step upon her Quarterdeck and set sail, for she and my Family, provide me my most prized earthly Possession, my Freedom.

NOTE: Whilst Europeans were shipping Africans as slaves, White Europeans were being captured and sold into slavery in areas of the world such as Northern Africa.

For more information check out the following books on the subject:

Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800 by Robert C. Davis
Palgrave Macmillan, 2003

White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and Islam’s One Million White Slaves, by Giles Milton, Picador (June 13, 2006)

The Barbary Slaves by Stephen Clissold (Totowa NJ, 1977)

Copyright September 2013/C.A.Salone


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