Registers of Liberated Africans

The Havana Slave Trade Commission was an international court established in Cuba following a treaty between Great Britain and Spain in 1817 to bring a stop to the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Between 1824 and 1841, this court condemned 43 slave ships and issued emancipation certificates for 10,986 people arriving to the Caribbean from ports in West Africa between Bissau and Luanda. This website contains the key documentation regarding the first 43 successful convictions and provides an online space to organize, collect, store and share the scattered documentation about these cases and the Africans liberated therein. This open access resource tells the story about the capture of their slaves ships, their trials, their registration, and between 1833 and 1841, the resettlement of 3,076 Liberated Africans in British Caribbean colonies.

Henry B. Lovejoy received his Ph.D. in Atlantic History from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2012. His dissertation research, funded in part by a Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, involved digitizing and transcribing the Registers of Liberated Africans from the Havana Slave Trade Commission or biographical data for 10,391 individuals. Between 2012 and 2014, he was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Research Fellow where he continued researching the Havana Slave Trade Commission and began to develop skills in the digital humanities. To date, he is the principal investigator of this project and contributor of research.


Between 1808 and 1848, Registers of Liberated Africans were maintained to account for individuals taken off slave ships by the British Navy in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The following registrers are from the Sierra Leone Public Archives and were digitized with the support of a grant from the Endangered Archives Programme of the British Library under the supervision of Albert Moore, Director of the Sierra Leone Public Archives, Suzanne Schwarz, University of Worcester, and Paul E. Lovejoy, Harriet Tubman Institute, York University.

Register 1808-1812 

Register 1812-1814