Mutiny on the Rising Sun
A Tragic Tale of Slavery, Smuggling, and Chocolate
by Jared Ross Hardesty
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Pub Date 19 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 09 Dec 2021
A little-known story of mutiny and murder illustrating the centrality of smuggling and slavery in early American society
On the night of June 1, 1743, terror struck the schooner Rising Sun. After completing a routine smuggling voyage where the crew sold enslaved Africans in exchange for chocolate, sugar, and coffee in the Dutch colony of Suriname, the ship traveled eastward along the South American coast. Believing there was an opportunity to steal the lucrative cargo and make a new life for themselves, three sailors snuck below deck, murdered four people, and seized control of the vessel.
Mutiny on the Rising Sun recounts the origins, events, and eventual fate of the Rising Sun’s final smuggling voyage in vivid detail. Starting from that horrible night in June 1743, it narrates a deeply human history of smuggling, providing an incredible story of those caught in the webs spun by illicit commerce. The case generated a rich documentary record that illuminates an international chocolate smuggling ring, the lives of the crew and mutineers, and the harrowing experience of the enslaved people trafficked by the Rising Sun. Smuggling stood at the center of the lives of everyone involved with the business of the schooner. Larger forces, such as imperial trade restrictions, created the conditions for smuggling, but individual actors, often driven by raw ambition and with little regard for the consequences of their actions, designed, refined, and perpetuated this illicit commerce.
At once startling and captivating, Mutiny on the Rising Sun shows how illegal trade created demand for exotic products like chocolate, and how slavery and smuggling were integral to the development of American capitalism.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 16 members
Jared Ross Hardesty’s The Mutiny on the Rising Sun: A Tragic Tale of Slavery, Smuggling and Chocolate captures the drama of a mutiny and its aftermath but also provides a convincing and meticulously-documented exploration of the economic forces behind it. Hardesty excels both at historical analysis and storytelling, crafting a book that will please historians and lay readers alike.
A well written historical novel. I found the storyline intriguing and held my interest. The main characters were presented with good background and quotes so the reader could better understand what had happened. A very good nautical true crime story.
Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.