The Battle of Rhode Island Association

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Portsmouth Historical Society Presents “Dark Voyage” by Historian Christian McBurney

March 29, 2023 @ 6:30 PM

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Portsmouth, RI – Historian Christian McBurney will speak his new book, Dark Voyage: An American Privateer’s War on Britain’s African Slave Trade (Westholme, 2022). Based primarily on a little-known ship’s log penned by a Newport captain’s clerk, McBurney’s new book chronicles the remarkable voyage by this Rhode Island privateer to Africa with its goal of advancing the cause of America’s War of Independence by attacking British slave forts and capturing British slave ships in Africa. The program will focus on the mastermind behind the voyage, merchant John Brown of Providence, the mixed motivations of Brown and his mostly Rhode Island privateersmen, and the startling unintended consequences of the attacks by this privateer and other American privateers in disrupting Britain’s huge slave trading industry.

This is Christian McBurney’s sixth book on the American Revolutionary War, four of which have Rhode Island as a focus. Christian is President of The George Washington American Revolution Round Table of the District of Columbia, and is the founder and publisher of Rhode Island’s leading history blog at He is an independent historian residing in Kensington, Maryland, with a second home in West Kingston, Rhode Island. For more on Christian’s books, go to

The talk will take place on March 29th, 6:30 PM at the Portsmouth Historical Society, 870 East Main Road, Portsmouth.

Lecture is free to Society Members; $5 donation for non-members. No pre-registration is required and all are welcome. Mr. McBurney will have his books available for purchase and signing after the lecture.


March 29, 2023
6:30 PM
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Portsmouth Historical Society
870 East Main Road
Portsmouth, RI 02871 United States
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