White slaves, African masters

Paul Baepler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This article introduces narratives by American captives during and after the Barbary Wars (1801-1805, 1815). Set against a background of American imperial pursuits, the accounts reveal the hypocrisy and double-standards common among early Americans (who accepted black slavery in America but reacted strongly against the idea of white slaves in the custody of the North African Muslims). The accounts were largely works of fiction, but were accepted as fact. Arabs are presented as bizarre, gruesome, and primitive. The stories were sold by the thousands, so members of almost every household were exposed to these negative portrayals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-111
Number of pages22
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
StatePublished - Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Barbary captivity
  • Eighteenth and nineteenth-century America
  • Narratives
  • North African history
  • Race
  • Slavery
  • Stereotypes


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