The Cargo Rebellion: Those Who Chose Freedom (Hardcover)
The Cargo Rebellion tells a true story of mutiny on the
high seas in which four hundred indentured Chinese men overthrew their
captor, the Connecticut businessman and slave trader Leslie Bryson,
taking a stand against an exploitative global enterprise.
laborers learned that Bryson's claimed destination of San Francisco was
a lie to trick them into deadly servitude in the dreaded guano islands
of Peru. Reaching a dramatic tipping point, the mutineers rose up and
killed Bryson and several of the ship's officers and then attempted to
sail back to China.
This book's centerpiece, a deft graphic
account of the rebellion in the context of the "coolie trade" and the
struggle to end traffic in human "cargo," is supported by essays that
spotlight the rebellion itself, how the subject of indentured Asian
workers is being taught in classrooms, and how Chinese workers shaped
the evolution of American music, particularly in the making of the first
drum set. The Cargo Rebellion is a history from below that does
justice to the memory of hundreds of thousands of indentured workers and
demonstrates how Asian migration to the Americas was rooted in slavery,
colonialism, and the life-and-death struggle against servitude.