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Matthews, John, lieutenant in the Royal Navy
Consists of papers of Captain John Matthews (d. 1798), a British naval officer involved in the transatlantic commerce in enslaved Africans in Sierra Leone in the 1780s and 1790s. Four detailed journals document Matthews's employment as an agent for the African Company of Merchants between 1785 and 1787; as captain of the HMS Vulcan and the HMS Courageux in the Mediterranean Sea during the 1793 campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars; and as captain of the HMS Maidstone, a British patrol ship monitoring trade in Sierra Leone and the Caribbean in 1797 and 1798. Also present are watercolor illustrations of colonial forts along the West African coast and several personal and family documents of John Matthews, including an anti-abolitionist deposition Matthews gave regarding the slave trade.