chapter  9
20 Pages

Circulating Sin

Sailors and Benevolence in Early Nineteenth-Century New York
WithDana Logan

Through an examination of the early nineteenth-century evangelical missions to black sailors in northeastern seaports, this chapter demonstrates that benevolence to black sailors enabled transnational market expansion as white evangelicals imagined a simultaneous flow of redemption and capital through mobile black bodies. White evangelicals imagined black sailors to be particularly religiously potent, both a gift and a danger if mismanaged, and thus white missions competed with black religious institutions to manage black sailors’ spiritual life.