Royal Navy ships fighting the slave trade had as many as 40 Africans serving alongside 245 regular crew.This tusk belonged to an African serving in the Royal Navy's fight against the transatlantic slave trade in the 1820s. His African name is unknown, but the Navy listed him as 'Jim Freeman, Head Krouman'. The Krou tribe from coastal Liberia and Sierra Leone were skilled seamen with local knowledge that was vital to the Navy's operations in Africa. He was probably recruited at Freetown in Sierra Leone - the base of the West Coast of Africa Squadron which patrolled 3,000 miles of coastline from Senegal to the Congo, stopping, searching and confiscating slave trading vessels. He would have served for the time his ships were in Africa, but have been discharged when the ship left. As 'Head Krouman' he was the most senior African onboard, was paid well and entitled to 'prize money' for the vessels which his ships captured. He probably learnt the traditional seaman's craft of 'scrimshaw' from one of his British messmates.
Royal Navy ships fighting the slave trade had as many as 40 Africans serving alongside 245 regular crew.