a1 University of Mississippi
This article reinforces the interpretation of numerous scholars who have highlighted the role of slave labor in groundnut production during the ‘cash-crop revolution’ in West Africa in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It also expands Jan Hogendorn's argument on the African initiatives involved in the expansion of groundnut production in colonial Northern Nigeria. In particular, it provides evidence of the key role of the emir of Kano (Abbas) and important merchants in the transition to groundnut cultivation and the significant use of slave labor by these large estate-holders. The article focuses mainly on the Fanisau unit of Kano.
* I would like to thank the Journal of African History referees for their comments on drafts of this paper. I am also grateful for all the help and encouragement I received from Jan S. Hogendorn, Paul E. Lovejoy, and Shehu Tijjani Yusuf.