Flash For Freedom! is the third volume of the Flashman Papers, in which Flashy gets caught up in the slave trade. After a scandal involving cheating and assault, England becomes too hot for young Flashman and his father-in-law ships him off. Flashman quickly realizes that he’s on a slave ship captained by a lunatic that is bound for Africa to take on a cargo of slaves, and he’s horrified. Not so much about slavery but that running slaves is proscribed in 1848 and he’s fearful of the ship being seized by an interdicting navy. They take a cargo to the Americas, but offload it before being captured by the U.S. Navy. Flashman manages to pose as a Royal Navy spy, then escapes before having to give testimony. He flees up the Mississippi in a variety of guises; reluctantly escorting escaped slaves; then becoming a slavedriver himself for a while before the cuckholded slaveowner has Flashman sold into slavery; escaping across a frozen river to be saved from slavecatchers by Congressman Abraham Lincoln; before ultimately ending up in a New Orleans courtroom.
While Flashman—a conscience-free scoundrel and 19th century imperialist—is blasé and largely unconcerned about slavery, Fraser carefully works in material that indicates that, unlike his creation, he is aghast at the institution of slavery, both the truly vile taking of slaves from Africa and the no less indefensible slaveholding in the southern states.