The Bahamas is a coral-based archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, and its capital is Nassau. The Bahamas became a British crown colony in 1718. The slave trade was abolished by the British in 1807; slavery in the Bahamas was abolished in 1834. Subsequently, the Bahamas became a haven for freed African slaves; the Royal Navy resettled Africans there liberated from illegal slave ships, North American slaves and Seminoles escaped here from Florida, and the government freed slaves carried on US domestic ships that had reached the Bahamas due to weather. The Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973.