TPOF Tidbit #8 ~ The Slave Trade

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TPOF Tidbit #8 ~ The Slave Trade

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:26 am

I have tried to give a general picture on this subject but it can only be considered the tip of the iceberg! The slave trade was closely tied to the rum trade which was covered in another tidbit during our discussion of The Rum Diary:




The labor-intensive agriculture of the New World demanded a large workforce. Crops such as sugar cane, tobacco and cotton required an unlimited and inexpensive supply of strong backs to assure timely production for the European market. Slaves from Africa offered the solution. The slave trade between Western Africa and the America's reached its peak in the mid-18th century when it is estimated that over 80,000 Africans annually crossed the Atlantic to spend the rest of their lives in chains. Of those who survived the voyage, the final destination of approximately 40% was the Caribbean Islands. Thirty-eight percent ended up in Brazil, 17% in Spanish America and 6% in the United States. Brazil and the Caribbean had the largest number of imports and for the longest period of time, until the 1880s. Although most of the figures for the Atlantic slave trade system are imprecise, it is possible to estimate that Brazil received at least 4 million slaves and the islands of the Caribbean, colonized by the French, Dutch, English, Danish and Spanish, as well as Spain's mainland possessions, received at least 5.5 million. The mainland United States, as colonies and nation, imported about 450,000 slaves over a 250 year period.

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The Trading Triangle

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Major African regions contributing to the transatlantic slave trade in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Developed by Audrey L. Brown, Ph.D., National Park Service

Most Africans who came to North America were from West Africa and West Central Africa. It has been estimated that before 1700, 69 percent of all African people transported in the transatlantic slave trade were from West Central Africa, and that from 1700 to 1800, West Central Africans comprised about 38 percent of all Africans brought as slaves to the Americas.

A slave's journey to a life of servitude often began in the interior of Africa with his or her capture as a prize of war, as tribute given by a weak tribal state to a more powerful one, or by outright kidnapping by local traders. European slave traders rarely ventured beyond Africa's coastal regions. The African interior was riddled with disease, the natives were often hostile and the land uncharted. The Europeans preferred to stay in the coastal region and have the natives bring the slaves to them. It was a lucrative business. A slave purchased on the African coast for the equivalent of 14 English pounds in bartered goods in 1760 could sell for 45 pounds in the American market. However the history of slavery goes back much further.

Europeans in the age of the slave trade sometimes justified enslavement of Africans by pointing out that slavery already existed on that continent. However, while forms of bondage were ancient in Africa, and the Muslim trans-Saharan and Red Sea trades were long-standing, the Atlantic trade interacted with and transformed these earlier aspects of slavery.

African societies had developed many forms of bondage and servitude that varied from a kind of peasant status to something much more like chattel slavery in which people are considered things - "property with a soul," as Aristotle put it. African states were usually nonegalitarian and since in many African societies all land was owned by the state or the "ruler," the control of slaves was one of the few, if not the only way, in which individuals or lineages could increase their wealth and status. Slaves were employed in many ways as servants, concubines, soldiers, administrators, and field workers. In some cases, as in the ancient empire of Ghana and in Kongo, there were whole villages of enslaved dependents who were required to pay tribute to the ruler. The Muslim traders of West Africa who linked the forest region to the savanna had slave porters as well as villages of slaves to supply their caravans. In a number of situations, these forms of servitude were relatively benign and were an extension of lineage and kinship systems. In others, however, they were exploitative economic and social relations that reinforced the hierarchies of various African societies and allowed the nobles, senior lineages, and rulers to exercise their power. Among the forest states of West Africa, such as
Benin, and in the Kongo kingdom in central Africa slavery was already an important institution prior to the European arrival, but the Atlantic trade opened up new opportunities for expansion and intensification of slavery in those societies.

Despite considerable variation in African societies and the fact that slaves sometimes attained positions of command and trust, in most cases slaves were denied choice about their lives and actions. They were placed in dependent or inferior positions, and they were often considered aliens. It is important to remember that the enslavement of women was a central feature of African slavery. Although slaves were used in many ways in African societies, domestic slavery and extension of lineages through the addition of female members remained a central feature in many places. Some historians believe that the excess of women led to polygyny and the creation of large harems by
rulers and merchants, whose power was increased by this process while the position of women was lowered in some societies.

In the Sudanic states of the savanna, Islamic concepts of slavery had been introduced. Slavery was viewed as a legitimate fate for nonbelievers but an illegal treatment for Muslims. Despite the complaints of legal scholars like the Ahmad Baba of Timbuktu (1556-1627) against the enslavement of Muslims, many of the Sudanic states enslaved their captives both pagan and Muslim. In the Niger Valley many slave communities produced agricultural surpluses for the rulers and nobles of Songhay, Gao, and other states. Slaves were used for gold mining and salt production, and as caravan workers in the Sahara. Slavery was a widely diffused form of labor control and wealth in Africa.

The existence of slavery in Africa and the preexisting trade in people allowed Europeans to mobilize the commerce in slaves relatively quickly by tapping existing routes and supplies. In this venture they were aided by the rulers of certain African states who were anxious to acquire more slaves for themselves and to supply slaves to the Europeans in exchange for aid and commodities. In the 16th century Kongo kingdom, the ruler had an army of 20,000 slaves as part of his household, and this gave him greater power than any Kongo ruler had ever held. In general, African rulers did not enslave their own people, except for crimes or in other unusual circumstances, but rather sought to enslave their neighbors. Thus, expanding, centralizing states were often the major suppliers of slaves to the Europeans as well as to societies in which slavery was an important institution.

In the late 15th century, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to extensively explore the African Coast. Yet, as long ago as 600 BC, a group of Phoenician sailors commissioned by Egyptian King Necho II is said to have sailed around Africa (starting through the Red Sea and returning through the Straits of Gibraltar). Archaeological record even shows Greek sailors exploring the coasts of Africa as far back as 200 BC. Even though the Europeans were neither the first nor the only ones to come to this vast continent, they most profoundly interacted with and influenced the cultures and lives of the Africans with whom they came in contact.

Before the late 15th century, Europeans were neither economically nor politically able to set up and maintain a long distance trading relationship. The feudal states of the European countries were just beginning to unite at the time, and the heads of these states had neither the funds nor the inclination to trade with distant peoples. They received all the goods they needed from trade in the Black and Mediterranean Seas. In addition, changing political patterns in the Middle East forced the Europeans to seek a different route to the Orient.

The Portuguese were the first to establish a lasting commercial tie between Europe and Western Africa because of religious, political and commercial reasons. Some scholars believe the Portuguese wanted to be the middlemen in the trade between Asia and Europe. The Arabs who had this lucrative position took advantage of it by charging high tariffs on goods coming from Asia and Africa. As middlemen, the Portuguese expected to gain the political power in Europe they had been denied since they were so small. Other scholars feel the Portuguese were looking for grain and gold which could be found in African cities. As they continued to discover the West African Coast though, the Portuguese hoped to reach India by sailing around Africa. Hoping to secure some of the Trans-Saharan trade in gold, ivory, and slaves monopolized by their enemies the Moors, they organized trade to the west Coast of Africa.

By the end of the 15th century, the Portuguese and Spanish had expelled the Moors from their countries. The fall of Grenada in 1492 forever ended Muslim rule in Iberia. Exhilarated by their achievement, the Iberians were then prepared to chase the Moors from Northern Africa as well. Due to this rivalry between the Europeans and the Moors, the Portuguese were accustomed to black slave labor. Each group enslaved prisoners of war. In 1500, there were thousands of Moorish slaves in Portugal; so the Portuguese slave trade with the West Africans was a continuation of earlier contact. The additional slave labor also helped to alleviate the hard pressed labor market.

Slavery in Portugal in the early 15th century was mostly domestic, and slaves could buy their own freedom. The Mediterranean world was far more linguistically and religiously diverse than northern Europe and had known slavery throughout the course of human history. Slaves were considered human in the Mediterranean area. North America slave owners would develop theories of black slaves as half animals and not truly human beings in order to justify their brutality. Blacks were considered the lowest wrung of society.

Prince Henry the Navigator initiated the search of the West African coast. Due to his efforts, by 1460 the Portuguese had explored the coast of Africa all the way to Sierra Leon. By 1498, Vasco de Gama had rounded the Cape of Good Hope. Trade with the coastal West African middlemen included cowry shells and hardware (cooking pots and brass pans and iron rods) in exchange for the gold, slaves, ivory, pepper, gum Arabic, and ostrich feathers. The Portuguese purpose was not to colonize, but to establish a secure trading relationship. They traded on African terms. Since there was some resistance to European infiltration, and the coastline was unsuitable to large boats, the Portuguese often based themselves on Islands off the coast of the continent and at coastal ports. They set up factories--commercial trading posts-- guarded by forts , spread their religion and grew sugar.

Portuguese captains often married local women and had mixed race children who completely upset the societal hierarchy. These mixed race children often thought of themselves as superior to their African counterparts served as middlemen in the trade. The initial load of black slaves arrived in Portugal in 1441.

Even though they had a very diminished role in the trade on the coast of west Africa by the end of the 17th century, the Portuguese did leave a small mark on the coastal peoples with whom they came in contact. European trade with the coastal Africans attracted many Africans from the interior and diverted the flow of trade across the Sahara to the Atlantic Coast of West Africa. This shift contributed to the fall of the Sudanese states. The Portuguese also left their names of places all along the coast--Cape Verde, Cape Palmas, Sierra Leone, El Mina. They introduced many new world crops into West Africa and expanded trading opportunities. They also left their slave castles which often changed hands in the battles between the European states for control of the slave trade. Portugal's inability and general unwillingness to control more of the African regions than they did was a testament to the powerful kingdoms in the Africa and the self-centered nature of European explorers. Profit and discovery drove the Portuguese to explore. Navigational and ship building advances helped them to achieve their goals. However, the complex societal structures of the African societies helped them to trade as equals with their European traders.
By the end of the 17th century, the Dutch had succeeded the Portuguese in the domination of the West African Trade. The Dutch were serious and determined to control the African trade. They armed their boats and captured Portuguese forts along the coast. By the 17th century the Dutch had a forty boat fleet which traded on the West African Coast year round.

This fleet belonged to the Dutch West India Trading Company. This company, a national venture, was well-organized and well-funded, unlike the ventures of the other European countries. At this point in time, the trading expeditions of the other countries were controlled by individuals who had no success in making inroads into the Portuguese dominated trade. The Dutch also succeeded in replacing the Portuguese because they had no interest in colonizing or converting the people to Christianity. The Dutch dominated the trade from 1600-1700.

In spite of their dominance in the West African trade in the 17th century, the Dutch were not invincible. The French and English, adopting Dutch tactics, encroached on the Dutch monopoly of the region. They, too, created companies for the organization of trade to Africa and built new forts. But, most devastating to the Dutch was the passage of the Navigation Acts which forbade the importation of slaves into English and French colonies. Part of the Dutch success as traders was that they role as middlemen for other European counties. Denied this role, the Dutch suffered great loses of power in the slave trade.

Traditionally, the entry of Africans into British North America is dated from the 1619 sale of some 20 blacks from a Dutch ship in Virginia. Although there were undoubtedly other Africans in those regions which later became part of the United States, slavery as it developed in British North America and was continued in the American republic can be traced to what happened in the Chesapeake in the 1600s. For the first few decades, the status of Africans was uncertain. Some were treated as indentured servants and freed after a term of service, often 14 years. Others were kept on in servitude because their labor was needed, and it was too tempting for aspiring planters not to take advantage of the vulnerable black laborers. By the 1640s, court decisions began to reflect a different standard for Africans than for white servants and to accept the concept of lifetime black servitude. In the 1660s, Virginia decreed that a child followed the status of its mother, thus making lifetime servitude inheritable. A series of court decisions from the 1660s forward locked slavery into place in the Chesapeake and its existence was not questioned in the later development of the Carolinas. Georgia resisted briefly and then accepted the institution. Slave law to the north of the Chesapeake did not differ significantly.

Many blacks who arrived in the New World were familiar with bonded labor. Slavery in Africa, as elsewhere, was not a static institution. European trade rivalries and the European view of North and South America as a site for aggrandizing their power through mineral extraction and staple crop production caused great escalation in the numbers of Africans enslaved and brought to the Americas. While there was a general protocol in which representatives of trading companies negotiated with African rulers through middlemen, the actual methods of the traders varied greatly. As the trade became more lucrative with greater demand from the New World, more and more slaves were stolen through armed raids. The slave trade also had immense impact on the developing economies of the New World and the changing economies of western Europe. It was the foundation for European mercantilism and industry in the 17th and 18th centuries, the labor force for colonial agriculture, and a prime force in the growth of the shipbuilding industry.

Lifetime bondage, or slavery, was firmly and legally established in the British North American colonies by the late 1600s and continued to exist in every colony in some form until the American Revolution. The period of greatest importation of slaves into the United States was from approximately 1680 to the start of the Revolutionary War in 1776. There were a scattering of bondspeople in New England and, moving southward, the number of slaves increased from New York through Virginia, while a system of plantation slavery similar to that of the Caribbean developed in eastern South Carolina and Georgia. In the Carolinas and Georgia, importation began about 1720 and continued until the slave trade became illegal in 1808. There slaves were acquired through the low country ports of Charleston and Savannah or in the other major slave market, the Gulf Coast port of New Orleans. New Orleans, controlled by the French and the Spanish in this period, imported most heavily while the American colonials were at war and continued through the early 1800s as an import market for the rising Cotton Kingdom.

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New Orleans: "Slave Market, Common Street". 1850s view of building at 156 Common Street

By the early 1800's, more than 700,000 slaves lived in the South. They accounted for about a third of the region's people. Slaves outnumbered whites in South Carolina and made up over half the population in both Maryland and Virginia.

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Slavery began to develop even deeper roots in the South after Eli Whitney of Massachusetts invented his cotton gin in 1793. This machine removed the seeds from cotton as fast as 50 people working by hand and probably contributed more to the growth of slavery than any other development. Whitney's gin enabled farmers to meet the rapidly rising demand for cotton. As a result, the Southern cotton industry expanded, and cotton became the chief crop in the region. The planters needed more and more workers to pick and bale the cotton, which led to large increases in the slave population. The thriving sugar cane plantations of Louisiana also used many slaves during the first half of the 1800's. By 1860, about 4 million slaves lived in the South.

Throughout the first half of 18th century, France and England battled for control of the Guinea Coast. In Lower Guinea, the British`s main adversary was the Dutch. But when the Dutch Company was liquidated, the British soon gained control of the entire Ivory, Grain, and Gold Coasts. France, Britain’s main adversary in Upper Guinea, soon lost interest because of lack of profits. The sparsely populated Upper Guinea coast did not provide enough slaves. In addition, interior ethnic groups were very hostile to European influence. By the mid-18th century, Britain had full control of West African trade. In addition, the British won the Assiento, the sole license to ship black slaves from Africa to Spanish controlled territories in America, in the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713. British dominance in the slave trade began a new period of change in the European/African relationship. The English would begin to explore, conquer and rule African peoples. The Age of Trade shifted into the Age of Colonization.

The United States banned the importation of slaves (1808). There was, however, only minimal enforcement by the U.S. Navy. It was the Royal Navy that eventually ended the slave trade. The British Parliament during the Napoleonic Wars banned the slave trade (1807). This was a decision made on moral grounds after a long campaign in Britain against slavery at considerable cost at a time of War. After Trafalgar (1805) the powerful British Royal Navy could intercept suspected slave ships under belligerent rights. After the cessation of hostilities this became more complicated. The only internationally recognized reason for boarding foreign ships was suspected piracy. Thus Britain had to persue a major diplomatic effort to convince other countries to sign anti-slavery treaties which permitted the Royal Navy to board their vessels if suspected of transporting slaves. Nearly 30 countries eventually signed these treaties. The major effort was carried out by the West Coast of Africa Station which the Admiralty referred to as the ‘preventive squadron’. From this station for 50 years, The Royal Navy conducted operations to intercept slavers. At the peak of these operations about 25 ships and 2,000 officers and men were deployed. There were about 1,000 Kroomen, African sailors, operating West African Station. The Royal Navy deployed smaller, shallow draft vessels so that slavers could be pursued in shallow waters. Britain also targeted African leaders who engaged in the slave trade. A British forced in one operation deposed the King of Lagos (1851). The climate and exposure to filthy diseased laden slave ships made the West African station dangerous. The officers and men were rewarded with prize money for both freeing slaves and capturing the ships. The Royal Navy's task in East Africa and the Indian Ocean was even more difficult. This was in part because of the support for slavery among Islamic powers (both Arabian and Persian). The slave trade persisted into the 1860s, in part because of the continued existence of slavery in the United states. Even though the slave trade was outlawed in America, the American Navy was not used to aggressively interdicting the slave trade. This did not change until President Lincoln signed the Right of Search Treaty in 1862, a year before the Emancipation Proclamation. Spain abolished slavery in Cuba (1886). Brazil abolished slavery (1888).

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A detailed drawing of the slave ship Brookes, showing how 482 people were to be packed onto the decks. The detailed plans and cross sectional drawing of the slave ship Brookes was distributed by the Abolitionist Society in England as part of their campaign against the slave trade, and dates from 1789.


Abolition campaigner and former slave Olaudah Equiano wrote his autobiography in 1789. In this extract he describes his voyage as a captive on a slave ship.

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"The first object which saluted my eyes when I arrived on the coast was the sea, and a slave ship, which was then riding at anchor and waiting for its cargo. These filled me with astonishment which was soon converted to terror when I was carried on board.

I was immediately handled and tossed up to see if I were sound by some of the crew; and I was now persuaded that I had gotten into a world of bad spirits and that they were going to kill me. Their complexion too differing so much from ours, their long hair, and the language they spoke united to confirm me in this belief. Indeed such were the horrors of my views and fears at the moment, that, if ten thousand worlds had been my own, I would freely parted with them all to have exchanged my condition with that of the meanest slave in my own country.

I was soon put down under the decks, and there I received such a salutation in my nostrils as I had never experienced in my life: so that, with the loathsomeness of the stench and crying together, I became so sick and low that I was not able to eat. I now wished for the last friend, death, to relieve me; but soon, to my grief, two of the white men offered me eatables; and on my refusing to eat, one of them held me fast by the hands, and laid me across I think the windlass, and tied my feet, while the other flogged me severely.

I had never experienced any thing of this kind before; and although not being used to the water, I naturally feared that element the first time I saw it, yet nevertheless, could I have got over the nettings, I would have jumped over the side, but I could not; and besides, the crew used to watch us very closely who were not chained down to the decks, lest we should leap into the water: and I have seen some of these poor African prisoners most severely cut for attempting to do so, and hourly whipped for not eating. This indeed was often the case with myself. In a little time after, amongst the poor chained men, I found some of my own nation, which in a small degree gave ease to my mind.

I asked them if we were not to be eaten by those white men with horrible looks, red faces and loose hair. They told me I was not. But still I feared I should be put to death, the white people looked and acted, as I thought, in so savage a manner; for I had never seen among any people such instances of brutal cruelty; and this not only shown towards us blacks, but also to some of the white themselves. One white man in particular I saw flogged so unmercifully with a large rope near the foremast, that he died in consequence of it; and they tossed him over the side as they would have done a brute.

The stench of the hold while we were on the coast was so intolerably loathsome, that it was dangerous to remain there for any length of time, and some of us had been permitted to stay on the deck for the fresh air; but now that the whole ship's cargo were confined together, it became absolutely pestilential. The closeness of the place and the heat of the climate, added to the number in the ship, which was so crowded that each had scarcely room to turn himself, almost suffocated us. This produced copious perspiration, so that the air soon became unfit for respiration from a variety of loathsome smells, and brought on a sickness amongst the slaves, of which many died.

This wretched situation was again aggravated by the galling of the chains, now become insupportable, and the filth of the necessary tubs, into which the children often fell, and were almost suffocated. The shrieks of the women, and the groans of the dying, rendered the whole scene of horror almost inconceivable."



From eyewitnesstohistory.com

Dr. Alexander Falconbridge served as the surgeon aboard a number of slave ships that plied their trade between the West African coast and the Caribbean in the late 1700s. He described his experiences in a popular book published in 1788. He became active in the Anti-Slavery Society and was appointed Governor of a colony established for freed slaves on the coast of modern-day Sierra Leone. His service was brief as he died in 1788 shortly after his appointment. We join his story as he describes the process through which the native African looses his freedom:

"There is great reason to believe, that most of the Negroes shipped off from the coast of Africa, are kidnapped. But the extreme care taken by the black traders to prevent the Europeans from gaining any intelligence of their modes of proceeding; the great distance inland from whence the Negroes are brought; and our ignorance of their language (with which, very frequently, the black traders themselves are equally unacquainted), prevent our obtaining such information on this head as we could wish. I have, however, by means of occasional inquiries, made through interpreters, procured some intelligence relative to the point. . . . From these I shall select the following striking instances: While I was in employ on board one of the slave ships, a Negro informed me that being one evening invited to drink with some of the black traders, upon his going away, they attempted to seize him. As he was very active, he evaded their design, and got out of their hands. He was, however, prevented from effecting his escape by a large dog, which laid hold of him, and compelled him to submit. These creatures are kept by many of the traders for that purpose; and being trained to the inhuman sport, they appear to be much pleased with it.

I was likewise told by a Negro woman that as she was on her return home, one evening, from some neighbors, to whom she had been making a visit by invitation, she was kidnapped; and, notwithstanding she was big with child, sold for a slave. This transaction happened a considerable way up the country, and she had passed through the hands of several purchasers before she reached the ship.

A man and his son, according to their own information, were seized by professed kidnappers, while they were planting yams, and sold for slaves. This likewise happened in the interior parts of the country, and after passing through several hands, they were purchased for the ship to which I belonged. It frequently happens that those who kidnap others are themselves, in their turns, seized and sold.

. . . During my stay on the coast of Africa, I was an eye-witness of the following transaction: a black trader invited a Negro, who resided a little way up the country, to come and see him. After the entertainment was over, the trader proposed to his guest, to treat him with a sight of one of the ships lying in the river. The unsuspicious countryman readily consented, and accompanied the trader in a canoe to the side of the ship, which he viewed with pleasure and astonishment. While he was thus employed, some black traders on board, who appeared to be in the secret, leaped into the canoe, seized the unfortunate man, and dragging him into the ship, immediately sold him.

The preparations made at Bonny by the black traders, upon set¬ting out for the fairs which are held up the country, are very considerable. From twenty to thirty canoes, capable of containing thirty or forty Negroes each, are assembled for this purpose; and such goods put on board them as they expect will be wanted for the purchase of the number of slaves they intend to buy.

When their loading is completed, they commence their voyage, with colors flying, and music playing; and in about ten or eleven days, they generally return to Bonny with full cargoes. As soon as the canoes arrive at the trader's landing place, the purchased Negroes are cleaned, and oiled with palm-oil; and on the following day they are exposed for sale to the captains.
When the Negroes, whom the black traders have to dispose of, are shown to the European purchasers, they first examine them relative to their age. They then minutely inspect their persons, and inquire into the state of their health, if they are afflicted with any infirmity, or are deformed, or have bad eyes or teeth; if they are lame, or weak in their joints, or distorted in the back, or of a slender make, or are narrow in the chest; in short, if they have been, or are afflicted in any manner, so as to render them incapable of much labor; if any of the foregoing defects are discovered in them, they are rejected. But if approved of, they are generally taken on board the ship the same evening. The purchaser has liberty to return on the following morning, but not afterwards, such as upon re-examination are found exceptionable.

The traders frequently beat those Negroes which are objected to by the captains, and use them with great severity. It matters not whether they are refused on account of age, illness, deformity, or for any other reason. At New Calabar, in particular . . . the traders, when any of their Negroes have been objected to, have dropped their canoes under the stern of the vessel, and instantly be headed them, in sight of the captain.

As soon as the wretched Africans, purchased at the fairs, fall into the hands of the black traders, they experience an earnest of those dreadful sufferings which they are doomed in future to undergo. . . . They are brought from the places where they are pur¬chased to Bonny, etc. in canoes; at the bottom of which they lie, having their hands tied with a kind of willow twigs, and a strict watch is kept over them. Their usage in other respects, during the time of the passage, which generally lasts several days, is equally cruel. Their allowance of food is so scanty, that it is barely sufficient to support nature. They are, besides, much exposed to the violent rains which frequently fall here, being covered only with mats that afford but a slight defense; and as there is usually water at the bottom of the canoes, from their leaking, they are scarcely ever dry."

References:
This eyewitness account appears in Falconbridge, Alexander, An Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa (1788); Curtin, Phillip D. Atlantic Slave Trade (1969); Matheson, William Law, Great Britain and the Slave Trade, 1839-1865 (1967).


Sources: eyewitnesstohistory.com
thinkquest.org
history-world.org
histclo.com
The International Slavery Museum
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Re: TPOF Tidbit #8 ~ The Slave Trade

Unread postby Buster » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:46 pm

This was a really tough tidbit to read. The magnitude of inhumanity is staggering. Made me very aware of the injustices that still go on everyday; at the very least I need to be aware of and grateful for the freedoms I have. Thanks, DithoT for the reminder.

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Re: TPOF Tidbit #8 ~ The Slave Trade

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:22 pm

Buster wrote:This was a really tough tidbit to read. The magnitude of inhumanity is staggering. Made me very aware of the injustices that still go on everyday; at the very least I need to be aware of and grateful for the freedoms I have. Thanks, DithoT for the reminder.


Couldn't agree more! I was very struck by this "The slave trade also had immense impact on the developing economies of the New World and the changing economies of western Europe. It was the foundation for European mercantilism and industry in the 17th and 18th centuries, the labor force for colonial agriculture, and a prime force in the growth of the shipbuilding industry." It is very chilling to realize then that "Progress" often is often offset by evil --there being no other word for in enslavement of human beings. Think of the power and the explosion of energy, wealth and sheer invention that was this time, and then consider that all of it came about bascially on the backs of people stolen away from their lives. Just stunning. Thanks you DITHOT. Great tidbit.
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Re: TPOF Tidbit #8 ~ The Slave Trade

Unread postby Liz » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:51 am

Buster wrote:This was a really tough tidbit to read. The magnitude of inhumanity is staggering. Made me very aware of the injustices that still go on everyday; at the very least I need to be aware of and grateful for the freedoms I have. Thanks, DithoT for the reminder.

Just the drawings of the slaves' quarters (if you can call it that) on the ships was enough for me. Deplorable! I haven't had a chance to read the tidbit yet (work has taken precedence), but I will in a few.
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Re: TPOF Tidbit #8 ~ The Slave Trade

Unread postby ladylinn » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:59 pm

Buster how right you are - the inhumanity is stagering. Very difficult tidbit to read. Need to read it more than once. And yes be so grateful of our freedoms. How any one of the slaves survived those voyages is amazing.

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Re: TPOF Tidbit #8 ~ The Slave Trade

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:46 am

It was horrific and what I included here is only a bit of what occurred around the world.
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Re: TPOF Tidbit #8 ~ The Slave Trade

Unread postby bluebird » Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:07 pm

Thanks for ALL the tidbits, but especially for Olaudah Equiano. I discovered him, then lost him, following a visit to an exhibit in Philadelphia back in 2008. When I started reading about slaves I tried to recall his name but it wouldn't surface! The exhibit was at The Franklin and called "Real Pirates."
My son and his family took me to see it! I think they understand my obsession with pirates! ;-) :captainjack:
Here's a press release about it.
http://www.piratesexhibit.com/pdf/PiratesRelease.pdf
The edge … there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. HST

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Re: TPOF Tidbit #8 ~ The Slave Trade

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:26 pm

bluebird, that sounds like a fabulous exhibition. I see the link to the museum is still live. Is this a permanent exhibition? I didn't see an ending date on the press release.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Re: TPOF Tidbit #8 ~ The Slave Trade

Unread postby nebraska » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:45 am

When I hear the word "slave" I think of poor black folks on a cotton plantation in the south of the United States. I was amazed to find out that was just a small portion of the slavery that was happening at that period of time. It seems it has been part and parcel of the human existence that the stronger people enslave others, from ancient times forward. Not a very nice commentary on human beings. :-/

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Re: TPOF Tidbit #8 ~ The Slave Trade

Unread postby bluebird » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:49 pm

nebraska wrote:When I hear the word "slave" I think of poor black folks on a cotton plantation in the south of the United States. I was amazed to find out that was just a small portion of the slavery that was happening at that period of time. It seems it has been part and parcel of the human existence that the stronger people enslave others, from ancient times forward. Not a very nice commentary on human beings. :-/


I recently toured several homes in the Hudson Valley of New York (along with the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery) and I was surprised to hear of the slaves that worked at those northern mansions and fields.

DITHOT: it was a fantastic exhibition ... I don't think it's still there. I'll do some checking on it.
The edge … there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. HST

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Re: TPOF Tidbit #8 ~ The Slave Trade

Unread postby bluebird » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:57 pm

DITHOT: the exhibit is still touring ... It's in Denver, Colorado right now.

http://whydah.com/

Here's the Educator's Guide for the exhibit.

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/missi ... _Guide.pdf

AND there's a museum in Provincetown!

http://www.provincetowntourismoffice.or ... px?NID=100
The edge … there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. HST

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Re: TPOF Tidbit #8 ~ The Slave Trade

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:57 am

Thanks, bluebird. Looks like I missed it in Houston! :-/
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!


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