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The Atlantic Slave Trade
Transcript of The Atlantic Slave Trade
Between 1500s and the 1800s millions of African were captured, shipped across the Atlantic Ocean, and sold as slaves in the Americas.
"One day, when all our people were gone out to their works as usual, and only I and my dear sister we left to mind the house, two men and a woman got over our walls, and in a moment seized us both, and, without giving us time to cry, or make resistance, they stopped our mouths, and ran off with us into the nearest woods. Here they tied our hands, and continued to carry us as far as they could, till night came on..."
1. Slavery existed in almost every civilization
2. Often slaves were prisoners of war or criminals
3. Slaves could be any race or religion
4. Slavery was not usually hereditary
Slavery before 1400s
What do you think these words mean?
Slaves were kidnapped from their villages in Africa and taken to the coast
There, they endured examination to ensure they were healthy
The kidnappers, who were Africans, received compensation from white slave traders
The Exchange...1st hand account:
"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 into 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."
The Middle Passage
When ships were full, they set out on the New World (Middle Passage)
One part of the "triangular trade" process
Molasses taken from Europe to Africa, exchanged for slaves, slaves taken to New world, sold for sugar/ rum, ships then return to Europe
Disclaimer: This video contains graphic material, if you wish not to view the contents of the video please feel free to look away
Once On Board The Ship
"I now saw myself deprived of all chance of returning to my native country, or even at least glimpse of hope of gaining the shore"
"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 intolerable loathsome, that it was dangerous to remain there for any time ... the closeness of the place, and the heat of the climate... almost suffocated us... The shrieks of the women, and the groans of the dying, rendered the whole scene of horror almost inconceivable."
Disease spread quickly
Many captives died
If a slave was sick, they were thrown overboard
Slaves were all packed underneath the ship with little room, sometimes piled on top of each other
very little ventilation
Blood, vomit, urine, and feces filled the entire area
" I now wished for the last fried, 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 anything 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.”
Ending the Trip...
The trip lasted between 3-5 months
Captains allowed laves on deck in the morning, and forced them to dance in order to remain in good condition
Records indicate that if only 25% of the human cargo dies, it was a successful voyage
The End... but The Beginning
"At last we came in sight of the island of Barbados, at which the whites on board gave a great shout, and made many signs of joy to us. We did not know what to think of this; but as the vessel drew nearer, we plainly saw the harbor, and other ships of different kinds and sizes, and we soon anchored amongst them, off Bridgetown. Many merchants and planters now came on board, though it was in the evening."
"We were not many days in the merchant’s custody, before we were sold after their usual manner, which is this: On a signal given (as the beat of a drum), the buyers rush at once into the yard where the slaves are confined, and make choice of that parcel they like best. The noise and clamor with which this is attended, and the eagerness visible in the countenances of the buyers, serve not a little to increase the apprehension of terrified Africans, who may well be supposed to consider them as the ministers of that destruction to which they think themselves devoted. In this manner, without scruple, are relations and friends separated, most of them never to see each other again."
Write a short description of the Middle Passage experienced by enslaved Africans. Include in your description the conditions slaves had to endure and the effects of the passage on those slaves.
Requirements: Minimum of 4 sentences
Refer to textbook and lesson for reference.