Atlantic Slave Trade

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Information about Atlantic Slave Trade

Published on January 20, 2008

Author: Paolina


Africa c. 1690:  Africa c. 1690 Spices, Gold, Horses and Slaves:  Spices, Gold, Horses and Slaves Both West African, European and East Africans supplied gold to the Muslims in return for goods-- horses/spices. Without gold, they sold slaves to the Muslims. Italians sold Slavs from the Black Sea to the Muslim world as all of North Africa was controlled by Muslims. Slav becomes slave. “The Fist Day of the Yam Custom”:  Thomas E. Bowdich, Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee (London, 1819), between pp. 274 and 275 (reprinted Frank Cass, 1966). “The Fist Day of the Yam Custom” Portuguese Exploration:  Portuguese Exploration 1400s. Portuguese had no access to the gold or the slave trade and so set up a maritime end-run around Africa-- Muslim world. Canary Islands, Maedera. Backdoor into the Trans Saharan Trading Ports. Cape Verde-- just south of the desert. Access to Gold-- cuts in on the gold trade of Mali. Sailing the Atlantic:  Sailing the Atlantic In the Mediterranean, it was easy- short distance, easy to navigate, not a great deal of supplies needed. In Atlantic, different story. Wind off the coast of Africa constantly blow offshore-- impossible with technology of the time to sail up-wind. Had to sail out into the Atlantic– that’s where they discovered the islands-- and sail back in. Trying to figure out how to deal with-- large number of people, with large number of supplies, for long period of time. Scurvy. Lateen vs Square Rigged Sails:  Lateen vs Square Rigged Sails Arrival of Europeans in Africa:  Arrival of Europeans in Africa Musée national des Arts d'Afrique et d'Oceanie Triangular Trade:  Triangular Trade The Development of the Slave Trade:  The Development of the Slave Trade 1. Africans had to be willing to sell people. 2. Europeans had to have a need to buy people. 3. Europeans had to have means of carrying people. A Meeting of Slavers and Africans:  A Meeting of Slavers and Africans King of Benin:  King of Benin Pieter van der Aa, La Galerie Agréable du Monde (Leide, 1729); taken from D. O. Dapper, Description de l’Afrique . . . Traduite du Flamand (Amsterdam,1686), p. 311 Fullani Slave Coffle, West Africa 1793:  Fullani Slave Coffle, West Africa 1793 National Maritime Museum, London (neg. no.D7596) Slave Trade Roots:  Slave Trade Roots Goree Warehouses, Liverpool:  Goree Warehouses, Liverpool Liverpool Record Office, Liverpool Libraries and Information Services Coasts of Africa c. 1730:  Coasts of Africa c. 1730 Slavers Revenging their Losses:  Slavers Revenging their Losses David Livingstone, The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa (New York, 1875), facing p. 58 Slave Coffle, Dahomey c. 1850:  Frederick E. Forbes, Dahomey and the Dahomans: being the journals of two missions to the king of Dahomey, and residence in his capital, in . . . 1849 and 1850 (London, 1851), vol. 1, facing p. 100. Slave Coffle, Dahomey c. 1850 African Economies:  African Economies African economies did not operate on the gold standard-- they sold gold. They would accept what the Europeans saw as commodities. What they bought is as important as what they sold. Most accounts regard what Africans bought as useless or as mislead-- in Africa it was the copper standard. They were imported money. Trade Routes:  Trade Routes Monetized Commodities:  Monetized Commodities Trade Beads:  Trade Beads Photo taken by Dylan Kibler( Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society); slide, courtesy of David Moore, North Carolina Maritime Museum Percentages of Trade:  Percentages of Trade 50 % textiles. 20 % booze-- Portuguese Wine, French Brandy, Dutch Gin, English Gin, Cashasha-- Sugar Cane Brandy (Rum). 10 % firearms & powder-- (cheap guns-- often discharged in face.) Muzzle loading, flintlock. 20% metal ware-- copper wire, bronze bracelets, mirrors, copper bowls and tools, nails, hoes and knives El Mina:  El Mina Based on Jean Barbot, A Description of the Coasts of North and South Guinea and D. O. Dapper, Description de l’Afrique . . . Traduite du Flamand (Amsterdam,1686), in Thomas Astley (ed.), A New General Collection of Voyages and Travels (London, 1745-47), vol. 2, plate 61, facing p. 589. Cape Coast Castle:  Cape Coast Castle Interior Cape Coast Castle:  Interior Cape Coast Castle A. W. Lawrence, Trade Castles and Forts of West Africa (Stanford Univ. Press, 1964), plate 37; from a drawing by Henry Greenhill, 1682 Gate of No Return:  Gate of No Return Michael Tuite; photographed in Ghana (Aug. 1999). March of the Slaves:  March of the Slaves Chambon, Le Commerce de l’Amerique par Marseille (Avignon,1764). Canoes Battling Surf, Dahomey:  Canoes Battling Surf, Dahomey Henri Morienval, La Guerre du Dahomey (Paris, 1898), p. 63 Embarkation Canoe:  Embarkation Canoe The Illustrated London News (April 14, 1849), vol. 14, p. 237. Slave Ships:  Slave Ships Small, very small by modern standards-- if you had too big a ship then you would be losing more slaves then selling. Size and speed relationship. 100 slaves was a viable cargo, 300 typical. (Later- 400-800). Trade off is between carrying people ad getting them across alive. Decks of the French Slave Ship Aurore, 1784:  Decks of the French Slave Ship Aurore, 1784 Published in the exhibition catalog Les Anneaux de la Memoire: Nantes-Europe-Afriques-Ameriques, Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne, Nantes, France, Dec. 1992-Feb. 1994; original source not identified. Decks of French Slaver:  Decks of French Slaver Color lithograph by Pretexat Oursel, 19th cent., original in Musée d’Histoire de la Ville et du Pays Malouin, Saint Malo, France. Published in the exhibition catalog Les Anneaux de la Memoire: Nantes-Europe-Afriques-Ameriques, Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne, Nantes, France, Dec. 1992-Feb. 1994. The Middle Passage:  The Middle Passage Give people enough exercise-- small number of people on deck with armed crew (very dangerous). Sheer confinement-- likened to being buried alive. No sanitary facilities-- small pox and dysentery the major killers Fast voyage 30 days to South America, average 40 days. Delayed beyond planned voyage-- astronomic increase in death rates. 90-120 days for North America-- often stopped in Caribbean. Estimated Numbers/Death Rate:  Estimated Numbers/Death Rate Conservative Estimates place the number of Africans transported at 13-15 million. Conditions on the slave ships were terrible, but the estimated death rate of around 13% is lower than the mortality rate for seamen, officers and passengers on the same voyages. Deck of the Wildfire:  Deck of the Wildfire June 2, 1860 issue of Harper's Weekly, The Slave Deck of the Bark "Wildfire" Below Decks:  Below Decks Johann Moritz Rugendas, Voyage Pittoresque dans le Bresil. Traduit de l’Allemand (Paris, 1835); reprinted, Viagem Pitoresca Altraves do Brasil (Rio de Janeiro, 1972). Iron Shackles:  Iron Shackles Published in Anthony Tibbles (ed.), Transatlantic Slavery: Against Human Dignity (London: HMSO, 1994), p. 154, fig. 140. Thrown Overboard:  Thrown Overboard Library Company of Philadelphia’s copy (also in a 1969 reprint edition of another 1862 printing by Negro Universities Press [bottom of p. 193]). Revolt on Deck:  Revolt on Deck William Fox, A Brief History of the Wesleyan Missions on the West Coast of Africa (London, 1851), facing p. 116. Slave Uprising:  Slave Uprising Isabelle Aguet, A Pictorial History of the Slave Trade (Geneva, Editions Minerva, 1971), plate 64, p.71; original source not identified. Trans-Atlantic exports by region 1650-1900:  Trans-Atlantic exports by region 1650-1900 Region Number of slaves accounted for % Senegambia 479,900 4.7 Upper Guinea 411,200 4.0 Windward Coast 183,200 1.8 Gold Coast 1,035,600 10.1 Blight of Benin 2,016,200 19.7 Blight of Biafra 1,463,700 14.3 West Central 4,179,500 40.8 South East 470,900 4.6 Total 10,240,200 100.0 Trans-Atlantic Imports by Region 1450-1900 :  Trans-Atlantic Imports by Region 1450-1900 Region Number of slaves accounted for % Brazil 4,000,000 35.4 Spanish Empire 2,500,000 22.1 British West Indies 2,000,000 17.7 French West Indies 1,600,00 14.1 North America 500,000 4.4 Dutch West Indies 500,000 4.4 Danish West Indies 28,000 0.2 Europe (and Islands) 200,000 1.8 Total 11,328,000 100.0

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