A Typical Slave Ship, at port in London’s East India docks – getting ready for the next slave run. A typical cargo included: IRON BARS COWRIE SHELLS
CHEAP MANUFACTURED GOODS Trinkets – pots, pans, beads, shells, cloth FIRST STAGE – EUROPE TO AFRICA Cheap trinkets exchanged for slaves TRIBAL CHIEFS EXCHANGE SLAVES, OR SLAVES ARE CAPTURED SECOND STAGE - THE MIDDLE PASSAGE SLAVE TRADERS THEN SOLD THE SLAVES TO PLANTATION OWNERS THE ‘MIDDLE PASSAGE’ – THE JOURNEY ACROSS THE ATLANTIC.. THIRD STAGE – RAW MATERIALS SENT TO EUROPE Profits from slave sales were used to buy produce from the plantations eg. sugar, tobacco, cotton, which were sold for great profit in Europe. SLAVES WERE USED ON PLANTATIONS, GROWING SUGAR, TOBACCO, COTTON. Brazil Caribbean Islands Mexico U.S.A.
Slaves being rowed to a newly arrived slaving ship off the Guinea coast – note the trading fort in the background. Cross- section of a slave embarkatio n canoe.
Boarding the ship and being chained and then being sent down to the slave decks.
This model [right] and the charts were used by slave reformers at the end of the 18 th century, to show how a Liverpool slave ship of 320 tons could carry 400 slaves. On one voyage the ship carried 609 slaves.
A successful slave voyage could expect a loss rate of 1 in 20 slaves. A bad run might suffer losses as high as 1 in 3, mainly due to disease. The space between the deck shelves could vary from 72 cm.to 1 m.
Slaves were fed twice a day. Male slaves were chained, women and children usually went unshackled.
Slaves were brought up on to the top deck to be‘exercised’ or ‘danced’ usually once a day. This was usually at the point of a whip. This was the most dangerous time for the ship’s crew when the slaves had an opportunity to rebel. A loaded cannon was always kept ready with a lighted match.
Rebellion was the greatest danger feared by the slave merchants. Slaves being exercised on deck were always guarded by a cannon with a lighted match ready.
Diseased and rebellious slaves were often thrown overboard.
European port towns, such as, Bristol and Liverpool, largely grew up on the slave trade New social habits like the drinking of tea and coffee, smoking tobacco and eating chocolate, were introduced into Europe. Slave owners became immensely rich. One result of this personal wealth was the building of many impressive mansion houses
Rivalries began between European countries for control of the rich slave areas in the Americas’, Africa and Asia, this led to many colonial wars and the growth of empires