The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870

The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870

Hugh Thomas

Language: English

Pages: 1151


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

After many years of research, award-winning historian Hugh Thomas portrays, in a balanced account, the complete history of the slave trade. Beginning with the first Portuguese slaving expeditions, he describes and analyzes the rise of one of the largest and most elaborate maritime and commercial ventures in all of history. Between 1492 and 1870, approximately eleven million black slaves were carried from Africa to the Americas to work on plantations, in mines, or as servants in houses. The Slave Trade is alive with villains and heroes and illuminated by eyewitness accounts. Hugh Thomas's achievement is not only to present a compelling history of the time but to answer as well such controversial questions as who the traders were, the extent of the profits, and why so many African rulers and peoples willingly collaborated. Thomas also movingly describes such accounts as are available from the slaves themselves.

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largest number of these, over 25,000, went to Barbados; nearly 23,000 went to Jamaica (that island’s own enslaved population increased from 550 in 1661 to nearly 10,000 in 1673); nearly 7,000 went to Nevis; and the rest were sold either to the Spaniards or to English North Americans. The RAC sold 75,000 slaves to British North America between 1673 and 1725. These figures would suggest that over 5,000 slaves left Africa every year in ships of the RAC, about 4,000 arriving. In one way or another,

in Paris is a symbolic association in the history of the eighteenth century. Both men were Atlantic dealers, men whose activity was not limited to one country, and both had much to lose from a separation of North America from Britain, and even more from a bad peace marking that separation. With this sponsorship of the peace, it is scarcely surprising that the slave trade should afterwards revive as if nothing had happened. A member of a large firm in Nantes, Chaurand Frères (it fitted out eleven

Hermann Willem Daendels, who had restored the Dutch standing in the East Indies by building a road the length of Java, and who had now been instructed to bring an effective end to the Dutch slave trade, which, of course, King Willem had in theory abolished.XIII Daendels succeeded in ruining Niezer by an unusual method: he set up his own company, which traded everything except slaves, and drove Niezer to bankruptcy. Daendels also planned another road twenty-four feet wide from Elmina to Kumasi,

641, 644–45, 654, 662, 677 Gómez Angel, Melchor, 178 Gómez Barreto, Luis, 180 Gómez Havelo, Pedro, 583 Gonçalves, Antão, 54, 55, 58 Gonçalves Baldaia, Afonso, 54 Gonson, Benjamin, 155–56 Gonzales, Rui, 81 Gooch, William, 461 Goodhand, Marmaduke, 208 Goodson, William, 259 Gordon, Captain Nathaniel, 728, 774–75, 776 Gordon, Captain Sylvester, 774 Gordon, William, 205 Gore, Gerrard, 240 Gorée Island, 337–38, 379, 380, 680 Gorrevod, Lorenzo de, 98–99, 100, 102, 114, 301 Goss (slave

slaves abounded, and not just for the benefit of the Europeans. Some of these cities eventually became strong monarchies: Bonny, to begin with, but also New Calabar and Warri as well as Bell Town and Aqua Town, in the Cameroons; and there were some strong commercial republics, such as old Calabar and Brass. But the powers of the Bonny kings were always limited: “Although in many respects they appear to exercise absolute power, unrestrained by fixed principles,” wrote one English slave captain,

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