History

The Triangular Trade

The Transatlantic Slave Trade had three stages

STAGE 1

STAGE 2

  • African dealers kidnapped people from villages up to hundreds of miles inland. One of these people was Quobna Ottabah Cugoano who described in the autobiography how the slavers attacked with pistols and threatened to kill those who did not obey. They marched the captives to the coast where they would be traded for goods. The prisoners would be forced to march long distances, as Major Galan describes, with their hands tied behind their backs and their necks connected by wooden yokes.
  • On the African coast, European traders bought enslaved peoples from traveling African dealers or nearby African chiefs. Families were separated.
  • The traders held the enslaved Africans until a ship appeared, and then sold them to a European or African captain. It often took a long time for a captain to fill his ship. He rarely filled his ship in one spot. Instead, he would spend three to four months sailing along the coast, looking for the fittest and cheapest slaves.
  • Ships would sail up and down the coast filling their holds with enslaved Africans. On the brutal ‘Middle Passage‘, enslaved Africans were densely packed onto ships that would carry them to the West Indies.
  • There were many cases of violent resistance by Africans against slave ships and their crews. These included attacks from the shore by  ‘free’ Africans against ships or longboats and many cases of shipboard revolt by slaves.

STAGE 3

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