Olaudah Equiano, Enslaved African Man Historical Context From the early days of the American colonies, forced labor and slavery grew to become a central part of colonial economic and labor systems. Hard labor made tobacco, rice, and sugar plantations profitable. Buying and enslaving the people who supplied this labor ultimately became a lucrative and tragic part of the commerce in the maritime web that connected Europe, Africa, and the Americas.
Alexander Falconbridge's account of the slave trade From the time of the arrival of the ships to their departure, which is usually near three months, scarce a day passes without some negroes being purchased, and carried on board; sometimes in small, and sometimes in larger numbers.
The whole number taken on board, depends, in a great measure, on circumstances. In a voyage I once made, our stock of merchandize was exhausted in the purchase of about negroes, which was expected to have procured The number of English and French ships then at Bonny, had so far raised the price of negroes, as to occasion this difference.
I was once upon the coast of Angola, also, when there had not been a slave ship at the river Ambris for five years previous to our arrival, although a place to which many usually resort every year.
The failure of the trade for that period, as far as we could learn, had no other effect than to restore peace and confidence among the natives, which, upon the arrival of ships, is immediately destroyed by the inducement then held forth in the purchase of slaves.
Previous to my being in this employ I entertained a belief, as many others have done, that the kings and principal men bred Negroes for sale as we do cattle. During the different times I was in the country, I took no little pains to satisfy myself in this particular; but notwithstanding I made many inquires, I was not able to obtain the least intelligence of this being the case.
All the information I could procure confirms me in the belief that to kidnapping, and to crimes and many of these fabricated as a pretext the slave trade owes its chief support.
When the Negroes, whom the black traders have to dispose of [sell], are shown to the European purchasers, they first examine them relative to their age.
They then minutely inspect their persons and inquire into the state of their health; if they are afflicted with any disease or are deformed or have bad eyes or teeth; if they are lame or weak in the joints or distorted in the back or of a slender make or narrow in the chest; in short, if they have been ill or are afflicted in any manner so as to render them incapable of much labor.
If any of the foregoing defects are discovered in them they are rejected. But if approved of, they are generally taken on board the ship the same evening.
The purchaser has liberty to return on the following morning, but not afterwards, such as upon re-examination are found exceptionable. The traders frequently beat those Negroes which are objected to by the captains and use them with great severity. It matters not whether they are refused on account of age, illness, deformity or for any other reason.
At New Calabar, in particular, the traders have frequently been known to put them to death. Instances have happened at that place, when Negroes have been objected to, that the traders have dropped their canoes under the stern of the vessel and instantly beheaded them in sight of the captain.
Nor do these unhappy beings, after they become the property of the Europeans from whom, as a more civilized people, more humanity might naturally be expectedfind their situation in the least amended.
Their treatment is no less rigorous.
The men Negroes, on being brought aboard the ship, are immediately fastened together, two and two, by handcuffs on their wrists and by irons rivetted on their legs.
They are then sent down between the decks and placed in an apartment partitioned off for that purpose. The women also are placed in a separate apartment between decks, but without being ironed.
Falconbridge because of this attention to detail, failing to recognize that Falconbridge based his account on “interviews he conducted with Richard Philips, a member of the Anti-Slavery Society.”50Although Falconbridge “revealed gross abuses and [the] inhumanity of the Middle Passage,” and his account is surely not entirely exaggerated. during the middle passage? Document 7 Source: James Ramsay, Essay on the Treatment and Conversion of Source: Alexander Falconbridge, An Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa (London, ). Student Analysis Alexander Falconbridge describes the reacon of enslaved Africans to their sale. Feb 23, · The History Of Slavery And Capitalism The Middle Passage • Introduction: The Middle Passage • Olaudah Equiano describes the horrors of the Middle Passage () • Alexander Falconbridge, a doctor, describes conditions on an English slaver () Part III. Arrival in the New World.
An adjoining room on the same deck is appointed for the boys. Thus they are all placed in different apartments. But at the same time, however, they are frequently stowed so close, as to admit of no other position than lying on their sides. Nor will the height between decks, unless directly under the grating, permit the indulgence of an erect posture; especially where there are platforms, which is generally the case.
These platforms are a kind of shelf, about eight or nine feet in breadth, extending from the side of the ship toward the centre. They are placed nearly midway between the decks, at the distance of two or three feet from each deck, Upon these the Negroes are stowed in the same manner as they are on the deck underneath.
In each of the apartments are placed three or four large buckets, of a conical form, nearly two feet in diameter at the bottom and only one foot at the top and in depth of about twenty-eight inches, to which, when necessary, the Negroes have recourse.
It often happens that those who are placed at a distance from the buckets, in endeavoring to get to them, rumble over their companions, in consequence of their being shackled. These accidents, although unavoidable, are productive of continual quarrels in which some of them are always bruised. In this distressed situation, unable to proceed and prevented from getting to the tubs, they desist from the attempt; and as the necessities of nature are not to be resisted, ease themselves as they lie.
This becomes a fresh source of boils and disturbances and tends to render the condition of the poor captive wretches still more uncomfortable. The nuisance arising from these circumstances is not infrequently increased by the tubs being much too small for the purpose intended and their being usually emptied but once every day.
The rule for doing so, however, varies in different ships according to the attention paid to the health and convenience of the slaves by the captain The diet of the Negroes while on board, consists chiefly of horse beans boiled to the consistency of a pulp; of boiled yams and rice and sometimes a small quantity of beef or pork.
The latter are frequently taken from the provisions laid in for the.Falconbridge because of this attention to detail, failing to recognize that Falconbridge based his account on “interviews he conducted with Richard Philips, a member of the Anti-Slavery Society.”50Although Falconbridge “revealed gross abuses and [the] inhumanity of the Middle Passage,” and his account is surely not entirely exaggerated.
Caribbean and African Medicine in the Hudson Valley. Alexander Falconbridge. An Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa. Bryan Edwards. Part 1 – Physicians prior to passage of the First State Act; Part 2 .
The Middle Passage By Olaudah Equiano Words | 4 Pages. The Middle Passage was a triangular route that was frequently used by many European nations who engaged in the Atlantic slave trade of millions of Africans.
Chandler-TesisPhD-Health and Slavery New Granada. Uploaded by Robinson Salazar (New York. p. Alexander Falconbridge described accommodations for slaves in the ton vessel on which he served as ship's surgeon. Knowing the horrors of the Middle Passage with its poor food and bad treatment which he believed caused one-third of .
Olaudah Equiano wrote an account of the Middle Passage in his autobiography. Recent scholarship has called into question Equiano’s place of birth and whether his narrative is, in fact, a firsthand account.
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