MIDDLE PASSAGE/ TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE- 18TH CENTURY

The slave trade was also known as the Triangular Trade
  1. The Triangular Trade had three parts to it:
  • In Europe, New Englanders would get all their trading goods ready and sail over to Africa and the goods would be exchanged for slaves
  • Then would go over to the West Indies with the slaves or to America and sell them and in exchange they would get molasses
  • Lastly they would go back to New England and make the molasses into rum and start the trade route all over again
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  • During the slave trade there was an estimated 12 to 15 million Africans shipped over from Africa to the New World
  • In 1807 the British out lawed slave trade and so did the US but not until 1808
  • Royal Navy really ended this slave trade
  • In 1807 there was an Act passed called the Slave Importation Act which by 1808 did not allow people to import slaves to different colonies anymore

  1. The Slave Ships:
  • They were cargo ships these ships were very crammed and held way to many people that the ship could really fit
  • Males were placed in the darn decks that were very small areas and they would usually only be able to bend down not even lie down
  • Males were shackled together by their arms or legs
  • For females and children they were no shackled together but would usually be sexually abuses by the crew on the ships
  • These ships were very dirty
  • Many of the slaves on the ship did not want to eat and if they refused to they would be force fed by the crew members
  • Many diseases were transmitted such as small pox's and dysentery
  • Crew members would use lashes and whips on the slaves

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  1. Positive Effects for the U.S
  • Having these slaves brought labor to the colonies for farming
  • There was better trade because of the molasses and making rum from it brought the people wealth and land
  • Very helpful to have this slaves in the Sugar Islands in the Caribbean


  1. Olaudah Equiano: His journey
  • He was abducted at eight years old
  • He was at home with his sister one night alone and someone came in and took them far out into the woods
  • The person tied both their hands together and put them on the Slave ship that was going to the Americas

“The closeness of the place, and the heat of the climate, added to the number in the ship, which was so crowded that each had scarcely room to turn himself, almost suffocated us”
This Quote he said relates back to the description of the life a slave had on one of these cargo Slave Ships and how brutal their life was.
  • The document talks about how the crew members put some salutation up his nose which effected him in not being able to eat or taste anything that was given to him
  • He also refused to eat so a crew member tied his feet up together
  • He was also whipped for not eating the food that was given to him
  • The awful weather made the trip much more hard since they were not able to cover up when it would rain or storm or lightening and instead they would just have to stay outside in the rain
Primary Source Document
You Tube Video



18 Centry poster selling slaves
18 Centry poster selling slaves

This Image above shows how back then people would document and sell slaves and how they would get the word across to people that there was some type of slave trade going on. It includes what ship the slave was on the time they were to arrive and what condition the slaves were in after their long brutal voyage.