Chapter 4 Slavery and Empire MAP 4.1 The African Slave Trade The enslaved men, women, and children transported to the Americas came from West Africa, the majority from the lower Niger River (called the Slave Coast) and the region of the Congo and Angola. MAP 4.2 Slave Colonies of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries By the eighteenth century, the system of slavery had created societies with large African populations throughout the Caribbean and along the southern coast of North America. MAP 4.3 Triangular Trade Across the Atlantic The pattern of commerce among Europe, Africa, and the Americas became known as the “Triangular Trade.” Sailors called the voyage of slave ships from Africa to America the “Middle Passage” because it formed the crucial middle section of this trading triangle. FIGURE 4.1 Estimated Number of Africans Imported to British North America, 1701–75 These official British statistics include only slaves imported legally, and consequently undercount the total number who arrived on American shores. But the trend over time is clear. With the exception of the 1750s, when the British colonies were engulfed by the Seven Years War, the slave trade continued to rise in importance in the decades before the FIGURE 4.2 Africans as a Percentage of Total Population of the British Colonies, 1650 – 1770 Although the proportion of Africans and African Americans was never as high in the South as in the Caribbean, the ethnic structure of the South diverged radically from that of the North during the eighteenth century. SOURCE:Robert W.Fogel and Stanley L.Engerman,Time on the Cross (Boston:Little,Brown,1974),21. FIGURE 4.3 Value of Colonial Exports by Region, Annual Average, 1768–72 With tobacco, rice, grain, and indigo, the Chesapeake and Lower South accounted for nearly two-thirds of colonial exports in the late eighteenth century. The Middle Colonies, however, were also becoming major exporters of grain. SOURCE:James F.Shepherd and Gary M.Walton,Shipping,Maritime Trade and the Economic Development of Colonial America (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,1972),211 –27. This image of Mansa Musa (1312–37), the ruler of the Muslim kingdom of Mali in West Africa, is taken from the Catalan Atlas, a magnificent map presented to the king of France in 1381 by his cousin, the king of Aragon. In the words of the Catalan inscription, Musa was “the richest, the most noble lord in all this region on account of the abundance of gold that is gathered in his land.” He holds what was thought to be the world’s largest gold nugget. Under Musa’s reign, Timbuktu became a capital of world renown. SOURCE:Courtesy of Library of Congress. A black slave deiver supervises a gang of slave men and women preparing the fields for the planting of sugar care in the West Indies, a colored engraving published in William Clark’s Ten Views Found in the Island of Antigua (London, 4823) SOURCE:The British Library. A slave coffle in an eighteenth-century print. As the demand for slaves increased, raids extended deeper and deeper into the African interior. Tied together with forked logs or bark rope, men, women, and children were marched hundreds of miles toward the coast, where their African captors traded them to Europeans. SOURCE:North Wind Picture Archives. Slaves below deck on a Spanish slaver, a sketch made when the vessel was captured by a British warship in the early nineteenth century. Slaves were “stowed so close, that they were not allowed above a foot and a half for each in breadth,” wrote one observer. The close quarters and unsanitary conditions created a stench so bad that Atlantic sailors said you could “smell a slaver five miles down wind.” SOURCE:The Granger Collection. Portrait of Olaudah Equiano, by an unknown English artist, ca. 1780. Captured in Nigeria in 1756 when he was eleven years old, Equiano was transported to America and was eventually purchased by an English sea captain. After ten years as a slave, he succeeded in buying his own freedom and dedicated himself to the antislavery cause. His book, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789), was published in numerous editions, translated into several languages, and became the prototype for dozens of other slave narratives in the nineteenth century. SOURCE:Portrait of a Negro Man,Olaudah Equiano ,ca.1780, (previously attributed to Joshua Reynolds)by English School.Royal Albert Memorial Museum,Exeter,Devon,UK/Bridgeman Art Library, London/New York. Africans herded from a slave ship to a corral where they were to be sold by the cruel method known as "the scramble," buyers rushing in and grabbing their pick. This image was featured in an antislavery narrative published in 1796. Source: The Granger Collection, New York. Residence and Slave Quarters of Mulberry Plantation, by Thomas Coram, ca. 1770. The slave quarters are on the left in this painting of a rice plantation near Charleston, South Carolina. The steep roofs of the slave cabins, an African architectural feature introduced in America by slave builders, kept living quarters cool by allowing the heat to rise and dissipate in the rafters. SOURCE:Thomas Coram,Residence and Slave Quarters of Mulberry Plantation ca.1770.Oil on paper,10 •17.6 cm. Gibbes Museum of Art,Carolina Art Association. The London Coffee House, near the docks of Philadelphia, was the center of the city’s business and political life in the mid-eighteenth century. Sea captains and Merchants congregated here to do business, and as this contemporary print illustrates (in the detail on the far right), it was the site of many slave auctions. Slavery was a vital part of the economy of northern cities. SOURCE:The Library Company of Philadelphia. Bett, also known as Elizabeth Freeman, was born into slavery in a Massachusetts household about 1742. As a young woman she was subjected to the violent abuse of her mistress, who struck her with a hot shovel, leaving an indelible scar. Fleeing her owner Mum Bett enlisted the aid of antislavery lawyer Thomas Sedgwick, who helped win her freedom in 1772. This miniature was painted by Sedgwick's daughter Susan in 1811. SOURCE:Courtesy of Massachusetts Historical Society. Buddy Qua of St. Vincent. African names for weekdays, such as “Qua” or “Quow” (Tuesday), were common among the slaves of the Caribbean and the Lower South. This sketch comes from an eighteenth-century series showing slaves going about their daily tasks. SOURCE:National Library of Jamaica. This eighteenth-century painting depicts a celebration in the slave quarters on a South Carolina plantation. One planter’s description of a slave dance seems to fit this scene: the men leading the women in “a slow shuffling gait, edging along by some unseen exertion of the feet, from one side to the other—sometimes courtesying down and remaining in that posture while the edging motion from one side to the other continued.” The women, he wrote, “always carried a handkerchief held at arm’s length, which was waved in a graceful motion to and fro as she moved.” SOURCE:Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center,Williamsburg,Virginia. Fugitive slaves flee through the swamps in Thomas Moran’s The Slave Hunt (1862). Many slaves ran away from their masters, and colonial newspapers included notices urging readers to be on the lookout for them. Some fled in groups or collected together in isolated communities called “maroon” colonies, located in inaccessible swamps and woods. SOURCE:Thomas Moran,The Slave Hunt,1862,oil on canvas,86.4 •111.8 cm.Gift of Laura A.Clubb,The Philbrook Museum of Art,Tulsa,Oklahoma. Eighteenth-century ships being unloaded of their colonial cargoes on London’s Old Custom House Quay. Most of the goods imported into England from the American colonies were produced by slave labor. SOURCE:Samuel Scott,Old Custom House Quay Collection.By courtesy of the Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum. The New England artist John Greenwood painted this amusing view of New England sea captains in Surinam in 1757. By the early eighteenth century, New England merchant traders like these had become important participants in the traffic in slaves and sugar to and from the West Indies. Northern ports thus became important pivots in the expanding commercial network linking slave plantations with Atlantic markets. SOURCE:John Greenwood,Sea Captains Carousing in Surinam, 1757.Oil on bed ticking,95.9 •191.2 cm.The Saint Louis Art Museum,Museum Purchase. Thomas Jefferson placed this advertisement in the Virginia Gazette on September 14, 1769. Americans need to seriously consider the historical relationship between the prosperity and freedom of white people and the oppression and exploitation of Africans and African Americans. SOURCE:Virginia Historical Society.