Slaves at Sea
The "Middle Passage" was the journey of slave trading ships from the west coast of Africa, where the slaves were obtained, across the Atlantic, where they were sold or, in some cases, traded for goods such as molasses, which was used in the making of rum. However, this voyage has come to be remembered for much more than simply the transport and sale of slaves. The Middle Passage was the longest, hardest, most dangerous, and also most horrific part of the journey of the slave ships. With extremely tightly packed loads of human cargo that stank and carried both infectious disease and death, the ships would travel east to west across the Atlantic on a miserable voyage lasting at least five weeks, and sometimes as long as three months. Although incredibly profitable for both its participants and their investing backers, the terrible Middle Passage has come to represent the ultimate in human misery and suffering. The abominable and inhuman conditions which the Africans were faced with on their voyage clearly display the great evil of the slave trade.
To learn more about the transatlantic slave trade, click below:
- Spain vs. England: The Early History of the Slave Trade
- The Bottom of the Triangle: The Economic Role of the Middle Passage
- Hell Below Deck: Life on the Slave Ships
- Brutal Voyage: The Daily Routine on the Slave Ships
- Fighting Back: Revolt on the Slave Ships
- The Toll of the Trip: Death on the Slave Ships
- A Great Sin of Humanity: The Legacy of the Middle Passage
Take a look at my sources.
Check out links to other Middle Passage and slave trade sites on the web.
Return to my main Maritime Page.