Slave ship

Slave ship

Slave ships were cargo ships specially converted for the purpose of transporting slaves, especially newly purchased African slaves.

The most important routes of the slave ships led from the northern and middle coasts of Africa to South America and the south coast of what is today the Caribbean and the United States of America. The captains and sailors of the boats were allowed to do whatever they wanted with the slaves. This included rape, murder, and torture because the slaves were considered their property. As many as 20 million Africans were transported by ship. cite journal| last =Shillington| first =Kevin| authorlink =| coauthors =| title =Abolition and the Africa Trade
journal =History Today| volume =57| issue =3| pages =20–27| publisher =| location =| date =2007| url =| doi =| id =
] The transportation of slaves from Africa to America was known as the Middle Passage. The African slave trade was outlawed in 1807, by a law passed jointly in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, the applicable UK Act was the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act and outlawed slavery throughout the British Empire. The US [ law] took effect on January 1, 1808. After that date all US and English slave ships leaving Africa were legally pirate vessels subject to capture by the American and British navies. It was [ 1815] at the Council of Vienna before Spain, Portugal, France and The Netherlands agreed to abolish their slave trade. During this time, the slave ships became smaller and more cramped in exchange for improved performance in their new role as smuggling craft and blockade runners.

Atlantic slave trade

Only a few decades after the discovery of America by Europeans, demand for cheap labor to work plantations made slave-trading a profitable business. The peak time of slave ships to the Atlantic passage was between the 17th and 18th century when large plantations developed in the English colonies of North America.

In order to achieve profit, the owners of the ships divided their hulls into holds with little headroom, so they could transport as many slaves as possible. Unhygienic conditions, dehydration, dysentery and scurvy led to a high mortality rate, up to a third of captives. Only the most resilient survived the transport. Often the ships transported hundreds of slaves, who were chained tightly to plank beds. For example, the slave ship "Henrietta Marie" carried about 200 slaves on the long Middle Passage. They were confined to cargo holds with each slave chained with little room to move. [ History: The Middle Passage]

List of slave ships

*Adelaide, French slave ship, sank 1714 near Cuba.
*La Amistad, cargo ship which sometimes carried slaves ("see note below").
*Braunfisch, a Brandenburgian slave ship lost in 1688 in a revolt.
*Brookes, sailing in the 1780s.cite web |title= Brooks Slave Ship |publisher= E. Chambre Hardman Archives |url= |accessdate= 2008-02-28]
*Clotilde, burned and sunk at Mobile, in autumn 1859.
*Cora, captured by the USS Constellation1860.
*Fredensborg, Danish slave ship, sank in 1768 off Tromøy in Norway, after a journey in the triangular trade. Leif Svalesen has written a book about the journey.
*Henrietta Marie. Sank 1701 off Key West, Florida.
*Jesus of Lubeck 700-tonne ship used on the second voyage of John Hawkins to transport 400 captured Africans in 1564. Queen Elizabeth I was his partner and rented him the vessel.
*Kron-Printzen, Danish slave ship, sank in 1706 with 820 slaves on board.
*Le Concord. Slave ship turned pirate ship aka "Queen Anne's Revenge", Sank 1717.
*Lord Ligonier. See "" by Alex Haley.
*Madre de Deus (Mother of God) 1567 John Hawkins captured this ship and transported 400 Africans.
*Margaret Scott confiscated and sunk as part of the Stone fleet in 1862
*Pons (ship) American built barque captured by the USS Yorktown 1 December 1845 with 850-900 slaves [cite journal
last=Gilliland | first=C. Herbert | authorlink= | coauthors=
title=Deliverance from this Floating Hell
journal=Naval History | volume=17 | issue=48-51 | pages=20–27
publisher= | location= | date=2003 | url= | doi= | id=
*Salamander, Brandenburgian slave ship.
*Tecora, Portuguese slave ship that transported the slaves who would later revolt aboard La Amistad.
*Triton captured by the USS Constellation 1861.
*Trouvadore, wrecked in Turks and Caicos 1841. 193 slaves survived. Project commenced in 2004 to locate the ship. [ [ Slave Ship Trouvadore Website] ]
*Wanderer, formerly last slave ship to the U.S. (Nov. 1858) until Clotilde reported.
* Wildfire, a barque, arrested off the Florida coast by the US Navy in 1860; carrying 450 slaves. [Harper's Weekly, June 2, 1860, p344. [ Online at The Slave Heritage Resource Center] accessed 3 July 2006.]
*Whydah Gally, slave ship turned into pirate ship-sank 1717.
*Zong, a British slave ship famous of the massacre which occurred aboard in 1781.

Note: While La Amistad is often called a slave ship, it was in fact a general purpose cargo ship, which occasionally carried slaves. See the article about the ship, and the resulting court case, for more information.

ee also

*Slave trade
*Slave Coast, Gorée ("Slave island")


External links

* [ Slave ship L' Aurore] High resolution photos of a model of the French slave ship L' Aurore of 1784
* [ List of slaveships]
* [ Unesco maps: The Slave Route] (PDF)
* [ Scotland and the Abolition of the Slave Trade - schools resource]
* [ Yet another article about slave ships - hundreds of German slave ships are listed in the article] (PDF in German)

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Slave ship — Slave Slave (sl[=a]v), n. [Cf. F. esclave, D. slaaf, Dan. slave, sclave, Sw. slaf, all fr. G. sklave, MHG. also slave, from the national name of the Slavonians, or Sclavonians (in LL. Slavi or Sclavi), who were frequently made slaves by the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • slave ship — n. a ship for transporting slaves, esp. one used in the African slave trade …   English World dictionary

  • slave ship — noun a ship used to transport slaves from their homes to places of bondage • Hypernyms: ↑ship * * * a ship for transporting slaves from their native homes to places of bondage. [1790 1800] * * * slave ship noun A ship used for transporting slaves …   Useful english dictionary

  • Slave Ship (Frederik Pohl novel) — Slave Ship is a 1956 short science fiction novel by Frederik Pohl. The scene is a world in the throes of a low intensity global war, which appears to be an amplified representation of the Vietnam War, in which the U.S. was just beginning to be… …   Wikipedia

  • slave ship — ship which carries a slave to their owners …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Slave ship (disambiguation) — A slave ship is a cargo vessel used to transport slaves. The phrase may also refer to:* The Slave Ship (painting), by J.M.W. Turner * Slave Ship (Star Wars novel), a science fiction novel by K.W. Jeter * Slave Ship (Frederik Pohl novel), a… …   Wikipedia

  • Slave Ship (1937 film) — Infobox Film name = Slave Ship image size = caption = director = Tay Garnett producer = writer = William Faulkner [ [ Faulkner was the writer who adapted for… …   Wikipedia

  • Slave Ship (Star Wars novel) — Infobox SW Books name = Slave Ship title orig = translator = author = K. W. Jeter cover artist = editor = country = USA language = English era = Rebellion series = The Bounty Hunter Wars galactic year = 4 ABY canon = C subject = Star Wars genre …   Wikipedia

  • slave ship — a ship for transporting slaves from their native homes to places of bondage. [1790 1800] * * * …   Universalium

  • Slave Ship —    Voir Le Dernier Négrier …   Dictionnaire mondial des Films

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