Between the 17th and 19th centuries millions of Africans were forcibly transported across the Atlantic to be sold as slaves in the northern and southern part of the American continent. This was one of the biggest population movements in recorded history. When a slave was bought he or she became the private property of the owner who had the power of life and death over his purchase.


(1) Look a the "Slave Triangle" diagram. Explain why the 'triangular trade' was so profitable for British ship owners.
Slavery Triangle.jpg

Source A


Source B

(2) Why were Africans packed like sardines in the "slaver"?

Source C

(3) Sources A to F inclusive
Explain the suffering and the humiliation the Africans had to endure as shown in
these sources.

Source D


Source E

Small ads from an American newspaper, The Boston Newsletter (1704-14). The last one shows how an owner could rent out his servants as well as his slaves.
1June 1704.
2 negro men slaves and 3 negro women, to be sold by
Mr. John Colman, Merchant, to be seen at Col. Charles Hobbey, Esq., his house in Boston.

13 September 1714.
A young negro girl, born in Barbados, that speaks
good English, to be sold by Mr. Grove Hurst, merchant, to be seen at his house in Trea-Mont Street, Boston.

13 September 1714.
To be disposed ofby Mr. Samuel Sewall, merchant, at his warehouse near the swing bridge in Merchants Row, Boston, several Irish maid- servants. Time: most of them for 5 years, one Irish man servant who is a good barber and wigmaker, also 4 or 5 negro boys.

Source F

At a slave auction, a buyer showed interest in a 10-year-old boy named Randall, who was with his half-sister Emily and his mother Elisa. Solomon Northup was there and described what happened in Twelve Years A Slave (1853).
"Elisa, kept begging ...them not to separate the three. But it was of no use. The bargain was struck and Randall must go alone. Then Elisa ran to him, embraced him passionately, kissed him again and again, told him to remember her. All the while her tears were falling in the boy's face .. 'Don't cry mama, I will be a good boy. Don't cry,' said Randall, looking back as they passed out the door. "

Source G

(6) Source G
This is an Abolitionist Society poster. What point is it attempting to make?

Source H

Most slaves became Christians. This is part of a sermon that was preached to a slave congregation by Bishop Meade in the 1850s:
"Take care that you do not fret or murmur or grumble at your conditions, for this will not only make your life uneasy, but will greatly offend God almighty. It is the will of God... who made you slaves. So that any discontent at your not being free ... is quarrelling ... with God himself."
(8) Source H
According to the bishop why should slaves accept their status without complaint? _

Source I

(4) Sources I and J
What evidence can you find in Sources rand J that is bitterly critical of slavery?
(5} Source I
iThe Slave Trade and Slavery
What reason is shown here for not punishing the slave owner for "murder"?
colonial slavery cartoons.jpg

Source J

Cartoon tub.jpg

Source K

(7) Source K
What evidence is there in the source to show that, according to the cartoonist,
staves are realty much better off than poor "tree" English families?
cartoon barrel.jpg