Cohn, Raymond L. “Deaths of Slaves in the Middle Passage.” The Journal of Economic History 45, no. 3 (1985): 685-92. Accessed February 29, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/2121762
description: This journal article examines the differences in change over time of the mortality rate of slaves on ships transporting slaves. It explains that the majority of mortality rates declined the longer transatlantic slave trade continued, with the lowest rates during 1790 to 1830, but then increasing after 1830. It further details that there may have been incentives for captains of these ships during the mentioned time period to lower the number of deaths on their reports, as well as take other precautions to prevent more deaths during the Middle Passage. Ultimately, it states that the mortality rate declined.
Cugoano, Ottobah. Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery. London: s.n., 1787 (reprint, London: Dawsons of Pall Mall, 1969). From Children and Youth in History, Children in the Slave Trade, annotated by Colleen A. Vasconcellos. http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/items/show/141?section=primarysources&source=153 (accessed February 29, 2020).
description: This primary source from a man sold into slavery while he was a child describes the type of treatment aboard the slave ships. It explains the differences in the treatments of men and women, as well as the reactions to the conditions while on the ship.
Eltis, David. “Mortality and Voyage Length in the Middle Passage: New Evidence from the Nineteenth Century.” The Journal of Economic History 44, no. 2 (1984): 301-08. Accessed February 29, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/2120707
description: This article opposes the Cohn article and claims that mortality rates during the Middle Passage only increased during the time period. The article measures mortality rates by comparing multiple factors: different regions, duration of voyage and the amount of slaves being transported.
Falconbridge, Alexander. An Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa. London: 1792. From Digital Public Library of America, The Transatlantic Slave Trade. https://dp.la/primary-source-sets/the-transatlantic-slave-trade/sources/316 (accessed February 29, 2020).
description: This primary source discusses the interactions and process of purchasing kidnapped people from Africa to be put into the slave trade. It explains that the traders in Africa delivered men, women, and children to the “fairs” on the coasts for these large countries to see. It also gives examples how the fair were maintained; how they prevented theses kidnapped people from escaping and the type of actions taking place.
“Folk art model of a slave ship on stand”. National Museum of African American History and Culture. Smithsonian Institute https://www.si.edu/object/nmaahc_2013.196.1abc
description: This model of a slave ship also contributes to the conditions on board the ship. It displays the way the slaves had to position themselves while in the cargo hold of the ship; mainly laying down, shoulder to shoulder because of the lack of space.
Hawkins, Joesph. A History of a Voyage to the Coast of Africa, and Travels into the Interior of that Country, pp. 140-49. London: F. Cass, 1970 reprint of 1797 ed. From Smithsonian Institute of American History, Oral Histories. https://americanhistory.si.edu/onthewater/oral_histories/life_at_sea/hawkins.htm (accessed February 29, 2020).
description: This transcription of a primary document describes the actions of getting recently bought slaves onto the slave ship to be brought to a colony. It gives details about the type of restraints used on the slaves and the difficulties that came with boarding slaves onto the ship. It also explains how quickly disease affected those on the ship.
“Shackles, Before 1860”. National Museum of African American History and Culture. Smithsonian Institute. https://www.si.edu/object/nmaahc_2008.10.4
description: This image displays the shackles used to restrain many slaves while being transported on the ships. It displays another form of treatment of the slaves because the shackles were meant to cause discomfort and therefore restrain and hinder the movement of the slaves who are wearing these.
Sheridan, Richard B. “The Guinea Surgeons on the Middle Passage: The Provision of Medical Services in the British Slave Trade.” The International Journal of African Historical Studies 14, no. 4 (1981): 601-25. Accessed February 29, 2020. doi:10.2307/218228 https://www-jstor-org.cuhsl.creighton.edu/stable/218228? description: This article talks about the medical Guinea doctors that were onboard the slave ships and worked with treating the medical problems and diseases among the slaves piled into the cargo hold of the ships.
Siegel, Michael. “The Illegal Slave Trade to the United States, 1808-1860.” 2005. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, The New York Public Library. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/870b71b9-0ae5-b9a1-e040-e00a18062301 (accessed March 1, 2020).
description: This picture displays the route of illegal slave smuggling while many countries were abolishing the slave trade. It shows the main ports that these slaves were being transported to, as well as the regions in Africa were the slaves were taken from.
“The Portuguese slaver Diligenté captured by H.M. Sloop Pearl with 600 Slaves on board, taken in charge to Nassau.” By Lieutenant Henry Samuel Hawker. National Museum of African American History and Culture. Smithsonian Institute. https://www.si.edu/object/nmaahc_2010.21.2ab
description: This painting contributes to the overpopulated conditions on slave ships. It shows multiple slaves hunched over and crammed next to each other on a small ship, that most likely couldn’t have held that many.