Adventures of an African Slaver: Being a True Account of the Life of Captain Theodore Canot, Trader in Gold, Ivory & Slaves on the Coast of Guinea

Adventures of an African Slaver: Being a True Account of the Life of Captain Theodore Canot, Trader in Gold, Ivory & Slaves on the Coast of Guinea

Adventures of an African Slaver: Being a True Account of the Life of Captain Theodore Canot, Trader in Gold, Ivory & Slaves on the Coast of Guinea

Adventures of an African Slaver: Being a True Account of the Life of Captain Theodore Canot, Trader in Gold, Ivory & Slaves on the Coast of Guinea

Excerpt

On July 27, 1807, a ship of three hundred tons burthen, mounting eighteen guns on her deck and carrying letters-of- marque against French and Spanish vessels--the Kitty's Amelia, Captain Hugh Crow, having assembled her crew of sixty from the Liverpool jails and crimping houses; having signed on two surgeons and three mates, of whom only the eldest was a navigator; having filled the slave-deck and the hold with Manchester cottons, Birmingham muskets, Sheffield cutlery, in addition to handcuffs, shackles, horse-beans, lead, Peruvian bark, chain-shot, gunpowder, rum, and water-casks --dropped with an ebb tide past the Black Rock of Liverpool and set her course for the Guinea coast. She was the last legal slaver to leave an English port.

Having lasted nearly four centuries, the great days of the slave trade were drawing to their close. They had begun in 1442, if a date must be chosen, when the explorer Antam Gonsalvez had carried ten blackamoors to Lisbon. His purpose was to save their souls. Columbus, who opened two continents to slavery, himself shipped home five hundred Indians, suggesting that they be sold in the markets of Seville. Sir John Hawkins made three slaving voyages from Guinea to the West Indies. Sir Francis Drake and John Paul Jones, the sea heroes of two nations, had helped to carry black cargoes. Great sovereigns, as capitalists, had engaged in the same commerce: among others they were Henry the Navigator, Ferdinand the Catholic, the Emperor Charles V, Elizabeth and her rival . . .

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