Book Sheds New Light on Atlantic Slave Trade
Posted by Diane
I came across an article about a book you might be interested in, especially if your ancestors were African slaves or involved in the slave trade.
Between 1492 and about 1820, four enslaved Africans left the Old World for every European migrant. According to Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade by David Eltis and David Richardson, we know more about this forced migration than about European migration during the time. That’s because the slave trade generated profits, which usually meant record-keeping.
The book is based in part on the data in the online Transatlantic Slave Trade Database, which Eltis co-edited, containing information on 35,000 slave voyages from Africa to the Americas. (Read our post about the database's online debut in 2008.)
Detailed maps in the book show how almost every port in the Atlantic world at the time organized and sent out a slave voyage. Almost half of those voyages came from ports in the Americas.
The data let the authors determine trading patterns, for example, the United States drew more slaves from the area of Senegambia south to Liberia (on Africa’s west coast) than did any other part of the Americas.
The authors also found the slave trade was going strong at the time it was finally suppressed.
The book also gives you a more personal look at the trade with information about people and conditions on board the ships, as well as writings from and images of a few passengers. You can read more about it in the article here, and find it listed on Amazon.com here.
For help researching African-American roots, see the articles in our online toolkit. Find eight steps to get started tracing slave ancestors here.
African-American roots | Genealogy books
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 1:07:12 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)