Has he gone to the stream?
And the worst was yet to come. The captives were about to embark on the infamous Middle Passage, so called because it was the middle leg of a three-part voyage -- a voyage that began and ended in Europe.
The first leg of the voyage carried a cargo that often included iron, cloth, brandy, firearms, and gunpowder. Fully loaded with its human cargo, the ship set sail for the Americas, where the slaves were exchanged for sugar, tobacco, or some other product. The final leg brought the ship back to Europe.
The African slave boarding the ship had no idea what lay ahead. Africans who had made the Middle Passage to the plantations of the New World did not return to their homeland to tell what happened to those people who suddenly disappeared.
Sometimes the captured Africans were told by the white men on the ships that they were to work in the fields.
So what were they to believe? More than a few thought that the Europeans were cannibals. Olaudah Equiano, an African captured as a boy who later wrote an autobiography, recalled.
When I looked round the ship too and saw a large furnace of copper boiling, and a mulititude of black people of every description chained together, every one of their countenances expressing dejection and sorrow, I no longer doubted of my fate and quite overpowered with horrow and anguish, I fell motionless on the deck and fainted.
I asked if we were not to be eaten by those white men with horrible looks, red faces and long hair? Their "living quarters" was often a deck within the ship that had less than five feet of headroom -- and throughout a large portion of the deck, sleeping shelves cut this limited amount of headroom in half.
With to people packed in a tiny area5 -- an area with little ventilation and, in some cases, not even enough space to place buckets for human waste -- disease was prevalent.
According to Equiano, "The closeness of the place, and the heat of the climate, added to the number in the ship, which was so crowded that each had scarcely room to turn himself, almost suffocated us.
This produced copious perspirations, so that the air soon became unfit for respiration, from a variety of loathsome smells, and brought on a sickness among the slaves, of which many died.
But even the choice of suicide was taken away from these persons.
A slave who tried to starve him or herself was tortured.The Middle Passage Although the origins are unknown and the meaning has changed over time, The Middle Passage is a term that commonly refers to the transporting of.
Just as horrifying as these death marches was the Middle Passage, as it was called -- the transport of slaves across the Atlantic. On the first . Middle Passage: Middle Passage, the forced voyage of enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World.
It was one leg of the triangular trade route that took goods (such as knives, guns, ammunition, cotton cloth, tools, and brass dishes) from Europe to Africa, Africans to work as slaves .
The slave ship was the means by which nearly million enslaved Africans were transported from Africa to the Americas between and Leaving from its home port in Europe, a typical ship made its first passage to the west coast of Africa, trading goods for a full cargo of slaves—people.
The Middle Passage. The Middle Passage refers to the part of the trade where Africans, densely packed onto ships, were transported across the Atlantic to the West Indies.
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The Middle Passage was the crossing from Africa to the Americas, which the ships made carrying their ‘cargo’ of slaves. It was so-called because it was the middle section of the trade route taken by many of the ships.