Library Company of Philadelphia

The British slave trade was eventually abolished in 1807 (although illegal slave trading would continue for decades after that) after years of debate, in which supporters of the trade claimed that it was not inhumane, that they were acting in the slaves’ benefit, etc.

Library Company of Philadelphia

These accounts, supported by memoirs such as Oladuah Equiano's, who survived the journey, informed the masses and catalyzed the destruction of slavery.


Library Company of Philadelphia

Library Company of Philadelphia

He was born in Hull, into a rich merchant family. As a child, whilst living with his uncle in London, he was taken to hear preach. It made a great impression on him but he returned home and soon became part of fashionable society, attending the theatre and races, where he watched his own horse run.


Harriet Beecher Stowe, with an introduction by David Bromwich

“Nathans turns the story of the Great Migration on its head in this extraordinary and wide-ranging history of the lives, labors, and land of black men and women who remained in the South. Deeply researched and written with passion, it is a brilliant and original accounting of how ‘landedness’ was achieved over two centuries of African American struggle.”—Ira Berlin, author of

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The Africans in the nearby village paid them in gold for their return.

Slave traders used many slave forts to protect themselves and their shipments.

What does it mean to be a slave or enslaved person?

“Matthew Karp demonstrates vividly how Southern control of the national government in the antebellum generation resulted in a foreign policy designed to protect slavery from threats both outside and inside the United States. Full of new information and original insights, this book expands our understanding of the ways in which Southern domination of the federal government provoked increasing sectional tensions that brought on the Civil War.”—James M. McPherson, author of

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But just as important as the critique of the slave trade is that need to discover how the enslaved themselves reacted: through submission; or through resistance?

What does it mean to be a Chattel Slave?

From here, slaves were placed aboard ships to be taken across the Atlantic on a voyage that was eventually coined "the middle passage."

The middle passage of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade consisted of immeasurable brutality.