THE TRANS-ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE-A SYNOPSIS
At the heart of Atlantic slavery was the slave trade, a vast co-ordinated system for the forced migration of Africans often from hundreds of miles in their homeland interiors to virtually every corner of the Americas.
Both Europeans and Africans participated in the trade, and four continents were deeply influenced by it. Slavery defined the structure of many Atlantic Societies, underpinning not just their economies but their social, political, cultural and ideological systems. African Empires and confederacies of great extent had been formed and continued to be formed on or near the coasts, between Senegal and Niger; upon arrival the Europeans found tribal states constituted by a single town, or by a town with dependents or semi-autonomous towns, in possession of a few miles.
The Europeans witnessed at first hand, Africans, dressed in cloth which had been dyed in local indigo, a plant that is very much in demand in Europe, and some Africans possessed ornaments of gold or ivory. The African people exchanged gold for European products, some of which the natural resources of the country did not provide.
Iron was also traded by the Africans who smelted the hard concretions which were found in the laterite soil, the iron-smiths made implements and weapons of good quality however in small quantity only, which barely met the needs of the community.
Cotton was not grown and the 1native sheep and goat had short hair; hides were used as clothing and bark cloth; all ornaments were made of gold or ivory or coloured stones. Between 1482 and the Abolition of the slave trade , at one time or another "Nine European Countries," ortheir National Chartered Companies, kept fortified stations in West Africa and scores of fortified trading stations were maintained in West Africa under the Crowns of Portugal, Spain and Sweden, or the Chartered Companies of Brandenburg-Prussia, Courtland, Denmark, England, France and Holland." The motive being to protect and expand the trade of each country and to exclude competitors". European Strongholds had existed in Moslem lands during and after the Crusades, and trade flourished under their protection, but none had been built solely with commercial intent.
It is estimated that over 20 million people were captured, enslaved and transported out of Africa during the Trans Atlantic days1 of Slavery. Under the threat of death, the1y were treated as animals, no compassion was spared or spent on them. They were given the label of a "Pagan", which meant someone who did not yet know Christ. Enslaved Africans were classified as no more than a commodity.
Much of the wealth of the Atlantic economy derived from slave-produced commodities in what was the worlds first system of multinational production for a mass market. This evil Trade was solidified, by the "Pope of the Catholic church" who ruled over most of Europe in the days. European Kings, Queens, Royalty, Genteel and many barbaric people engaged themselves in the Slave Industry and prospered immensely during the treacherous dark days of the Trans- Atlantic Slave Trade. Portugal became the first European slave traffickers and slave traders.
In 1443, the Portuguese sought and secured the blessings of the Pope in a series of papal bulls. Catholic Spain and Catholic Portugal became involved in a bitter rivalry to siege Africa, to enslave its inhabitants and ship them back to Europe and sell them.
Prince Henry of Portugal took Africans and sold them at the Port of Lisbon, he asked and was granted absolution for all the European seamen involved in the trade. English slave traffickers left England to voyage to The Gambia and other West African Countries in thousands of different registered slaving ships. The ships departed initially from the ports of London and Gravesend, as the slave trade industry expanded, slaving ships 1departed from other ports in England bound for The Gambia. The Port of Bristol became the next established point of departure for ships heading to Africa. Dartmouth, Devon, Liverpool, Lancaster, Plymouth, Guernsey, Dorset, Whitehaven, Portsmouth and Exeter also became known departure ports for English slaving ships bound for The Gambia and Senegal in West Africa. A registered ship sailed to The Gambia from the Port of Dublin in Ireland between the years 1715-1716.AD. the voyage ended in disaster.
A slave ship called "Glasgow,"left from the Port of Leigh in Scotland on the 22nd May. 1764.AD. The ships captain was Geo Smith had a crew of 11 members. The "Glasgow" disembarked from The Gambia with 114 enslaved Africans; upon arrival in Barbados on 26th August 1765.AD, only 93 Africans disembarked. All Registered ships left the Ports of England issued with clearance passes.
In 1663 a ship called "Maligetta"left England, captained by Mr Christopher Coleman an Adventurer. The ship belonged to the Company Royal Adventurers, (CRA). The ship arrived to The Gambia and left the port with 189 enslaved Africans aboard. 165 Enslaved Africans survived the Journey to disembark in Jamaica.