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Insurrection on Board a Slave Ship

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Insurrection on Board a Slave Ship

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Dejected, depressed, and despondent, captives aboard slave ships felt they had nothing to lose and so took any opportunity to revolt. According to Alexander Falconbridge, author of An Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa (1788):

"As very few of the Negroes can so far brook [tolerate] the loss of their liberty and the hardships they endure, they are ever on the watch to take advantage of the least negligence in their oppressors. Insurrections are frequently the consequence; which are seldom expressed without much bloodshed. Sometimes they are successful and the whole ship's company is cut off."

The ship's crew in this image, apparently "cut off" during an insurrection, fire upon the slaves.

Image Credit: By permission of The British Library (w/ identification of item & British Library shelfmark or Manuscript number)

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The Middle Passage

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