Slavery and the Making of AmericaPicture of a plantation house near Social Circle, Georgia
Time and Place Slave Memories Resources The Slave Experience

The Slave Experience: Living
Intro Historical Overview Character Spotlight A Year in the Life Personal Narratives Original Docs
Original Documents Living Conditions

Captain Thomas Phillips' journal of the voyage of the HANNIBAL
1693
Cited in Dorothy Schneider & Carl J. Schneider, eds. SLAVERY IN AMERICA: FROM COLONIAL TIMES TO THE CIVIL WAR. (New York: Facts on File, 2000).
return to main documents page
Document Description
The Middle Passage journey gave slaves a taste of the harsh conditions captivity might bring once their destination was reached. As reflected by this captain's journal, the slave ships were overcrowded and the quality and quantity of food served to the captives was insufficient.

Transcript
Their chief diet is call'd dabbadabb, being Indian corn ground as small as oat-meal, in iron mills, which we carry for that purpose; and after mix'd with water, and boil'd well in a large copper furnace, till 'tis thick as a pudding, about a peckful of which in vessels, call'd crews, is allow'd to 10 men, with a little salt, malagetta, and palm oil, to relish; they are divided into messes of ten each, for the easier and better order in serving them: Three days a week they have horse-beans boil'd for their dinner and supper, great quantities of which the African company do send aboard us for that purpose; these beans the negroes extremely love and desire, beating their breast, eating them, and crying Pram! Pram! Which is Very good! They are indeed the best diet for them, having a binding quality, and consequently good to prevent the flux, which is the inveterate distemper that most affects them, and ruins our voyages by their mortality.

email this page to a friend
About the Series K-12 Learning Feedback Support PBS