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Time On The Coast

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Chapter Summary

A number of scholars have suggested that mortality during captivity on the African coast was considerable and may even have exceeded that during the Middle Passage. In the eighteenth century slave traders spent less time on the coast to safeguard the health of the crew who quickly succumbed to malaria and other tropical diseases. Once the slaves had been acquired they were accommodated quite differently in Cacheu and Luanda. In the early years of the European slave trade on the Upper Guinea Coast, the slaves were collected on board ship. According to Manuel Bautista Pèrez’s accounts for 1617 and 1618 some slaves were sent aboard regularly, generally in larger batches than they had been acquired. In conclusion, during the early seventeenth century Portuguese slave traders often stayed on the coast for eight months to over a year, not only acquiring slaves but also trading more widely.

Keywords: Manuel Bautista Pèrez; slave trader; Upper Guinea coast



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