Enslaved Africans Transported to Slave Ships, Gold Coast, late 17th cent.

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Image Reference

John Barbot, A Description of the coasts of North and South-Guinea . . . Now first printed from his original manuscript, In Awnsham and John Churchill (compilers), Collection of Voyages (London, 1732), vol. 5, plate 9, p. 156. (Copy in Library Company of Philadelphia; also, Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library)

Caption, A. "Fishing Cannoes of Mina 5 or 600 at a time. B. Negro's cannoes, carrying slaves on board of ships at Manfroe"; also shows European trading vessels and slave ships in the background and various forts, e.g., Elmina, Cabo Corso [Cape Coast]. Barbot, the "Agent-General of the Royal Company of Africa," writes: "The Blacks of Mina are commonly handsome, lusty, and strong men . . . . Their usual employments are trade, husbandry and fishery. I have often seen seven or eight hundred canoes come out from thence . . . to fish with hooks and lines . . . each canoe having, some two, some three, some four paddlers. I was so pleas'd with the sight of such a number of canoes thus plying about, that I could not forebear representing them in the print here adjoin'd . . . . the Mina Blacks drive a great trade along the Gold Coast . . . and are the fittest and most experienc'd men to . . . paddle the canoes over the bars and breakings which render this coast . . . so perilous . . . the waves in the ocean rising in great surges. . . " (pp. 156-157). Cf. P.E.H. Hair, Adam Jones, and Robin Law, Barbot on Guinea [1678-1712] (London, 1992), vol. 2, figs. 45 and 46, and pp. 518, 536n9 for comments on the bottom illustration.