HI330 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Malaria, Northwest Passage, First North Americans

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Published on 16 Apr 2013
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HI330 Lecture January 15 2013
The Origins of African Slavery in North America
-People of African descent already living in what would become the American
colonies for centuries before slavery
-Since these first black Americans left few written records
What was it like to be taken into slavery?
-Slaves captured in many ways
-Sometimes in a communtities enslaved the entire village
-Selected individuals based on vulnerablility or certain tasks
-Captives eventually had to march to the coast of Africa where European traders
took them to Americans or Europe usually tied together with rope or put yokes
between their necks
-Many died during this process and others died from hunger, exhaustion or
exposure
-Many were killed or killed themselves
-Sources on slavery
-Few written records
-Equiano providing his own account
-Learn from the white settlers who oppressed and enslaved them
-Ordeal from capture to destination
-The overland journey
On the Coast
-Factories
-Families divided based on ethnic or linguistic lines to make it harder for
people to communicate
-Removed their clothing and inspected people’s bodies for diseases or
disabilities
-Those that would be for purchase were branded
-Captives faced the prospects of being shipped across the ocean they would
have never seen (especially if from inland)
-Many drowned themselves rather than go across the ocean
The Middle Passage
-The Crossing and the Slavers
-Followed the routes that Columbus and the early explorers had established
-This let them use prevailing winds and westward currents
-Took 2-3 months and up to 6 months
-Wars that grew out of the rivalries between the European nations
-Nations attacked others ships to gather slaves and merchandise
-Ships
- Were usually small and narrow for the numbers of people they
carried
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-Ship size measured in tonnage which determined how many slaves
they could carry usually 2 per tonne
-5 ft. high and further divided by shelves with 2 ft. of headroom
-Tied males in pairs to help prevent retaliation and kept them away
from women and children
-The constant shifting and crushing among the people
-Crews would often leave the slaves neglected during storms
-Clean, exercise, food, etc.
-High disease and mortality rates
-Crews
-Died in high numbers due to the epidemics
-The meaning of the middle passage
-Period whens laves were taken out of Africa and brought to the colonies
-Why do historians claim it is so important?
-Shows a transition between the Old World and the New World and
the shift from uncivilized to civilized
-Colonists thought they were brining people into civilization by
kidnapping them
-Signifies the largest mass migration we had seen
-Captive’s responses
-Still had memories, culture and priorities and did their best to
continue to exercise them
-Newly enslaved people created new bonds with their newly met
slaves etc which simulated familial/blood ties
-Some intimate/sexual relations on the ships were considered
incest as many considered those on their ships family
-Seasoning’s limitation
-Modified people’s behaviour, it didn’t obliterate their cultures
Landing and Sale in the West Indies
-Portion of the slaves would remain and others would be sold elsewhere
-North America would remain on long weeks on land and rest and recover from
their diseases
-Forced their slaves to improve their appearance including dying their hair etc
-Once purchased the new slaves began the “seasoning” process, which was meant to
“break them into plantation routines”
-Acculturation
-Change the attitudes of slaves
-Accustom them to the germs in the Western Hemisphere
-Make the effective labourers
Shift around 1720
-Most of the Africans who ended in British North American in 1720 were
taken to the West Indies before British North American colonies
-After the 1720 agriculture (Sugar) had become such a huge crop and
demand for slaves was so high, planters there had few slaves to sell from
them on slaves came directly from Africa (instead of stopping over in the
West Indies)
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Document Summary

The origins of african slavery in north america. People of african descent already living in what would become the american colonies for centuries before slavery. Since these first black americans left few written records. Sometimes in a communtities enslaved the entire village. Selected individuals based on vulnerablility or certain tasks. Captives eventually had to march to the coast of africa where european traders took them to americans or europe usually tied together with rope or put yokes between their necks. Many died during this process and others died from hunger, exhaustion or exposure. Learn from the white settlers who oppressed and enslaved them. Families divided based on ethnic or linguistic lines to make it harder for people to communicate. Removed their clothing and inspected people"s bodies for diseases or disabilities. Those that would be for purchase were branded. Captives faced the prospects of being shipped across the ocean they would have never seen (especially if from inland)

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