Description of a Slave Ship

DESCRIPTION OFA SLAVE SHIP. ионO FIG. III. FIG. I. м M. H. HS H. G- FIG. II. H. G FIG. VII. M Store Room FIG. VI. Store Room E With this allowance of room the utmoft number that can be ftowed in a The PLAN and SECTIONS annexed exhibit a flave fhip with the flaves Rowed, In order to give a reprefentation of the trade againft which no vellel of the dimenfion of the Brooks, is as follows, (being the number creatures, uicd in their own country to a life of eafe, and from the " fhort time. But the exceffive heat was not the only thing that rendere complaint of exaggeration could be brought by thofe concerned in it, the exhibited in the plan) and is 1 to a ton, viz. t Brooks is here defcribed, a fhip well known in the trade, and the firft mentioned in the report delivered to the Houfe of Commons laft year by Captain Parrey, who was fent to Liverpool by Government to take the dimenfions of the fhips employed in the African flave trade from that port. Thefe plans and fections are on a fcale of the 8th of an inch to a foot. It may be expeted, from this mode of packing a number of our fellow- apartments became fo extremely hot, as to be only fufferable for a very anguifh of mind their fituation muft neceffarily create, that many of them their fituation intolerable. The deck, that is, the floor of their rooms fall fick and die. Inftances fometimes occur of horrible mortality. The was fo covered with the blood and mucus which had proceeded from average is not lefs, than 1-5th, or 20 per cent. times appropriated for a fick birth; but the men flaves are feldom indulged the " It is not in the power of the human imagination to picture to itfelf privilege of being placed there, till there is little hope of recovery. The flaves « a fituation more dreadful or difgufting. Numbers of the flaves had are never allowed the leaft bedding, either fick or well; but are ftowed on 4 fainted, they were carried upon deck, where feveral of them died, and the bare boards, from the fri@tion of which, occafioned by the motion of the reft were, with difficulty, reftored. It had nearly proved fatal to the fhip, and their chains, they are frequently much bruifed: and in fome «me alfo." cafes the flefh is rubbed off their thoulders, elbows, and hips. It may not be improper to add a fhort account of the mode of fecuring, for the failors hammocks. In flave fhips, while the laves are on board, airing, and exercifing the flaves. The women and children are not chained, but the men are conftantly the tops. From this expofure, they often are wet for a long time together chained two and two ; the right leg of one to the left leg of the other, and the rains in thofe climates being frequent and extremely heavy. There is their hands are fecured in the fame manner. They are brought up on the main deck every day, about eight o' clock, fhelter themfelves creep under this, they are expofed to the noifeme and On the Plan. Adually carried. Men-on the lower deck, at CC The half deck is fome- them in confequence of the flux, that it refembled a flaughter-houfe. Ditto on the platform of ditto, CC DD 66 124 } 190 351 Boys-lower deck EE Ditto-platform FF Women-lower deck, GG Ditto-platform, HH Women Half deck, MM Platform ditto, NN Gun room, I1 58 82 90 DIMENSIONS OF T HE SHIP. 40 183 127 Another objection which may be ftated, is, that here no room is allowed Length of the Lower Deck, gratings and bulk-heads included at AA Breadth of Beam on the Lower Deck infide, BB Depth of Held, 000 from cieling to cieling Height between decks from deck to deck Length of the Mens Room, CC on the lower deck Breadth of the Mens Roam, CC on the lower deck Length of the Platforms, DD in the mens room Breadth of the Platforms in mens rooms on each fide Length of the Boys Roem, EE Breadth of the Beys Room Breadth of Platførms, FF in boys room Length of Wemens Room, GG Breadth of Weomens Room- Length of Platforms, HH in womens room Breadth of Platforms in womens room Length of the Gun Room, II on the lower deck 3readth of the Gun Room on the lower deck Length of the Quarter Deck, KK Breadth of Quarter Deck Length of the Cabin, LL Height of the Cabin Length of the Half Deck, MM Height of the Half Deck Length of the Platforms, NN on the half deck Breadth of the Platforms on the half deck Upper deck, PP Feet Inches 24 100 Girls the failors have no other lodging than the bare decks, or (in large thips) 27 41 25 4 10 General total 482 б09 The principal difference is in the men. It muft be obferved, that the men, from whom only infurrections are to be feared, are kept continually and as each pair afcend, a ftrong chain, faftened by ring-bolts o the deck, infectious effluvia which continually exhale from the flaves below. in irons, and muft be ftowed in the room allotted for them, which is of is pafled through their fhackles; a precaution abfolutely neceffary to pre- a more fecure conftruction than the reft. In this fhip the number of men actually carried was The number of men ftated in the plan at I foot 4 inches each in wet weather a tarpawling placed over the gratings: if the failors to 46 o 25 4 46 o It appeared from the evidence given by the flave merchants lafť' year vent infurrections.-In this ftate, if the weather is favourable, they are before the Houfe of Commons, that the employment of the feamen, viz. 35 permitted to remain about one-third part of the twenty-four hours, and boating up the rivers after the negroes, guarding them on board, cleanfing 190 during this interval they are fed, and their apartment below is cleaned; the veflel, &c. is of a nature offenfive and dangerous beyond that of but when the weather is bad, even thofe indulgencies cannot be granted feamen in other fervices, and that the fmall-pox, meafles, flux, and other 13 9 25 o Difference 161 28 6 23 6 28 6 As the fhip on this plan would ftow 42 women boys and girls in the olacen a re ony permitted to come up in fmall companies, of about contagious diforders, are frequent on board thefe thins. here allotted them more than fhe did carry, fuppofing that number of men mefs is obliged to give place to the next in rotation. , tofd, here-after remaining a quarter of an hour, each It is therefore falfely faid by the well1-wifhers to this trade, thar the 6. them, inftead of being 16 inches as in the plan, was in reality only 10 inches removing thofe flaves who lie on the hatch-ways. The confequence of the moft inconteftable authority, that fo far from being a nurfery, it has taken from the mens room, and placed in their ftead, this will reduce the number of men to 309 in the mens room ; of courfe the room allowed no other method of getting water, provifions, &c. out of the hold, but by in his admirable treatife on the Impoliey of the Trade, has proved from fuppreflion of it will deftroy a great nurfery for feamen, and annihilate a In very bad weather, fome are unavoidably brought on deck: there being very confiderable fource of commercial profit.-The Rev. Mr. Clarkfon, 10 12 O each; but if the whole number 351 were ftowed in the mens room, they this violent change from their rooms, which are inconceivably hot, to the been conítantly and regularly a grave for our feamen; fir that in this had only 9 inches each to lay in. The men therefore, inftead of lying on their backs, were placed, as is of the neck, fevers, and dyfenteries; which are communicated by infection atber trades af Great Britain in TWO years ufual, in full hips, on their fides, or on each other. In which laft fituation to the other flaves, and alfo to the failors. 2. they are not unfrequently found dead in the morning. The longitudinal fection, fig. I. fhews the manner in which the laves chains; and this, by the friends of the trade, is called dancing. 33 6 19 14 0 wind and rain, is their being attacked with coughs, fwellings of the glands traffick anly, a greater propertion of men perifh in oNE year, than in all the 16 6 6. 16 Befides the time fpent on the coaft to complete their cargoes, whichs The only exercife of the men-flaves is their being made to jump in their fometimes lafts feveral months, the flaves are from fix to eight weeks on 2. were placed on all the decks and platforms, which is alfo further illuftrated by the tranfverfe fections, fig. II. and III. By which it appears, that the trading in human flefth, theie Plans and Sections will appear rather a fiction, people, thus managed and thus crammed together, and he muft think it their paffage from thence to the Weft-Indies. Now let any perfon reflect on the fituation of a number of thefe devoted To perfons unacquainted with the mode of carrying on this fyftem of height between the decks is 5 feet 8 inches, which, allowing 2 inches than a real reprefentation of a flave-fhip. They will probably object, that dreadful, even under every favourable circumtfance of an humane captain, for the platform and its bearers, makes the height betweçn the decks and there is no room for ftowing cables, and fuch other utenfils and ftores as an able furgeon, fine weather, and a thort paffage. But when to a long Nominal tonnage 297 the platform 2 feet 9 inches; but the beams and their knees, with the carlings, are ufually placed between decks. In a flave fhip (i. e. a full one) thefe paffage are added, inhuman treatment, feanty and bad provifions, and taking 4 inches on an average, this fpace is unequally divided, and above or articles are either depofited in the hold, or piled upon the upper deck; rough weather, their condition is miferable beyond defcription. So deftruc- Suppofed tonnage by meafurement 320 Number of feamen 45 The number of laves which this vellel atually carried appears from under the platforms cannot bc eitimated at more than 2 feet 7 inches; fo and from thence, in cafe of bad weather, or accidents, no fmall confufion is tive is this traffick in fome circumftances, particularly in bad weather. the accounts given to Captain Parrey by thc flave-merchants themfelves as themfelves by fitting up ; the very fhort ones excepted, nor can they, there is not room for the furgeon to vifit and affift them: the fact is, that a fchooner, which carried only 140 flaves, meeting with a gale of follows: that the flaves cannot, when placed either on or under the platform, relieve occafioned.-It may be alfo faid, the flaves are placed fo very clofe, that when the flaves are kept below, and the gratings covered with tarpawlings,. except on board the larger veflels. The average of nine veflels meafured that when the furgeon goes amongft them, he picks out his way as well wind which lafted eighteen hours, no leís than 50 flaves perithed in that by Captain Parrey, being moftly large fhips, was only 5 feet 2 inches. as he can, by ftepping between their legs. He frequently finds it to be im- fmall fpace of time. The height of the Venus between decks was 4 feet 2 inches; of the Kitty, poffible to afford them that relief which an humane man (and fuch there 4 feet 4 inches, both of which had platforms. In thefe fmaller veflels are even in this trade) would willingly give them. therefore they have not 2 feet under or upon the platforms. In fig. 1. under the upper deck PP, and the lower deck AA, the beams related by an eye-witnefs) as it ferves to convey fome idea, though a very a moral and religious duty, as that of endeavouring to put an end to a prac- and the intervening carlings are reprefented by thaded fquares. The beams faint one, of the fufferings of thofe unhappy beings whom we wantonly drag tice, which may, without exaggeration, be itiled one of the greateft euils an are alfo introduced on one fide of the tranfverfe fections II. and III, in order from their native country, and doom to perpetual labour and captivity : this day exijting upon the earth. to fhew the fpace which a flave placed under a beam has to lie and breathe in. Some wet and blowing weather having occafioned tbe port-holes to Men Women Boys Girls 351 127 Total 609 90 As then the inhumanity of this trade muft be univerfally admitted' and When attacked with lamented, people would do well to confider, that it does not often fall to fluxes, their fituation is fearcely to be deferibed. To give an inftance, (as the lot of individuals, to have an opportunity of performing fo important 41 The room allowed to each defcription of flaves in this plan is: To the Men 6 feet by i foot 4 inches. Women 5 feet 10 in. by 1 foot 4 in. Boys 5 feet by 1 foot 2 in. Girls 4 fect 6 in. by 1 foot. Falconbridge's Account of the Slave Trade, page 3 • This is the ufual manner of placing the faver, but it vules according tò the polition of to fupport the platforms and des ks, for which no deduction is madej but the deck is fuppoled « requiring it, I frequently went down among them, tull at length their the hip, aud the practice of diffeieat semmanderh t It muft be noted, that every poflible advantage of ftowing is allowed in the plan. There be fhut, and the grating to be covered, fluxes and fevers among the are or ought to be in each apartment one or more poopoo tubs there are allo tanchions negroes enfued. While they were in this fituation, my profellion LONDON: PRINTED BY JAMES PHILLIPS, GEORGE-YARD, LOMBARD clour of every incumbrance whateYe STREET, M.DCC.LXXXIX, FIG. IV.

Description of a Slave Ship

shared by Anonymous (not verified) on Jan 16
Published in London in 1789, the broadside Description of a Slave Ship is an icon of the antislavery moment in England and the United States. Between March and July of that year, more than 10,000 copi...


James Phillips


Cheryl Finley


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