What were the political, economic, and social circumstances of slavery?
How did different people think and feel about slavery?
Do Now: How did slavery help the colonial economy?
Station Activity Directions
1. You will move in small groups to view the various
2. Discuss the assigned question for each station.
3. Record your answer in your packet.
Document 1A
Indigenous African slavers from coastal
regions would travel far into the interior to
obtain slaves. They were generally better
armed, having obtained guns from
European merchants in trade for slaves.
Slaves are yoked with a forked branch and
fixed in place with an iron pin across the
back of their necks. The slightest tug on
the branch could choke the prisoner.
indigenous African - from Africa
slavers - people who captured other people to sell them into slavery
yoked - tied up, shackled
Original Source: "Voyage à la Côte Occidentale d'Afrique" by Louis Degrandpré, Paris 1801
Image and Text Source:
Document 1B
Source: "Captain Canot: Twenty Years of an African Slaver" by Brantz Mayer (ed.), New York 1854,
cited from
Document 1C
The Europeans built several castles and forts, along the coast of West Africa – Elmina, Cape Coast, etc..
These fortresses, otherwise known as 'factories', were the first permanent trading stations built by Europeans in Africa.
Original Source: "Thirty Different Drafts of Guinea" by William Smith, London 1749
Image and Text source:
Document 1D
Prisoners could be held in slave
sheds, or barracoons, for several
months while awaiting the arrival of
European merchants.
Slaves are shown hobbled to roughly
hewn logs (on left) or in stocks (on
right). Slaves would be fastened to
the roof supports by rope, attached
around their necks or interweaved
into their hair
merchants - people who buy the slaves
hobbled - tied to linked to
Image Source: Source: "Boy Travelers on the Congo" by Thomas W Knox, New York 1871
Text and Image:
Document 2A
Document 2B
Document 2C
Image from the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, as cited at
Document 2D
Document 3A
Document 3B
Sugar Plantation in the Caribbean
Plantation in a southern colony
There were many Africans living in
Colonial New York. In these years, they
made up from 14 to 21 percent of the
population. In the earliest colonial,
enslaved New Yorkers cleared forest,
built roads, supplied lumber, and did
much farming. They were laborers and
house servants. During English rule
(1664-1781), a considerable number of
New York's slaves became skilled
artisans (blacksmiths, coopers,
carpenters, seament, etc.), who earned
money for their masters by being hired
out as contract workers. They typical
slave owners was a moderately
wealthy, middle class, white male who
had one or two slaves living in his attic
or basement.
Image from and text adapted from:
Slave Auction

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