The Slave Trade: a Terrible Picture

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History 207
Essay #1

Slavery is wrong. This is a way of thought that we are taught as soon as we are deemed old enough to understand it. Slavery is an idea that is almost as old as the human race and, considering that, we have only moved away from it recently. It took the cruelty and mistreatment of more than 10 million Africans to finally make people realize that what they were doing was terrible, and that human beings should be treated with a certain level of respect and kindness. Right when Slavery was becoming a controversial practice there were two men who wrote regarding the matter: Mahommah Gardo Baquaqua, who experienced slavery first-hand, and Robert Walsh, who dealt with slavery from the side of opposition. Both of their accounts paint a terrible picture of the slave trade, the focus of both being on the inhumane treatment of the enslaved.

Baquaqua was captured and experienced slavery first hand, so his account shows how deplorable the slave trade was. Baquaqua tells of his journey from his home to the coast of Africa which, though eventful and unpleasant, is nothing compared to the sea voyage. It was during the voyage that the real horror of the slave trade was brought to life, both physically and mentally: “…pity the poor African, who has been trepanned and sold away from friends and home, and consigned to the hold of a slave ship, to await even more horrors and miseries in a distant land…”Baquaqua’s words really tell of the sorrow that slaves felt, being ripped away from their home and destined to a strange land full of people who will treat them as objects to be bartered for, traded, and eventually discarded. The conditions aboard such slave ships were abysmal. The slaves were treated worse than livestock: being crammed into incredibly tight spaces, given very little water, and were only allowed to clean themselves twice over the course of the entire journey. “… the hold was so low that we could not stand up … the loathsomeness and filth of...
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