Equiano described the horrors of a slave ship based on his firsthand experience. He describes what it was like to be thrown onto a ship, the indescribable smell of being crammed on the deck with so many other slaves, and the floggings he and the other slaves received for not eating. The slaves were so tightly packed together the air was dangerous to breath, and many of the slaves became sick and died from it, while others suffocated to death. Men were pushed to the brink of starvation, tried to steal food, and were severely flogged for it. Others tried to jump overboard and drown rather than accept their life of misery.
Slavery in America was considered to be one of the most devastating acts in history. African American people were torn from their homelands and sold at auction to the highest bidder. Men, women, and children were forced into slavery or born into it, experiencing harsh conditions such as abuse, neglect, and even death. This experience though did not always happen, some slaves were treated fairly and were never punished by their owner’s. Events such like this were recalled by two former slaves by the names of Aunt Harriet Smith and Charlie Smith.
The Spaniards gave them gifts of beads and red caps.(Doc 1) They believed these gifts would encourage the Natives to show them where the gold and other wealth was. However, as Columbus became more and more frustrated with the lack of help from the Arawaks, his treatment of them became increasingly worse. Eventually, all of the Arawaks were in slavery and were being worked to death. They were treated as sub-human and had no freedom.
One of the events in the history of the anti-slavery fight in the United States that caused the highest number of fatalities was The Nat Turner Rebellion. It was a highly important event that has changed the course of American history and the slavery abolishment. The United States became an entirely other place than it would have been without the rebellion. Thus, there is no wonder that even literature covers this period and these events. The book The Fires of Jubilee written by Stephen B. Oates depicts the atmosphere of trouble and chaos resulting from Nat Turner's rebellion and tells a story of a man who was born as a slave to gain freedom.
On the contrary, most of my indentured servants have died out due to malaria bearing mosquitoes infesting our humid rice paddies during the scorching summer. However, I have turned to Africans who have somehow managed to build immunity to yellow fever and malaria. Several plantation owners like me have needed around 65 slaves to do the strenuous work, therefore, the Africans appear to be outnumbering us in terms of population. In addition, tensions have sizzled amongst the slaves and the plantation owners through the force and control which is necessary due to their recent behavior from arson and violence. The worst of all mischief occurred during the Stono Rebellion.
Both Mary and Equiano suffered greatly upon their being taken. They both endured mental, physical, and emotional distress at being torn from their families and friends. Equiano was only a child when he was taken from his village, away from everything and everyone he had ever known, so the natural fear of parental separation would be terrifying in itself. Many years later, as he was being shipped overseas, he witnessed the cruel and inhumane treatment of innocent people. In describing the living conditions of the slave ship, Equiano states, “The shrieks of the women, and the groans of the dying, rendered the whole a scene of horror almost inconceivable” (Equiano 1279).
Some of the punishments were being shackled, being chained to the ground, being whipped, and being hung to die. Plantation owners often made the other slaves watch it because it will prevent them from slacking at work or trying to run away. All of this is related to Solomon during his 12 years of hardship work. The things that Northup did was disobeying a white man’s order and then putting his hands on him. By doing that, his consequences were getting hung.
Many complications arise when proving the slave conspiracy in Winthrop D. Jordan 's Tumult and Silence at Second Creek. In Mississippi during the spring and summer of 1861, slaves from Adams County plotted to gain freedom from their owners. Following the unveiling of the conspiracy to the slave-owners, the so-called court proceedings show reason to believe that something went awry. The way the slave-owners arrived at the information of the conspiracy and the way they proceeded in court lead to questions about the legitimacy of the conspiracy. Also, each reply from the slaves resemble each other with uncanny similarity.
“The people of the great vessel were wicked: when we had been shipped, they took away all the small pieces of cloth which were on our bodies, and threw them into the water, then they took chains and tethered two together. Every morning they had to take the man, and throw them into the water,” (First Hand Accounts Case Study). This quote suggests that the crew expressed little sympathy to slaves. This is demonstrated in the novel by Paula Fox The Slave Dancer.
Aunt Hester was physically beaten until” warm, red blood”, said Douglass, fell from her body. She was humiliated by Colonel Lloyd, because she was not present when he requested her. Frederick Douglass described the scene to be, “horror stricken.” This was his first exposure to the gruesome backlash of slavery. Murdering a slave was socially different than murdering anyone else.
Slaves used escape resistance by running away using the underground railroad, or getting out of work. For example, a woman might fake a pregnancy to escape work. As for revolt, there were many cases of this. Nat Turner along with other slaves killed their master’s family in the middle of the night, then they went around killing many other white mes. Even though slaves were forced to become property,
Most were born into slavery and were only provided food and wellbeing by their slave-owners so when they escaped them, they essentially had nothing but the clothes on their back. Once the slave-holders realized their slave had escaped they would send dogs out to find them and if that was unsuccessful they would post wanted posters for their run-away slaves. If any run-away slave was publicly seen by a white man seeking for them or familiarized with their owners they were captured and brought back to their master. Linda learned about this first hand from watching her brother escape for
This unprecedented global tragedy claimed millions of lives over four centuries, and left a terrible legacy that continues to dehumanize and subjugate people around the world to this day. The forced movement of West Africans across the Atlantic to the Caribbean happened on cutting-edge scale of brutality and inhumanity, killings and massive abuses. Millions died without a burial, without a trace. These Europeans paid no monetary price for their progress, but they incurred a terrible cost in the form of the of the root racism that we still battle today. The slave trade left an ineradicable mark.
They stood, shackled, in an area underneath the ship that contained less than five feet of room above their head. A few hundred slaves under the ship left barely any room for the slaves to move around. Due to the lack of room and incapability to move freely, the slaves used the restroom on the floor where they were standing, causing much disease and death along the passage (The Middle Passage). Once the Africans made it to America, they were auctioned off as slaves (A slave auction in South Carolina).
Olaudah Equiano was an African American man in England during the late 1700s. His racial color alone automatically ascribed him as a slave during this time period. In 1789, Equiano wrote a memoir about his journey as a slave. At this time, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was taking place. Therefor slavery was very common, and it was not abnormal for a young child to be kidnapped and forced into slavery (Equiano 3).