Talk:Slave ship

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Who brought the slaves to America?[edit]

  • Who equipped all these ships?
  • Who equipped the first dozen slave ships traversing the Atlantic Ocean?
  • Who charterd all these ships?
  • Are ther details that can be reconstructed about the shipping company owners?
  • Who where the captains commanding the ships?
  • Wherer are the lists reporting all that stuff?

Got any clue? Help is more than welcome. Pitohui 08:20, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Slave ship image[edit]

The top image of a slave ship has an image use tag that is deprecated. I uploaded a valid image use item, in the Atlantic Slave Trade article, and perhaps that figure should replace the one here. --Dumarest 11:04, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Slave ship conditions[edit]

Please expand the article to include information on the conditions for the slaves on the ship:

  • How, what, and how often were the slaves fed and watered?
  • How were the slaves bound? How much room did they have to move their bodies or limbs?
  • How, where, and how often were the slaves bathed and exercised? (The Roots miniseries depicts the slaves being unchained to wash and exercise above decks.)
  • What arrangements were made for handling bodily waste? Were the slaves unbound to relieve themselves above decks, were there chamber pots that could be used in situ, or did the slaves have to soil themselves?
  • What diseases or injuries did the slaves typically get en route?
  • What diseases or injuries did the slaves typically die of en route?
  • What was the typical mortality rate?
  • What was the typical suicide rate? (Roots depicts a slave jumping overboard.)
  • Were the slaves given any medical care? If so, what?
  • How common and successful were slave revolts? (I know only of the Amistad. The Roots miniseries refers to an earlier successful revolt, but does not give many details.)

Psychonaut 21:16, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

On the last point, remarkably uncommon. One needs hope and inspiration; consider how even after emancipation it was decades before american blacks protested significantly; it took a charismatic leader and hope to make that happen.Bridesmill 21:33, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

The slaves would have been fed and watered well, probably better than the shipmates (since they were worth more money). Some slaves would not take food, and would probably be beaten to set an example for the others if they refused. Slaves were exercised regularly to try to keep them fit and healthy. They were chained for most of the voyage, so if they jumped (or were thrown) overboard they would immediately drown.
There would be virtually no room where they were kept; they would be side by side, lying down for most of the voyage. I believe they simply soiled themselves, so the stench of a slave ship would be quite unbearable. Water on the ship would be too precious to wash the decks down during the voyage, so that would have to wait until they reached land. The survival rate would not be very high, perhaps even below 50%. Nothing was really known about disease at the time, and the ship's surgeon or doctor may have only been a shipmate with basic medical knowledge, if they had one.
I can't guarantee the accuracy of any of these statements, I'm simply trying to give an overview based on what I have read. A section on the design of the ship would be good to start with, as well as a section conveying the experience of being a slave and shipmate on the voyage. Richard001 00:37, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Roots of slavery in America[edit]

Not sure whether the point about 'decimated natives' is valid or realistic; Indigenous peoples were never significantly placed in servitude, nor was this attemtped on any scale.Bridesmill 21:38, 15 July 2006 (UTC)


Can you read french? If so, u will find all your questions answered here by Bwemba-Bong Absolutly every little detail. It also delivers lists of ship owners. Fazoletto 17:43, 16 July 2006 (UTC)


Someone revert the article... Paul Haymon 17:48, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. Paul Haymon 01:11, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Conditions Really?[edit]

How much of what conditions were like on slave ships is from genuine historical sources? I ask only because it seems to me the owners would want to maximize profits. An enormously high death toll would be less profitable than a lower one. I have difficulty believing a sensible bussiness person would pack slaves in so tight theat the majority died or looked ill upon arriving for sale. 07:05, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

How comes? Slaves were regarded as tradable goods. Ship Owners only had in mind their Rate of profit. Sad but true. Pitohui 20:03, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

The problem with this article is very aptly highlighted in the comments above. There is a notable lack of genuine historical sources on the subject. As one example of that, it can be inferred that there must have been a well established Atlantic slave trade for several decades before the Americas were discovered. This can be deduced from the few surviving records of the trade in unfortunate West Africans at the fifteenth century Lisbon slave markets. There are also some records of slaves being used for the development of sugar plantations in the Canary islands and Azores, around that period. There are no surviving records of the ships or the people that were engaged in that slave trade. Given the relatively small capacity of ships, at that time, it would seem that there must have been a considerable number of ships engaged in the business. Some historians have estimated that from 1480 to 1500, there was a yearly average of 800 slaves traded at the Lisbon slave market. Although there is nothing good to be said about the morals and ethics of the slave trade, the complex logistics involved were much more demanding than the conventional cargoes of the time. Voyages had to be done swiftly and efficiently, if they were to be profitable. In an article which is intended to be about the ships (rather than the horrors of the slave trade) perhaps this is an aspect which should also be considered.Norloch (talk) 10:06, 23 October 2009 (UTC)[edit]

While cleaning up the link section (restoring broken URLs and such) I have deleted this link. Reasons: No direct link to the list of slave ships is possible - you get referred back to the main page automatically. Furthermore from this main page you're treated to a website with a radical apparently Kemetist agenda, which IMHO is portrayed there in a way that is

  • unscientific
  • using hateful speech
  • anti-Semitic
  • anti-Muslim
  • anti-Christian

Please note: I did not delete because of personal religious beliefs (I'm an agnostic atheist). The only offense I took was against my sense of civility, good logic and proper science in general. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BharatKulamarva (talkcontribs) 20:40, 10 February 2010 (UTC) See the remarkable history of the slave revolt on the Meermin:

Also the amazing escape of the slaves on board L'Utile is documented in the French Wikipedia along with information about conditions on board French slave ships. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Qetzel (talkcontribs) 21:13, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Slave ships[edit]

I have the severest misgivings about the design of these slave ships. As several contributors have stated, slaves were valuable goods and profits only made on the landing of a healthy slave. These various ship plans all seem to date to the period of when the slave trade was increasingly likely to be abolished and it was necessary to present the wost possible overcrowding scenario to support that same impending abolition.AT Kunene (talk) 13:26, 1 March 2012 (UTC)


I strongly suggest that we refer to slaves as the Human Beings that they were. To continue to use the word 'Slave' is to undermine the human tragedy that was caused by the need to profit on the backs of others. Those ‘Slaves’ were people who had lives, who were treated with such horrors that nobody today could ever imagine. Articles like these continue to dismiss the degradation imposed on them and treat the evil atrocities inflicted on nearly twenty million people as nothing! ~~Rubychung 17th of October, 2012~~

You're overreacting. Nobody's dehumanizing anyone, saying slavery was a good thing, or acting like it was "nothing". The article's quite clear that the conditions they were transported in were poor. What viable alternative even exists? Things can be given fair treatment without prostrating ourselves in collective guilt. The article can use more details and sources, but there's nothing glaringly wrong like you're suggesting. --Xanzzibar (talk) 23:12, 17 October 2012 (UTC)