It's taken I an' I a long time 2 put this particular post down. The problem with history is that, no matter how earnest the documentarian, it's flavoured by those who tell it, sometimes with tiny inflections, sometimes with broad strokes. Now we cld get n2 that... but nah, that's a whole 'nother conversation, mayb 4 a 'nother time. What I will say is this... Nothing is completely objective (if u disagree then hit me up, I'll set u str8), but in this particular case I feel that it wld b remiss on me 2 contextualise the following, as that is something u, the reader must do.
Think on the time in which what you read is taken from, if u find yr knowledge lacking, then feel free 2 check a few things out. Take into consideration what the World was, and how it was understood; what was mankinds' heights of technological, philosophical and sociological knowledge. How did people come 2 their sense of self, and understanding of worth in themselves and others. The thing that struck me is how much, even in this present era... especially in this era, that life is valued foremost by financial worth and its worth and sale-ability to others in a time of celebrity as religion, the iconography and devotional expression of this becoming so dominant, it's what really matters as told 2 us by the media high priests.
That same price on a human in another era... Put yrself in the position of those whose voices u will now hear spk, wld u express yrself any differently?
"Then for love of filthy Gold, straight they bore me to sea; Cramm'd be down a slave ships hold, Where were hundreds stow'd like me. ...Shrieking, sickening, fainting, dying, Deed of shame for Britons brave..."
Hannah More, The Sorrows of Yamba, or the Negro Woman's Lamentation, 1795
"From the observations that I have made, I have no doubt that the situation of the West India slaves is preferable to that of the labouring poor of Europe"
James Tobin, sugar trader and owner of a plantation in Nevis, who believed that local (Bristol, a slave trade port) commerce would be destroyed by abolition
"He avoided... all connection with the slave trade, declaring that the credit of his house would be ruined, if he were known to send those, who put themselves under his care, into it."
Thomas Clarkson, an abolitionist, referring to a Mr Thompson, a pub landlord who wouldn't allow slave-ship recruiters into his pub, putting his welfare and safety at risk
"We hope (the cargo) will purchase you 240 choice slave(s), besides a Quantity of ivory, the latter of which you are always to embrace... seeing in that commodity there's no Mortality to be feared"
"So soon as you begin to slave, let the netting be fixed breast high fore and aft, and so keep them shackled and hand bolted to prevent them rising or leaping overboard"
Isaac Hobhouse, merchant, to William Barry, Master of the ship Dispatch, 1725
" 'My husband' said she, 'lost all by gaming, he was forced to sell me'.
'Left you children behind?'
'Yes' replied the poor creature with streaming eyes, and raised one finger, as an indication of the number."
Zachary Macaulay, Governor of the Sierra Leone colony, to his sister, 1795
"As an abstract question, freedom must be held preferable to slavery, but I very much doubt whether, if the Negroes in the West Indies were to have their freedom granted them, they would be nearly as happy as that are now?"
The aforementioned James Tobin, to a Parliamentary committee, 1790
"If there were no buyers there would be no sellers"
Ottobah Cuguano, freed African slave, in the book Thoughts and Sentiments on the... Traffic of the Commerce of the Human Species, 1787
Since my arrival I've purchased 9 negroe slaves at St Kitts and can assure you I was shock'd at the first apprearance of human flesh expos'd to Sale. But surely God ordain'd 'em for ye use & benefit for us: otherwise his Divine will wou'd have been made manifest by some particular Sign or Token."
John Pinney, 2 March 1765
"Captain Tucker went immediately to the cabin, and brought out with him his large horse-whip, and exercised it about my body in so unmerciful a manner, that not only the clothes on my back were cut to pieces, but every sailor on board declared they could see my bones."
From The Life of Mr Silas Told, written by himself, 1786
"We... fitted out again for... Africa and thence to Charlestown... during the gale we lost 20 or so of the slaves... and the remainder much impaired, so that we came to a very bad market."
Joseph Banfield, Journey of a Life at Sea, 1780's
"This fellow seemed to disdain the other slaves for their readiness to be examined and scorned to look at the Buyers... This got him an unmerciful whipping... from his master... Who had certainly killed him but for the loss he must have sustained by it"
John Atkins, Royal Navy surgeon, in A Voyage to Guinea, 1721
"Great Benin... is larger than Lisbon... The city is wealthy and industrious. It is so well governed that theft in unknown and the people live in such security that they have no doors on their houses"
Lourenco Pinto, Portuguese ship's captain, 1694
"...a Trade, altogether as advantageous to the Natives as to us, for whilst we supplied them with Things they wanted, and were of Value amongst them, we took in exchange Slaves, which were else of little Worth to the Proprietors"
John Cary, merchant, in A Discourse Of The Advantage of The African Trade to This Nation, 1711
"I, John Jea, ... was born in the town of Old Callabar, in Africa, in the year 1773 ... At two years and a half old, I and my father, mother, brothers, and sisters, were stolen, and conveyed to North America and sold for slaves"
John Jea, freed slave and Christian Preacher, in The Life ... of John Jea ..., 1815
It's always good 2 listen 2 the voices of those b4 us, whether we like what we hear of not, but then that depends on what those voices say 2 u... what did u hear?
Corrd the Seeker