Re: Reparations - Reply About Slave Ship Deaths

From: Lee Corbin (lcorbin@tsoft.com)
Date: Tue Jul 31 2001 - 00:10:14 MDT


Olga provided two links in reply to the links provided
by Al Villalobos. The first of Olga's are

> "the journey to the Americas as made it, then the total
> number of victims of the Middle Passage climbs to between
> 20 and 30 million."
 http://www.people.virginia.edu/~lrg4x/THEMIDDLEPASSAGE.html

Note the word "victims". This figure is obtained by taking
the figures that are commonly agreed (from many sources),
namely 11-12 million, and *doubling* them to account for
all the ones who died during the voyage. (I don't quite
understand this article---it says at one point that the
mortality rate was 10%-20% typically, but then implicitly
concludes that it was 50% later, when it says we should
double the number of arrivals in the Americas to obtain
the total that were taken from Africa towards the Americas.)

The second URL that Olga provides,

> "...The practice of slavery led to the deaths of at least
> 30 million people who died during transit in terrible
> conditions on the slave ships. Many British businesses
> and towns, such as Bristol, Liverpool and London,
> prospered because of their involvement in the slave trade."

 http://www.s-light.demon.co.uk/presspack/gh4.html

does not look at all scholarly to me. There is only this bland
assertion---that's it.

Olga wrote
-------------------Original Message-------------------------------------------

Regarding the numbers of slaves dead on slave ships, my source was the book I mentioned
earlier by Randall Robinson (Harvard Law; founder and president of TransAmerica; he played
significant role in abolishing apartheid in South Africa - for whatever this is worth)
called The Debt. I have done several Google searches myself, and have found many varying
numbers. I don't know ... maybe we'll never know. In any case, the "gestalt" of what I
wrote stands - whether 2 million slaves died en route, or 10 million, of more. Below are
a couple of sites I found that hint at the "millions" dead on slave ships - I am more
interested in as close as we can get to the objective truth, in any case (and I feel this
way about everything). The quotes below are taken from their respective links. I'm done
with this subject, folks (I know I've said this before, but now I promise you - "Yay! Yay!
Yay!" ~ Peanut Gallery). I thank you for your input. Olga

"... It is extremely difficult to estimate the number of African that died during the
Middle Passage. Most historians do believe that nearly as many Africans died en route as
made it to the Americas. In the 1969 study, The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census, Philip
Curtin estimated the number of Africans transported across the ocean to have been 8
million. Most studies since then, however, have increased this number. In 1997, Hugh
Thomasís The Slave Trade: The History of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870 placed the
number of Africans that arrived in the Americas at 11 million. Other recent studies using
documented evidence have placed their estimates from 10-15 million. If it is to be assumed
that just as many Africans perished during the journey to the Americas as made it, then
the total number of victims of the Middle Passage climbs to between 20 and 30 million."
 http://www.people.virginia.edu/~lrg4x/THEMIDDLEPASSAGE.html

"...The practice of slavery led to the deaths of at least 30 million people who died
during transit in terrible conditions on the slave ships. Many British businesses and
towns, such as Bristol, Liverpool and London, prospered because of their involvement in
the slave trade."

 http://www.s-light.demon.co.uk/presspack/gh4.html



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