When the slaves reached shore after a long perilous journey, they would immediately be auctioned off to prospective buyers who would examine them, make them jump, run etc to see how strong they were. They were needed on plantation fields. Some were treated fairly, most were not.
Excerpt from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African.
We were not many days in the merchant's custody before we were sold after their usual manner, which is this:--On a signal given, (as the beat of a drum) the buyers rush at once into the yard where the slaves are confined, and make choice of that parcel they like best. The noise and clamour with which this is attended, and the eagerness visible in the countenances of the buyers, serve not a little to increase the apprehensions of the terrified Africans, who may well be supposed to consider them as the ministers of that destruction to which they think themselves devoted. In this manner, without scruple, are relations and friends separated, most of them never to see each other again. I remember in the vessel in which I was brought over, in the men's apartment, there were several brothers, who, in the sale, were sold in different lots; and it was very moving on this occasion to see and hear their cries at parting.
O, ye nominal Christians! might not an African ask you, learned you this from your God, who says unto you, Do unto all men as you would men should do unto you? Is it not enough that we are torn from our country and friends to toil for your luxury and lust of gain? Must every tender feeling be likewise sacrificed to your avarice?
Are the dearest friends and relations, now rendered more dear by their separation from their kindred, still to be parted from each other, and thus prevented from cheering the gloom of slavery with the small comfort of being together and mingling their sufferings and sorrows? Why are parents to lose their children, brothers their sisters, or husbands their wives? Surely this is a new refinement in cruelty, which, while it has no advantage to atone for it, thus aggravates distress, and adds fresh horrors even to the wretchedness of slavery.
Some were sold in the Caribbean, some in South America, some in North America, and others in Europe. All were slaves. (About 49% of all slaves in the Western hemisphere went to South America; 38% went to the Caribbean; a little over 7% went to Mexico and Central America; 4.5% ended up in the United States.)
|camera||Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL|
|exposure mode||aperture priority|