icon for Home page
icon for Kid's Home page
icon for Digital Collection
icon for Activities
icon for Turns Exhibit
icon for In the Classroom
icon for Chronologies
icon for My Collection

Online Collection

THE SLAVE TRADE.--Probably there is no place in the United States, where so many vessels are fitted out for the African slave trade, as the port of New York. A late paper, gives the number as between 30 and 40 that were fitted out at that place during the last ten or twelve months. And there seems to be evident disposition on the part of public officers, whose duty it is to put a stop to such unlawful proceedings, rather to aid in getting of the suspected vessels, than to arrest them in the execution of their infamous design. An instance of this occurred in New York last week. Several officers, among them a nephew or relative of the famous Capt. Rynders (of cruising memory, and present U. S. marshal of New York,) visited a suspected vessel, and as is alleged through the powerful influence of some $1500 or $2000 given to them by somebody, the vessel suffered to depart. From the account given of the character of the craft, her rig and build, equipment and stores on board, and other circumstances, no rational doubt can be entertained but that she was fitted out expressly for a slave voyage to the coast of Africa.

Things have gone on in this way for years, and the trade has rapidly increased, and so brazen faced and daring have the miscreants become, that they boldly make use of and fit out their ships in the principal port of the great free state of New York, and thus boldly trample on and set at defiance the laws of the United States.

It is stated, but we can hardly believe it, that even women in New York, have money invested in this inhuman and accursed traffic. If this is the disgraceful fact, it cannot be that they are American women, born and nursed in the atmosphere of freedom. An American free state woman, guilty of furnishing money to help carry on and sharing the profits arising from the slave trade, is too shameful and too monstrous for belief.

A recent letter from an officer of the United States ship Portsmouth, on the African coast, says-- "The few months' experience we have had on the coast, has thoroughly convinced us, that the whole slave coast is, we may say, lined with slavers, who are generally from New York, cleared from the Custom-House, bringing all the appliances of the trade with them, and maneuvering about on the coast, under various pretenses and disguises of legal traffic."

The same officer, speaking from personal observation of the sufferings endured by the wretched beings on board of the slave vessels, says-- "Indeed, human language is incapable of describing, or imagination of sketching even the faint outline of a dimly floating fancy of what their condition is-- homesick, seasick, half starved, naked, crying for air, for water, the strong killing of the weak, or dying in order to make room, the hold becomes a perfect charnel-house of death and misery-- a misery and anguish only conceivable by those who have endured it. Ophthalmia breaks out; every new case is thrown overboard, under the supposition that the disease is contagious, and those who are dying meet the same fate. This is no fancy sketch."

And what administration is it, that suffers the continuance, of this horrid and disgraceful traffic, when it has ample power to suppress it? Reader! it is the administration of James Buchanan. The gentleman that has done many things since he has been President of the United States that will not tell well in history.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Contact us for information about using this image.

label levels:

The direct importation of slaves from Africa into the United States was officially ended in 1808 by an act of Congress. That same year Great Britain also forbade the slave trade into the English colonies of the New World. Great Britain, whose government was much more sympathetic to the antislavery movement than the United States, then began a campaign to force all other countries from importing African slaves. By 1838 the entire British Empire was free from chattel slavery, as were all of the Spanish-speaking Latin American countries save Cuba. Brazil too, had a large slave economy, as did some of the French colonial islands. Technically, Brazil signed treaties that closed the African slave trade but a thriving illegal trade sprang up. The others continued to allow the importation of slaves from African. In the 1820s, Great Britain began vigorous efforts to stop the slave trade, even boarding and seizing vessels of other countries. Many of these ships were vessels based in U.S. harbors, with the profits going to American owners. The abolitionist movement in the U.S. fought against this with a number of tactics including articles such as this one. They hoped by publicizing specific persons involvement in the trade they would be shamed into stopping. The trade, both legal and illegal, continued into the 1860s.


top of page

"The Slave Trade"

publisher   Greenfield Gazette and Courier
date   May 18, 1860
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
height   12.0"
width   2.5"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L02.113

Look Closer icon My Collection icon Document Image icon Detailed info icon

ecard icon Send an e-Postcard of this object

See Also...

"Sacrifice of Life"

"The Slave Trade - The Administration"

"The African Slave Trade"

"Exhibition of the Young Men's Lyceum"

button for Side by Side Viewingbutton for Glossarybutton for Printing Helpbutton for How to Read Old Documents


Home | Online Collection | Things To Do | Turns Exhibit | Classroom | Chronologies | My Collection
About This Site | Site Index | Site Search | Feedback