a. Slaves were held in holding forts on the coast of Africa until slave ships arrived to transport them across the Atlantic Ocean.
b. The Colonies raw materials were sold and that money was used to buy slaves .
"An estimate for a cargo to purchase 250 Negroes at Bonny
" 5 cases pipe beads
80 rolls of blue cloth
300 rolls of cotton cloth
30 cloths blue
600 muskets 300 muskets
2 tons lead
14 tons iron
1000 copper rods
80 cases of brandy
The Middle Passage
The voyage that carried Africans into slavery across the Atlantic Ocean was called the 'Middle Passage'.
At the end of the voyage came the 'sale' of the slaves in the Colonies.
The Middle Passage Unimaginable Suffering
The Middle Passage
More detail about the middle passage
Slaves were taken from the holding forts, Chained together in pairs with leg-irons and carried to the ships. Once aboard they were branded with a red-hot iron, like cattle, to show who owned them and their clothes removed.
Slaves lay on specially built shelves with about 18 inches of vertical space. As long as they were in the hold slaves had to remain lying flat on their backs. Once at sea, the slaves were brought up out of their steamy dungeon each morning. Slaves would receive two meals, usually a kind of porridge made from maize or millet.
Chained in darkness and filth, seasickness and disease were rife. The heat in the hold could be over 30°c and the slaves would have no access to toilets or washing facilities. So foul was the smell of slave ships that other vessels took care to steer well away from them. In such conditions disease spread, and many slaves died.
Many slave captains were notorious for their cruelty. The actual voyage could take from 6 weeks to three months. It has been estimated that between 9-11 million people were taken from Africa by European traders and landed alive on the other side of the Atlantic. But 1 ½ million Africans are buried in the Atlantic Ocean between Africa and the Americas.
Then, the captains totted up the profits and the crew began cleaning out the ship to take on a cargo of colonial produce, which had to be carried in better conditions than the slaves had endured. As soon as the ship was ready and loaded, the final part of the trade triangle, could begin.
The Return Voyage
Ships were loaded with sugar, tobacco and rum paid for from the proceeds of the sale of slaves.
When these were sold in Europe the profits would be taken back to the coast of Africa to buy more slaves