Slavery Individual Study

So, Now you are here and reading I will introduce you! Today I will answer one of the many questions surrounding slavery. "Which part of a slaves life is the worst?" Out of the main areas, The Capture, They Middle Passage and life on the plantation. Throughout we will look right in depth into all of the parts of a slaves life.

Chains one of the most common sightings through a slave ship.
This is a mural of slavary

European slave traders did not capture slaves themselves they where usually captured by African chiefs who "sent parties inland" to capture other citizens or members of other tribes. They where then held captive in "cages" until the Britons arrived. (This could happen as soon as a day after!) They where then traded with the British for easily accessible objects in Britain such as: rum / alcohol; guns and weapons; and cloth.

During this stage, as it was short, there was no need to feed or water the slaves they where treated like mere possessions being "tied up and stuffed in a sack" and "sold" just like food or objects.

This is just the start of something horrendous known as the slave trade...

(Source: Page 1 "basic facts", source 1 "Olaudah Equiano")

The Middle Passage.

Next for the life of the slaves was the middle passage. The middle passage was arguably the worst part for the slaves as it could last up to 10 weeks and "many died"

Below the deck, the "stench and crying" made people "so sick and low" that they "wanted to die" the slaves where chained together in twos so they had to be together at all times! The boat was filled 200% meaning that conditions where extremely cramped and unfit for living. The air was unfit to breath with desiese spreading rapidly! Many of the slaves had to be force fed so they survived!

On the ships the slaves where treated ALOT worse than back on land! If the slaves misbehaved made a mistake or if the slave masters felt like it, they would be whipped. Some slaves where "whipped so hard, they died!

(Sources: Equiano Olaudah; source 4 page 7)

Being sold

The next stage was being sold. They where taken off the ship shoved into tiny pens (image Below) and held. They where then washed and covered in grease or sometimes tar to appear more "healthy"

They where then sold like goods, items with promotion posters and the worst part, they where auctioned. This was the process of being sold to the highest bidder for whatever the new slave master wanted... this can be work on farms / plantations or even as outrageous as use for sex.

(Source:, page 6)

Slave pens.
Promotion poster.
Life as a slave

Life as a slave consisted of early rise; horrible living conditions; no where near enough food; and probably dieing on the job. Slaves where often wipped beaten had to live off minimal food and in some cases non at all. Some slaves where beaten to death some died from dehydration some starved and some died from the overwhelming workload

Many of them lived in unfit conditions sleeping in pens on the floor with complete strangers. Desiese spread rapidly throughout plantations due to the cramped conditions.

Slaves lasted an average 2-7 years on a plantation.

Slaves working on a plantation
Plantation life

In conclusion I think that the life on the plantation was the worst stage due to the huge amount of deaths and the conditions. Working on these plantations would be no easy task.

Created By
Sam Ellis


Created with images by PublicDomainPictures - "chain iron metal" • kudumomo - "Slaves" Sam Ellis 2017

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.