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R. Drake Slave Smuggler


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Richard Drake Slave Smuggler:

We had half the gang on deck today for exercise; they danced and sang, under the driver's whip, but are far from sprightly... Last Tuesday the smallpox began to rage, and we hauled 60 corpses out of the hold...The sights which I witness may I never look on such again. This is a dreadful trade...I am growing sicker every day of this business of buying and selling human beings for beasts of burden... On the eighth day [out at sea] I took my round of the half deck, holding a camphor bag in my teeth; for the stench was hideous. The sick and dying were chained together. I saw pregnant women give birth to babies whilst chained to corpses, which our drunken overseers had not removed. The blacks were literally jammed between decks as if in a coffin; and a coffin that dreadful hold became to nearly one half of our cargo before we reached Bahia [in Brazil].
- Revelations of a Slave Smuggler (1860)

6th Mar 2008 by Diane Earl


Key Stages:
Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

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