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Dr Alexander Falconbridge -On board the ship


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Dr Alexander Falconbridge describes the middle passage:

The slaves lie on bare planks. The surgeon, upon going between decks, in the morning, to examine the situation, frequently finds several dead. These dead slaves are thrown to the sharks.

It often happens that those who are placed at a distance from the latrine buckets, in trying to get to them, tumble over their companions, as a result of being shackled. This situation is added to by the tubs being too small and only emptied once every day.
Fever - Alexander Falconbridge (a ship's doctor), An Account of the Slave Trade (1788)
Some wet and blowing weather having caused the port-holes to be shut, fluxes and fevers among the negroes followed. I frequently went down among them, till at length their apartments became so excessively hot as to be only bearable for a very short time...
The floor of their rooms was so covered in the blood and mucus which had come from them because of the flux, that it resembled a slaughter-house...

Interviewed in Bristol with Thomas Clarkson

13th Mar 2008 by Diane Earl


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

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