Slavery: Alexander Falconbridge And Olaudah Equiano

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Slavery is a legal or economic system under which people are treated as property. Though laws and systems vary, as property, enslaved persons, referred to as "slaves", may be bought and sold. Slaves can be held from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation. Slavery has existed before written history and has existed in many cultures. The first arrivals of Africans in America were treated similarly to the indentured servants in Europe. Black servants were treated differently from the white servants and by 1740 the slavery system in colonial America was fully developed. Close to two million slaves were brought to the American South from African and the West Indies…show more content…
Alexander Falconbridge was a surgeon on several of the slave ships that sailed from Africa to Europe. In his document, Mr. Falconbridge describes the living conditions that the African people had to endure during the middle passage from Africa to Europe. What he describes is horrifying and yet insightful about the way the African people were treated and handled. It was known by the slave traders that sometimes before the African people could reach the auctions, some of them would die from cruelty, lack of food, and a number of other things. The African people were bought at auctions that dealt with the selling of humans. After they were purchased they were taken to the slave ships. On these ships they were made to lie down with their hands tied and were kept a close eye on. Falconbridge describes the conditions on the slave ship and what they eat while they are on board. Falconbridge states that “The diet of the Negroes while on board, consists chiefly of horse beans boiled to the consistency of a pulp; of boiled yams and rice and sometimes a small quantity of beef or pork.” (Falconbridge) As this doesn’t seem to be the most appealing meal, slaves would sometimes refuse to eat the food. Slave owners would be upset with the slaves for doing so because they wanted to keep them healthy so they could work on the plantation, and would even severely beat the slaves. Falconbridge states describes this scene in his text; “Upon the Negroes refusing to take sustenance, I have seen coals of fire, glowing hot, put on a shovel and placed so near their lips as to scorch and burn them. And this has been accompanied with threats of forcing them to swallow the coals if they any longer persisted in refusing to eat. These means have generally had the desired effect. I have also been

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