La Marie-Séraphine (1770) / Excerpt from Bertrand Guillet, La Marie-Séraphine: Navire négrier, Nantes: Editions MeMo, 2009. Featured Image
Broad Overview of the Middle Passage
Between the 16th and 19th centuries, 12.4 million Africans were enslaved by Europeans and transported to various countries in the Americas. The Middle Passage was the middle stop of the “triangular trade”: European slavers would first sail to the western coast of Africa to trade a variety of goods for people who had been captured in war, kidnapped, or sentenced to enslavement as punishment for a crime; they would then transport enslaved people to the Americas and sell them in order to purchase sugar, rum, and other products; the third leg of the journey was back to Europe.