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The Slave Auctions

                      The Slave Auctions



Pre 17th Century 

Why were slaves needed

Why African slaves

The Transatlantic Trade

The Outward Passage

The Middle Passage

The Slave Auctions

Plantation Life

The Return Passage

Bristol v Liverpool

Royal African Co.

Merchant Venturers

Edward Colston

John Pinney

The End of Slavery

Bristol Today



As the ship arrived in the West Indies (or the southern States of America), a gun would be sounded and buyers and sightseers would gather for the auction. The slaves would often be treated like animals, not human beings:                                       

slave being sold.jpg (20554 bytes)" the slaves were brought in one at a time and mounted upon the chair before the bidders, who handled and inspected them with as little concern as if they had been examining cattle at Smithfield Market".

Slaves who were not bought because they were too sick or weak were known as 'refuse' slaves. At an agreed time, the doors of the auction yard were thrown open and a scramble of buyers rushed in to grab any 'refuse' slaves they could get their hands on. Any slaves too sick to be of service were left to die on the wharf.

Prices for healthy slaves rose throughout the 18th century:    Image14jpg.jpg (48713 bytes)

        1709 - 20                      

        1780 - 50                      

        1800 - 100

As plantation owners liked to pick and choose their slaves to get a 'mixture' ( by which they meant people of different nations) slave families were often split up and sent to different plantations.

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