The Diligent: A Voyage Through the Worlds Of The Slave Trade

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Basic Books, Dec 21, 2002 - History - 496 pages
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The Diligent began her journey in Brittany in 1731, and Harms follows her along the African coast where her goods were traded for slaves, to Martinique where her captives were sold to work on sugar plantations. Harms brings to life a world in which slavery was a commerce carried out without qualms. He shows the gruesome details of daily life aboard a slave ship, as well as French merchants wrangling with their government for the right to traffic in slaves, African kings waging epic wars for control of European slave trading posts, and representatives of European governments negotiating the complicated politics of the Guinea coast to ensure a stead supply of labor for their countries' colonies. The Diligent is filled with rich stories that explain how the slave trade worked on all levels, from geopolitics to the rigging of ships.
 

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User Review  - Scapegoats - LibraryThing

A great read, based on the journal of a French slave trader. This book takes us through the details of a slave voyage, beginning with the economics driving the slave trade, moving through the actual ... Read full review

The Diligent: a voyage through the worlds of the slave trade

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The author of two books on Africa, Harms follows the course of the French-owned slave ship The Diligent on its voyage in 1731 from Vannes, France, down the West African coast, and finally to ... Read full review

Contents

The Financiers
29
Outfitting a Slaver
63
Sailing South
87
Cruising the African Coast
119
Whydah
149
Assou
197
Jakin
225
Atlantic Islands
265
Martinique
331
the Return
377
Afterword
409
Reconstructing the Balance Sheet of the Diligent
411
Abbreviations Used in Notes
415
Notes
417
Index
453
Copyright

The Middle Passage
293

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Page xvii - Dieu! cried I to myself, do all the wastes, the deserts, the heath, ling, furze, broom, and bog that I have passed for three hundred miles lead to this spectacle ? What a miracle, that all this splendour and wealth of the cities in France should be so unconnected with the country...

About the author (2002)

Robert Harms is Professor of History at Yale University. He is the author of two books about Africa, River of Wealth, River of Sorrow and Games Against Nature. He lives in Guilford, Connecticut.

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