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AS 2112: American People I Lost Slave Narratives Assignment #2 Professor Ryan Mc

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AS 2112: American People I
Lost Slave Narratives
Assignment #2
Professor Ryan McMillen
400+ words
Regions of Africa with information in the database
For your second assignment, you will engage in raw primary source research using the Transatlantic Slave Trade Database ( and the related site, African Origins.
The object of this short (400+ words) paper assignment is to provide a short report, with as much data as you can gather, about a particular person and/or ship involved in the slave trade.
The African Origins database contains the names of over 90,000 individuals forcibly captured and enslaved, but who were subsequently freed after the ships were intercepted and returned to Africa (usually to Sierra Leone.)
Both databases also contain the names of hundreds of ship captains involved in the slave trade, as well as the names of hundreds of vessels which made journeys around the Atlantic. One leg of the ship’s journey typically involved the forced transport of hundreds of kidnapped African men, women, and children to the Americas.
In your report, you should choose as your focus either one of those enslaved, a captain, or a ship and then amass as much information about that subject as you can using the resources of the database, as well as outside research regarding the ports, nations involved in the trade relevant to your subject, and/or ethnicities and languages of the peoples involved.
For instance, one way to complete the report is to go to the African Origins page and type a name in the search box available — any name. A list of similar names of those enslaved will appear, and then all you have to do is choose one of the individuals and start there. Beginning with that person, you should know their name (as it was recorded), the name of the ship they sailed on, perhaps the name of the captain of that ship, the port from which the ship left, and the port where the ship was returned to. You may also be able to discover the language and ethnicity of the individual, or the language/ethnicity of other travellers on the ship.
Using this information, you can write a short description of the journey undertaken by the person, with some speculative background information about the person’s life, and some description of the ship used in the transport.
You may also choose to focus on a ship captain, or a ship itself. Using the search functions of the Transatlantic Slave Database ( , you should be able to find out other voyages that ship undertook, where it was constructed, how much cargo it could hold, and much more.
Of course, you could also write your report on all three: African captive, ship captain, and ship — in describing the one voyage in detail.
Additional Resources for Background
Good resources for research into the languages and ethnicities you may encounter include the University of Iowa Art & Life in Africa ( site , or the Almanac of African Peoples and Nations.

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