Traders, Planters and Slaves: Market Behavior in Early by David W. Galenson

By David W. Galenson

The explosive progress of the Atlantic slave exchange within the moment 1/2 the 17th century made the overseas exchange in Africans one of many world's biggest industries. This publication explores the operation of that within the overdue 17th and early eighteenth centuries, concentrating on the industry behaviour of the Royal African corporation - the most important English corporation engaged within the slave alternate - and the sugar planters of the Caribbean, who have been the trade's critical shoppers in English the USA. A richly designated portrayal of the slave exchange to English the US emerges, one who exhibits it to were a hugely aggressive and effective transatlantic industry. In revealing the lifestyles of subtle and intricate marketplace behaviour during this early interval of black slavery within the New international, the booklet provides to our realizing of the advance of large-scale aggressive markets, in addition to to our wisdom of the potency of source allocation in early English the United States.

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The captain would deliver his ship's cargo to the company factor who was resident there, and the factor would be responsible for furnishing a designated number of slaves for the ship's cargo. Alternatively, in the ship-trade, which was practiced in regions such as the Windward Coast where the company maintained no settlements, the ship's captain would act as supercargo, and he would personally select the places where he would trade his goods to the natives for slaves. These two types of trade were often both used on a single voyage, as a ship unable to fill its quota of slaves at a fort might travel along the coast looking for opportunities to buy additional slaves directly from native traders.

Although this trade was illegal in the early period of the company's activity, these "separate traders" were present from the beginning. During the four years from 1679 to 1682, for example, 32 interlopers were sighted and reported to the company by its agents in Barbados, Jamaica, Antigua, and Nevis; of these only 4 were seized by the agents. The actual number of these illegal cargoes was probably higher, for the records from which this count is drawn may be incomplete, and other voyages probably went undetected by company agents.

70 The Royal African Company's organizational problems were not restricted to Africa; other difficulties appeared after the slave cargoes had been loaded. Ships' captains were sometimes accused of taking the slaves consigned to them by factors and exchanging them elsewhere in Africa for equal numbers 26 African Company and organization of slave trade of less valuable slaves, keeping the profit for themselves at the expense of company revenues in the West Indies. Factors who suspected particular captains to be dishonest might mark or brand the slaves they gave to the captains in order to prevent this, but since this procedure was not routine, the factors apparently had to be prepared for considerable acrimony, and even resistance, in their dealings with these captains.

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