Plan, profile and layout of the ship Marie Séraphique Contributor: Nantes History Museum, Castle of the Dukes of Brittany
Plan, profile and layout of the ship Marie Séraphique of Nantes, outfitted by Mr. Gruel, for Angola, under the command of Gaugy, who dealt in Loango. This document is exceptional in many respects. It represents the arrival of the slaves acquired by the captain Gaugy aboard the Marie Séraphique, a slave vessel of Nantes armed by Gruel. In this voyage, slave traders loaded 307 men, women, and children by pirogues, which approached the vessel in waters off Loango. The detailed contents of the hold, the steerage, and the bridge, indicated by this rare watercolor, suggest a complex organization on board the vessel. Illustrations of captives, their positions noted with accuracy, reveal some wrapped with linen and doubtlessly suffering in the middle of the steerage. These are visual testimonies of the hardships and horrors faced by captives during the Middle Passage. Apparently, this document was created at the request of the ship owner. The general table of this slave trading voyage, begun August 25 and finished December 16, 1769, presented in the bottom, details the journey in chilling numbers.