A Guide to Sites, Museums, and Memory

Slave Trades

<i>Traite des Nègres</i>
Traite des Nègres printed textile, circa 1820–30. European abolitionists used commodities such as this printed textile to expose the inhumanity of the slave trade. The textile contrasts the cruel treatment of the slave traders with the hospitality of Africans who befriended a white shipwrecked family. It is based on George Morland's 1791 paintings of “The Slave Trade” and “African Hospitality.” The textile was probably originally used as a curtain.
<i>Slave Trade Abolished 1806</i>
Slave Trade Abolished 1806. Abolitionists used artwork such as this glass transfer print made in 1807 to commemorate the legal abolition of the slave trade. The print depicts a noble African Chieftain standing in front of a hut, while a message, “SLAVE TRADE abolished 1806,” is held with his right hand. Beside him is an Indian Princess, “America,” holding an American flag. To her right is a figure who appears to be George Washington.
Portrait of William Ansah Sessarakoo
Portrait of William Ansah Sessarakoo, circa 1749. In the 18th century, it was not uncommon for wealthy African leaders to send their sons, like William Ansah Sessarakoo, to Europe to be educated. In 1744, Sessarakoo boarded a ship to England when he was abruptly captured and sold into slavery when the ship stopped in Barbados. His father was able to secure his son’s freedom, and he continued his travel to England, where his portrait was taken.
  1. The Making of an Atlantic World >