Trade. It exhibits the number of negroes shipped and the number delivered throughout nine years, from 1680 to 1688, both inclusive, by the "African Company," and is from a statement made by the company itself. It is as follows:
Years. Negroes Negroes Yearly Average
shipped. delivered. loss. loss.
1680 5,190 3,751 27 2/3
1681 6,327 4,989 21 1/7
1682 6,330 4,494 29
1683 9,081 6,488 28 1/2
1684 5,384 3,845 28 1/2
1685 8,658 6,304 29 3/4
1686 8,355 6,812 18 2/5
1687 5,606 4,777 14 4/5
1688 5,852 4,936 15 2/3
Total 60,783 46,394 ---- 23 2/3
The mortality, it will be observed, was 14,389 out of 60,783 shipped; that is 23 2/3 per cent. a
The results from an official table like this, presenting an average on so large a scale, are far more reliable than any deductions from isolated cases or individual testimony or opinion. The very witnesses who spoke of 5 per cent. as the usual loss, when pressed in cross-questioning, admitted far heavier losses to be of frequent occurrence, as John Newton, Archibald Dalzell, Thomas Eldred. This last admitted that on a single voyage he lost half his slaves and half his crew.
The great crime avenged itself on those who aided in its perpetration. The epidemics which prevailed among the slaves were often communicated to the sailors, exposed as they were on deck day and night, and daily employed in occupations the most infectious and revolting, cleansing the lower decks and the like.
Sir George Yonge says "a Guinea ship seldom returns with more than half her complement of sailors, and he believes the annual loss of seamen in that trade is equal to the manning of two ships of the line."
The celebrated Thomas Clarkson supplied to the Lords" committee evidence of this point. He submitted a table exhibiting the results at to eighty-eight slavers that returned to Liverpool in the years 1786 and 1787. It showed that out of 3,170 sailors shipped there came home but 1,428, less than one-half; 642 (about 20 per cent.) are recorded as having died. The rest had deserted or were left behind on account of sickness. Of those who returned many went to the hospital and never recovered their health.
Another table shows the deaths of seamen on 24 West Indiamen, in a single voyage, to have been 6, while in 24 slavers it was 216. The average number of seamen employed on slavers being 36 on each (as 3,170 on 88 vessels in the table just referred to), the above is a mortality of 216 out of 864, or just 25 per cent.
Mr. Clarkson shows by other tables that the loss of seamen on board slavers is twenty times as great in proportion to numbers as on board vessels in the Petersburg or Newfoundland or Greenland trade; and he adds an expression of his belief that "the annual loss of seamen
a It is worthy of regard, in connection with this excessive mortality, that it occurred among persons all taken in the very prime of life.