In our American studies class during the winter and spring of the class years 2016-2017, we are digging into the history of freedom and slavery in Connecticut and especially in Suffield during 1774. We are looking into how the Boston Tea Party, which happened in 1773, affected the rest of the states at that time, as well as how our state and town governments responded to it. I think learning about Old “Ti’s” family and about the Dutch ships they came on is crucial in understanding where these slaves may have originated from. The origin of these slaves and important facts about his family is vital in understanding the Colonial Slavery in Suffield. I think that learning about this history will help me understand more and helped me with my research into the Dutch slave ships.
It is important to understand how the transatlantic slave trade worked. “The majority of slaves transported to the New World were sold by Africans from central and western parts of Africa to European slave traders” (1). Slavery started way before the transatlantic slave trade. African tribes would sell slaves within the tribes. From my experiences in Cape Coast and Ghana, I’ve learned about the slave trade within tribes. Although this is no longer common, there is still slavery where children are sold to fishermen to be slaves. When the Europeans came to the central and western Africa, they opened slave castles whereof the slave trade would be conducted. After visiting one of the biggest slave castles in the coast in Ghana, the thing that stuck with me the most was “the door of no return.” this is the gate whereof many slaves departed through to get on their ship, and that most never return back through.
It is important to figure out whether Suffield was in a Dutch territory, because sometimes slave traders brought their slaves to other colonies. Even if we know that Titus came on a Dutch ship we need to figure out whether it was in a Dutch territory, and we can thereby trace where it came from.
From looking at figure 2 we can see the origin of many of the slaves that came on
Dutch ships. We can see that Dutch slaves mainly came from Ghana and Nigeria. From my research The Netherlands transported around 500,000 slaves during 2,000 journeys (3).
When it comes to the transatlantic slave trade, the Netherlands was not the biggest country involved, but the origin of the slaves they did export and how many is crucial in our research. I am looking into where the Dutch ships originated from, especially trying to find the origin of Titus, Old “Ti’s” father and mother, whom had a tattoo that suggested royalty. This could help us find information about where other slaves in Suffield are from, and find info about Mum Bett.