Account book for the Snow, 'Molly', a slave ship
This account book records details of enslaved Africans purchased at Bonny, in the Bight of Biafra, for voyage to the Caribbean. The ‘Molly’ set sail from Bristol in 1758 and was traded on the African coast in 1759. To most of the sailors and traders, the slave trade was a business like any other. It required detailed and accurate accounts. Books like this therefore treated the enslaved as cargo and not as human beings with their own rights.
This account book also lists the wide variety of goods that the ‘Molly’ carried to trade for African people, and the prices that the ship’s captain had to pay. Many of these goods – such as knives, guns and hats – were made in Britain. Other entries in the book, such as cloth woven in India, show that the triangular trade was linked to a far wider global trade.
Credit/copyright: © National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK
Accession number: National Maritime Museum, MSS/76/027.0
Trade and Commerce
Life on the Plantation
On 19 March 1783, the African Olaudah Equiano called on anti-slavery campaigner Granville Sharp (see Campaign for abolition) with news of an event. Read more...
The city of Kingston upon Hull has a centuries-old sea-faring commercial history, but its location on the east coast of England ensured that its commerce was shaped by maritime links to Europe. Read more...
Bristol continued its involvement in the slave trade until abolition but in decreasing numbers in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Read more...
Although London would eventually be eclipsed by Bristol and Liverpool as a slave-trading port, its involvement in the trade was both longer...Read more..