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Transatlantic trade and the coastal area of pre-Liberia
by Amos J. Beyan (1995)

Transatlantic trade affected the coastal area of West Africa that became Liberia in 1822. The impact of that trade has confused historians of the region, particularly the social and economic effects the trade had on the Vai, Kru, Glebo, and other ethnic groups. Before the arrival of Europeans in the fifteenth century, coastal pre-Liberia had been affected by internal and external social dynamics. The Mande, Mel, and Kwa were the first linguistic groups to reside in the region. The earliest home of the Mande has been traced to the area north of the Niger River, but there is disagreement as to the origins of the Mel and Kwa. All three linguistic groups contributed to population growth. Indeed, such Mel-speaking ethnic groups as the Kissi and Gola, and such Kwa-speakers as the Dei, Bassa, Kran, Kru, and Glebo came to pre-Liberia in about 988 A.D. The Mande-speaking groups, including the Mende, Bandi, Loma, and Vai, settled long after the other two linguistic groups had moved there. The Vai, isolated from other Mande-speakers for over two thousand years, reached the coastal area. in the sixteenth century.(1)

Arriving in pre-Liberia at various times from different directions, the social systems of these ethnic groups interacted with each other because they shared the same geographical surroundings. The social and cultural similarities depended on their proximity to each other and their linguistic backgrounds. The Bandi, Mende, Loma Kpelle, and Vai, who lived in the same region, had much in common. For example, all were governed by indigenous hereditary social and educational institutions known as the poro and the sande. The poro defined and enforced social values and norms for adult men, as the sande did for adult women. Significantly, the poro was affected by the Atlantic trade.

The Bassa, Kru, and Glebo, who lived in the southeastern coastal area, had more in common with each other than with other pre-Liberian ethnic groups. These three groups were more knowledgeable about ocean sailing and fishing than groups from the interior. Kru familiarity with sailing would make them indispensable to transatlantic trade.(2)

With more in common than the Kwa-speakers, the Mel- and Mande-speakers lived in the interior and practiced some forms of poro and sande. The political and other social institutions of the Mel- and Mande-speakers were more centralized than the groups that resided along coastal areas. The forms of poro and sande practiced in the interior were more tyrannically and rigidly enforced than the forms practiced by the coastal ethnic groups such as the Val and the Gola.

Apart from these differences, the groups had much in common: all were gatherers and hunters before the fifteenth century; their religious systems recognized the existence of one supreme being, even though lesser gods such as the spirits of ancestors were invoked; all the groups were familiar with farming and used iron before the arrival of the Europeans; polygamy was practiced by all group leaders. The economic system of the coastal ethnic groups was barter, which was also associated with a communal mode of production.(3)

Nearly all these ethnic groups practiced some form of slavery prior to the arrival of the Europeans. However, their forms of slavery should not be confused with the one introduced by the transatlantic trade or the one that was practiced in the Americas. The indigenous slave systems of the Ashanti and other ethnic groups of West Africa, including those of pre-Liberia, were less oppressive than plantation slavery in the New World. The term dewoi, meaning slave in the language of the Loma of northwestern pre-Liberia, did not mean slavery in the Western sense. While the dewoi was required to work for his superior and to obey the rules of the community where he lived, he was never treated as property to be purchased, marketed, and inherited. The dewoi was permitted to marry someone from the master class and to become the leader of the very community that had enslaved him. Indeed a dewoi from a non-poro or non-sande area could be initiated in the poro and sande. Such initiation gave a dewoi full membership in Loma society.(4)

The only exception to this in the coastal areas of pre-Liberia was the Vai, who were familiar with slavery in the Islamic world. It is reasonable to maintain that the indigenous slave systems of the Loma, Kpelle, Kissi, Gola, Bassa, Kru, and Glebo were less oppressive than the one introduced by the transatlantic slave trade. This was not because of a higher morality practices by the "slave-holding class," but because the slaves of pre-Liberia were familiar with the place of their enslavement and would have escaped if they had been restricted or exploited. Although adding to the social status of those who practiced it, indigenous pre-Liberian slavery neither maximized profit nor reduced the cost of production, as was the case of transatlantic trade. However, the differences between indigenous pre-Liberian slavery and the transatlantic slave trade became less and less obvious as the two systems began to accommodate each other at the beginning of the sixteenth century.(5)

Early pre-Liberian social systems were changed by the Manes invasions as well as by the arrival of the Europeans in the sixteenth century The invasions, originating in the interior of modern Ivory Coast and Ghana, began in 1545. The Manes had affected nearly every coastal ethnic group of pre-Liberia and pre-Sierra Leone by 1560. The Manes aggressively imposed their social and political systems on the coastal people. Following the 1567 derision to divide the conquered areas, Manes leaders developed several small kingdoms. Petty leaders or tribute collectors were appointed at the local levels. The supreme leader of the kingdoms, stationed at Cape Mount, controlled his subjects by using military force and by turning one ethnic group against another.(6) Europeans had not carried out any major overseas expeditious prior to the fifteenth century since Europe was divided into relatively small political units and since the monarchs lacked the necessary resources. Overseas ventures required large amounts of money to buy the ships, horses, guns, and gunpowder. By the fifteenth century, some European kingdoms began to group themselves into larger units.(7)

Portugal was the first European country to emerge as such a viable political unit and to raise sufficient revenues through taxation to sustain overseas expeditions. In 1415, the Portuguese captured Ceuta from the Arabs on the coast of modern Morocco. The Portuguese advanced along the western, southern, and eastern coasts of Africa, including the coastal area of pre-Liberia. By 1460, Portuguese geographers had mapped the coastal area between Senegal and Sherbro. Portugal's king, Alfonso V, established a monopoly over the Grain Coast trade of pre-Liberia in 1460, as clarified in the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas signed by Portugal and Spain.(8)

Portugal and Spain were unable to prevent other European countries from participating in the Grain Coast trade: France, England, Denmark, and the Netherlands also sought the power and prestige to be gained from trade. The Portuguese took gold from the area known as the Gold Coast and pepper from the Grain Coast. They purchased wax, fish, and palm oil at most places along the West African coast. These materials were exchanged with the Portuguese for knives, bracelets, iron bars, guns, and gunpowder.(9)

The European advance on West Africa had a lasting impact on pre-Liberia. Although leading Africanists maintain that the Europeans had limited commercial contact with the coastal areas, the malaguetta or spice trade became so important to Portugal that Alfonso V placed it under a royal monopoly that lasted from 1470 to 1700. Between 1498 and 1537, the spice trade exports from pre-Liberia increased from an initial level of 250 quintals to almost 400 quintals annually. French merchants competed with the Portuguese as the demands for spices soared.(10)

The response of pre-Liberian ethnic groups to the malaguetta trade was clear. When powerful waves prevented the Portuguese from sailing dose to the mainland, they relied on Kru canoemen. Local producers of malaguetta brought their crop to the coast and placed it on Kru canoes, which transported the spices to the Portuguese vessels. The Kru became important middlemen between the European merchants and African producers of malaguetta and other trading materials.(11)

The Kru manipulated their newly acquired social status on the Grain Coast to alter social arrangements. The distribution of the material benefits from trade with the Europeans was reported as follows:

A certain portion is given to the headman of the town; all of his relatives and friends partake of his bounty, if there be but a leaf of tobacco for each; his mother, if living has a handsome present. All of this is done to get him a good name: what remains is delivered to his father to buy him a wife. One so liberal does not long want a partner. the father obtains a wife for him; and after a few months of ease and indulgence be off afresh for Sierra Leone or some factories on the coast to get money. By this, he is proud of being acquainted with white man's fashion; he takes with him some raw inexperienced youngsters whom he initiated into his own profession. . . . In this way he proceeds perhaps for ten or twelve years or more, increasing the number of wives, establishing a great character among his countrymen.(12)

As with the social systems of other coastal West African ethnic groups, Kru society went through transitional processes as a result of the new trade. The role of the gbaubi, or father of the army, a military position before the arrival of the Europeans, was reshaped to supervise the modified labor force that carried out tasks assigned to it by Atlantic trade, including the loading and unloading of European merchant ships. During the early nineteenth century, a new leadership position was devised. A Kru headman, usually an African who had been semi-Europeanized, was commissioned to keep order and to promote good working relationships.(13)

The new wealth brought by the Atlantic trade was not apportioned equally among the Kru who were involved with the trade. The chief headman, whose pay was higher than the assistant headman and the common workers, also received gifts as additional payment. North American merchants who were involved with the Atlantic trade in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries paid their Kru workers at the following rates: "an unspecified period of service was fixed at twelve dollars for the head Kruman, ten dollars for the second head Kruman, and eight dollars for each member of the gang."(14)

These new labor arrangements affected Kru political and social institutions. Contrary to the belief of one anthropologist's statement that the ethnic groups viewed their new wealth economically, the Kru used their new wealth to gain leadership positions. Young Krumen who aspired to the position of krogba, or father of the town, gave presents to the pantonnyefue, or senior citizens of the town. Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, krogba was only held by senior citizens. The new wealth and power of the young Kru laborers weakened the authority of the pantonnyefue and undermined the pyramidical government structure of the ethnic groups in coastal pre-Liberia. Here, too, the new coastal elites had European guns and gunpowder to promote their interests at the expense of traditional elites.(15)

Trade affected the political and social institutions not only of the Kru and the Vai in pre-Liberia. Glebo social subgroups merged into a large political entity at the end of the eighteenth century, having concluded that the recentralization of power would strengthen their commercial bargaining position with the Europeans. The governing members of the new political confederation consisted mostly of Glebo who were involved with transatlantic trade. King Freeman, leader of the coastal Glebo from the 1830s through the 1840s, earned his title from his commerce with European and American merchants, and with settlers around Cape Palmas. Trade undermined the barter system, and profit was introduced into the interior of pre-Liberia by coastal ethnic groups.(16)

Portuguese traders developed an interest in enslaving Africans in the mid fifteenth century. In 1441, a Portuguese merchant abducted and shipped a small number of Africans to Portugal. While the enslavement of Africans did not become a major commercial activity in Europe, where there was no labor shortage, the discovery of the New World brought significant demands for the enslavement of a large number of Africans to meet the demand for labor. Indians were enslaved, but frequently escaped. As many as 30 million Indians were killed by diseases such as smallpox and chicken pox that were introduced by the Europeans and in the wars they fought with the Europeans.(17)

Attempts were also made to enslave poor Europeans. Some poor Irish, Scots, and English were reduced to indentured servitude to meet the increasing demands for labor in the New World. Justification for the continued subjugation of Europeans raised moral issues. Although the Old Testament had sanctioned slavery, seventeenth-century European philosophers, theologians, and leaders emphasized that it was religiously wrong for Europeans to enslave other Europeans. This view, along with fears of a white rebellion and white collaboration with the enslaved Africans against the elite class, reduced the exploitation of poor whites in the New World.(18)

While such sentiments helped to ease the oppression of whiles, the desire to enslave Africans increased. The enslavement of West and West Central Africans was enhanced by several factors. Since the Africans were a different race, their enslavement could be justified more easily. The Africans could also be easily identified if they escaped. They were more immune to diseases such as smallpox, plague, typhus, yellow fever, and influenza than the Indians and Europeans. However, the most decisive factor in the enslavement of the Africans was economic. Other reasons that have been identified by scholars include:

The features of the [Africans]. . . and dentifrice, "subhuman" characteristics so widely pleaded, were only the liter rationalizations to justify a simple economic fact: that the colonies needed labor and resorted to Negro labor because it was [the] best and [the] cheapest. This was not a theory, it was a practical conclusion deduced from the personal experience of the planter[s]. [They] would have gone to the moon, if necessary, for labor. Africa was nearer than the moon, nearer too than the more populous countries of India and China. But their turn was to come.(19)

If the enslavement of Indians and the semi-enslavement of poor Europeans had inexpensively fulfilled the labor needs of the New World, the transatlantic slave trade would not have taken place. Racism - the ideology of exclusion or separation of people because of the color of their skin - did not cause the transatlantic slave trade, although it enhanced and justified the slave trade's development.(20)

The argument that "idle rogues and vagabonds were a menace to society unless impressed into involuntary servitude," which had justified the oppression of the poor classes of Europe, helped to rationalize the enslavement of the Africans. While the Catholic Church opposed the enslavement of Christians by non-Christians, it simultaneously supported non-Christians being enslaved by Christians. Pope Nicholas V empowered the Portuguese king to enslave non-Christian Africans in 1452. Spain's King Ferdinand offered Pope Innocent VIII one hundred non-Christian Africans, who were divided among the Catholic "cardinals and nobility" in 1488. Christians regarded the enslavement of the Africans in the New World as not only a spiritual blessing, but a worldly kindness since the slaves' material conditions would be improved.(21)

Such European attitudes reinforced the transatlantic slave trade's tying the economics of the Americas, Africa, and Europe together. The first group of African slaves, sent to the West Indies in 1510, had been bought in Portugal. Owing to the increasing significance of the slave trade, King John III activated the monopoly that had been established over the coastal pre-Liberian trade, even though the Portuguese monopoly was ignored by other European powers as the transatlantic slave trade, started by Portugal, was taken over by Spain and then by the Netherlands. Nearly all the major European powers came to be involved with the trade from the 1400s to the 1800s. It has been estimated that as many as 9.5 million Africans were transported to the Americas between 1510 and 1870. Recent studies have estimated that 12 million West Africans might have been enslaved in the Americas, more than 300,000 of which came from pre-Liberia.(22)

Forced migration had many negative effects on pre-Liberia. It took away those who were crucial for agriculture. An area that had produced rice abundantly became a rice-importing region especially during the peak of the transatlantic slave trade in the eighteenth century Labor shortages drove the coastal Vai and Kru ethnic groups inland to capture slaves for European slavers who waited on the coast. The practice of domestic slavery, which was part of the Vai, Kru, Glebo, Kissi, Bassa, and other pre-Liberian ethnic groups' social systems, was also modified to meet the labor requirement of the transatlantic slave trade. Like their European counterparts, the pre-Liberian coastal slavers viewed their slaves as marketable objects.(23)

The legal systems of coastal pre-Liberia, especially those of the Cape Mount area, were modified to serve the needs of the transatlantic slave trade. Before the slave trade, any person who committed a crime was required to perform certain tasks for the chief or the people against whom he had committed the crime. But with the transatlantic slave trade, the guilty were sold to European slavers. The number of people from the lower class found guilty of practicing witchcraft dramatically increased. In some cases, "accidental death" was believed to have been caused by a sorcerer. Enslavement was also applied to the criminal's immediate and extended family members.(24)

With the transatlantic slave trade, polygamous marriage in coastal pre-Liberia became possible among common men since most of the enslaved Africans were men. Owing to men being outnumbered by women, common men who previously could not have had more than one wife now could afford to have several wives. The removal of large numbers of African men also meant that most of the tasks that had traditionally been carried out by men had to be done by women.(25)

Another effect of the transatlantic slave trade was the emergence of people who specialized in capturing slaves. As with their counterparts in England during the seventeenth century, the slave captors of pre-Liberia played a significant role in the transatlantic slave trade by enslaving Africans for the members of the newly emerging coastal pre-Liberian westernized elites and the European slavers who waited on the coast.(26)

The slave-capturing techniques employed by the new slave captors varied. Sometimes a village was set on fire, with villagers who tried to escape being captured. Other captors traveled into the interior. Pretending that their purpose was to promote friendly relations between coastal and interior Africans, slave captors offered large amounts of European rum to the village elders and young men. Slave captors could then attack and carry off the villagers after the rum had intoxicated the men who were responsible for defending the village. Probably the most common and violent technique employed was the slave raiding system. The slave captors would travel to an interior village, usually armed with European weapons, and raid an entire village as if they were hunting wild animals.(27)

During the initial phase of the contact in the fifteenth century, Europeans and Africans had positive images of each other. European artists "portrayed Africans as a little darker in complexion but similar to themselves in looks and dress," while African artists pictured "Europeans with straight hair and pointed noses but otherwise with little difference from themselves." African arts from pre-Sierra Leone and pre-Liberia were well received by prominent European religious and secular leaders, including Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, Manuel of Portugal, and the Medici popes. Such positive artistic depictions abruptly ended early in the sixteenth century. As Europeans increasingly enslaved Africans, European artists began to portray the Africans disdainfully. In turn, Africans negatively portrayed the Europeans as "drank, hostile, and strange people."(28)

The social systems of the ethnic groups of coastal pre-Liberia, especially from the sixteenth century, blended European and pre-Liberian systems. The prosperity of Vai, Kissi, Kru, Bassa, and Glebo merchants was directly tied to their participation in the Atlantic trade. They spoke European languages and Creole, a combination of European and African languages. Their commercial system included new methods of measurement. For example, Kru malaguetta traders and their European customers used cess or cesto, the Portuguese term for a large container, to measure spices. Another new development was using an iron bar as a unit of currency among the Mande, Kissi, Gola, Loma, Kpelle, and other ethnic groups.(29)

The new African coastal merchants perceived slavery as a commercial action. The Royal African Company, one of the leading slave-trading operations of the eighteenth century, appointed westernized pre-Liberian and pre-Sierra Leonean slavers to hunt or purchase slaves. The African slavers sent gampisas, professional slave captors, into the interior to hunt for slaves for their western allies. The new elites used their wealth from the transatlantic slave trade to bring the poro and sande under their control. The poro, which had traditionally served as an educational and social institution, was now used as an instrument of enslavement. Some of the members of this new merchant class were directly descended from African women and European men. James Cleveland, a notorious westernized African slave trader, was a son of an English merchant and a Kissi woman named N'Damba.(30)

This study of the effects of the Atlantic trade on the Vai, Glebo, Kru, and other ethnic groups of pre-Liberia suggests that the social systems of nearly all the ethnic or social groups of coastal pre-Liberia were not static. Their social systems were influenced by various groups with whom they came into contact, their physical surroundings, the Atlantic trade, as well as the American Colonization Society, which established Liberia in 1822. It is incorrect to argue that the social systems, especially the forms of slavery of the coastal ethnic groups of pre-Liberia from the sixteenth century onward, were indigenous.(31)

1 Svend E. Holsoe, "Economic Activities in the Liberian Areas: Pre-European Period to 1900," in Essays on the Economic Anthropology of Liberia and Sierra Leone, ed. Vernon R. Dorjahn and Barry L. Issac (Philadelphia, 1979), 65-6; Walter Rodney, A History of the Upper Guinea Coast, 1545 to 1800 (London, 1970), 14-7; Robert T. Parsons, Religion in African Society (Leiden, 1964), XII.

2 Esu Biyu, "The Kru and Related Peoples, West Africa," Journal of the African Society 29 (1929): 71-7; George Brook Jr., The Kru Mariner in the Nineteenth Century (Newark, 1972), 107-12.

3 John Atherton, "Early Economics of Sierra Leone and Liberia: Archaeological and Historical Reflections" Essays on the Economic Anthropology, 27-42; Idem., "Liberian Prehistory," Liberian Studies Journal 3 (1970-1971): 83-112; Willi Schulze, "Early Iron Among the Northern Kpelle," Liberian Studies Journal 3 (1970-1971): 113-27; Rodney, A History, 22-7.

4 I. Kopytoff and Suzanne Miers, "African Slavery. as an Institution of Marginality" in their Slavery in Africa: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives (Madison, 1977), 3-77; interview with Chief Zubawao and the "Old Men" of Killiwu, a Loma town in northwestern Liberia, 1967.

5 Holsoe, "Economic Activities in the Liberian Areas," 65-7; Rodney, A History, 14-7; Kopytoff and Miers, "African Slavery as an Institution of Marginality," 3-77.

6 Rodney, A History, 39-69.

7 J. H. Parry, The Establishment of European Hegemony: Trade and Exploration in the Age of the Renaissance, 1415-1715 (New York, 1966), 13-25; C. R. Boxer, Four Centuries of Portuguese Expansion, 1415-1825 (New York, 1965), 1-21; Carlo Cipolla, Guns, Sails, and Empires: Techno logical Innovation and the Early Phases of European Expansion, 1400-1700 (New York, 1965), 21-90.

8 J. D. Fage, An Introduction to the History of West Africa (London, 1955), 42-44, 50; A. F. C. Ryder, "Portuguese and the Dutch in West Africa before 1800," in A Thousand Years of West African History, ed. J. F. Ade and Ian Espie (London, 1965), 218-21; Blake, European Beginnings, 9-10, 58, 68-70, 78, 111; Parry, The Establishment, 22-36; Kenneth Andrew, Trade, Plunder, and Settlement: Maritime Enterprise and the Genesis of the British Empire (London, 1984), 53; Vincent B. Thomas, The Making of the African Diaspora in the Americas 1440-1900 (New York, 1987), 13, 29, 81.

9 Rodney, A History, 71-151; Idem., "Portuguese Attempts at Monopoly on the Upper Guinea Coast 1580-1650," Journal of African History 3 (1965): 307-22; C. E. Carrington, The British Overseas: Exploit of a Nation of Shopkeepers (London, 1968), 1-20; Blake, European Beginnings, 79-80; Ryder, "Portuguese and Dutch," 220-6.

10 Fage, An Introduction, 53-4; Blake, European Beginnings, 83-5.

11 Peter C. W. Gutkind, "Trade and Labor in Early Precolonial African History: The Canoe-men of Southern Ghana" in The Workers of African Trade, ed. Catherin Coquery-Vidrovitch and Paul E. Lovejoy (Beverly Hills, 1985), 24-45; Daniel Mannix and Malcolm Cowley, A History of Atlantic Slave Trade Black Cargoes (New York, 1962), 15-17; Blake, European Beginnings, 85; Ronald Davis, "Historical Outline of the Kru Coast, Liberia, 1500 to the Present," (Ph.D. diss., Indiana University, 1968) 22-37; Amos J. Beyan, The American Colonization Society and the Creation of the Liberian State A Historical Perspective, 1822-1900 (Lanham, 1991), 25-9; Thomas Ludlam, "An Account of the Kroomen on the Coast of Africa" African Repository 1 (1825): 43-7.

12 John Wilson, Western Africa: Its History, Conditions, and Prospects (New York, 1856), 106-8; Ludlam, "An Account of the Kroomen," 43-7; Christopher Fyfe, A History of Sierra Leone (London, 1962), 135; Mary Kingsley, Travels in West Africa (London, 1897), 644-55; Raymond L. Buell, The Native Problem in Africa (New York, 1928), 2:774-8.

13 Andrew, Trade, Plunder, and Settlement, 53; Fage, An Introduction, 50; Blake, European Beginnings, 58, 68-70, 78, 111; Thomas, Making of the African Diaspora, 13, 29, 81.

14 Ronald W. Davis, Ethnohistorical Studies of the Kru Coast (Newark, 1976), 39.

15 Svend E. Holsoe, "Economic Activities in the Liberian Areas," 71-2; Davis, Ethnohistorical Studies, 39.

16 Jane J. Martin, "The Dual Legacy: Government Authority and Mission Influence Among the Glebo of Eastern Liberia, 1834-1910" (Ph.D. diss., Boston University, 1968), 22; Rodney, A History, 90-1, 193; A. G. Laing, Travels in the Timannee Koronka Soolima Countries (London, 1825), 78.

17 Fage, An Introduction, 56-67, 71-6; Rodney, A History, 240-55; Ryder, "Portuguese and Dutch," 222-5; John H. Franklin and Alfred A. Moss, Jr., From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans, 6th ed. (New York, 1988), 30-2; Patrick Manning, Slavery and African Life: Occidental, Oriental, and African Slave Trade (New York, 1990), 33-7; Fyfe, "The Dynamics of Dispersal," in The African Diaspora: Interpretative Essays, ed. by Martin L. Kilson and Robert I. Rotberg (Cambridge, 1976), 61; Mannix and Cowley, Atlantic Slave Trade, 54-60; Gary Nash, Red, White, and Black: The Peoples of Early America, (Englewood Cliffs, 1974), 145-57; Sherburne E Cook and Woodrow Borah, Essay in Population History: Mexico and the Caribbean (Berkeley, 1979), I:viii, 82, 392-410; Alfred W. Crosby, Jr., "Virgin Soil Epidemics as a Factor in the Aboriginal Depopulation of America" William and Mary Quarterly 33 (1976): 289-99; David B. Davis, Slavery and Human Progress (New York, 1984), 69-70; Michael Beard, A History of Capitalism, 1500-1980 (New York, 1983), 18-9.

18 Hilary McD. Beckles, White Servitude and Black Slavery in Barbados (Knoxville, 1989), 59-78; C. A. Herrick, White Servitude in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1926), 231; Richard Ligon, A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados (London, 1657), 115; John Oldmixon, The British Empire in America (London, 1708), II:128, 162; Edmund Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia (New York, 1975), 295-389; James Oakes, Slavery and Freedom: An Interpretation of the Old South (New York, 1990), 129-36; A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., In the Matter of Color: Race, and the American Legal Process: The Colonial Period (New York, 1978), 26-30; Ronald Takaki, Iron Cages, Race and Culture in Nineteenth Century America (New York, 1990), 11-5; Leslie B. Route, Jr., "The African in Colonial Brazil," in The African Diaspora, 155-71.

19 Manning, Slavery and African Life, 30-2; Curtin, "Epidemiology and Slave Trade," Political Science Quarterly 83 (1968): 190-216; Cook and Borah, Essay in Population History, 8:82; Crosby, Jr., "Virgin Soil: Epidemics as a Factor in Aboriginal Depopulation of America," 289-99; Evsey Domar, "The Causes of Slavery or Serfdom: A Hypothesis," Journal of Economic History 30, no. 1 (1970), 18-32; Richard N. Bean and Robert E Thomas, "The Adoption of Slave Labor in British America" in The Uncommon Market: Essays in the Economic History of the Atlantic Slave Trade, ed. by H. A. Gemery and J. S. Hogendorn (New York, 1979), 377-98; Higginbotham, Jr., In the Matter of Color, 26-30; David B. Davis, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution, 1770-1823 (Ithaca, 1975), 260-2; cited in Eric Williams, "Economics, not Racism, as the Roots of Slavery," in The Atlantic Slave Trade, ed. by David Northrop (Lexington, Mass., 1994), 10-11.

20 Williams, "Economics, not Racism," 3-12.

21 Davis, The Problem of Slavery, 100-1, 203-22, 261; Edmund S. Morgan, "Slavery and Freedom: The American Paradox," Journal of American History 49 (1972): 6; Arthur M. Schlesinger, The Colonial Merchants and the American Revolution, 1763-1776 (New York, 1957), 25-6; Donnan, Documents Illustrative, I, 5; Marcus W. Jernegen, "Slavery and Conversion in the American Colonies" American Historical Review 21 (1916): 506-7; John C. Hurd, The Law of Freedom and Bondage in the United States (Boston, 1862), 1:234-40; Frank Tannenbaum, Slave and Citizen: The Negro in the Americas (New York, 1947), 45-6; Malachy Postlethwayt, Britain's Commercial Interest Explained and Improved (London, 1757), 1:430, 432; Idem., The National and Private Advantage of the African Trade Considered (London, 1746), 4; Bryan Edwards, The History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies (Philadelphia, 1806), 2:237-41; Fyfe, "The Dynamics of African Dispersal," 57-8.

22 Blake, European Beginnings, 87-9; Donnan, Documents Illustrative, 15; Galenson, Traders, Planters, and Slaves, 13-28; George Zook, The Company of Royal Adventurers Trading into Africa (Lancaster, 1919), 8-14. This figure regarding enslavement is provided by Philip D. Curtin in his Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census (Madison, 1969), tables 33, 65, 77; Patrick Manning, "The Slave Trade: The Formal Demography of a Global System" in The Atlantic Slave Trade: Effects on Economics, Societies, and Peoples in Africa, the Americas, and Europe, ed. by Joseph E. Inikori and Stanley L. Engerman (Durham, 1992), 119; Idem., "Slavery and the Slave Trade in Colonial Africa" Journal of African History, 31 (1990): 135-140; Idem., "The Enslavement of Africans: A Demographic Model" Canadian Journal of African Studies 15 (1981): 499-526; Idem., "Contours of Slavery and Social Change in Africa" American Historical Review 88, no. 4 (1988): 850-1; Martin Klein and Paul Lovejoy, "Slavery in West Africa" in The Uncommon Market, 181-212; Paul Lovejoy, "The Volume of The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Synthesis" Journal of African History 23 (1982): 473-502; Beyan, The American Colonization Society and the Creation of the Liberian State, 32-3; Davis, Ethnohistorical Studies, 33.

23 Manning, Slavery and African Life, 126-48; Idem, "Contours of Slavery and Social Change in Africa," 850-1; Carl Burrowes, "A Quantitative Study of the Slave Trade from West Africa's Coasts to South Carolina, 1735 to 1807," unpublished paper, (Glassboro, 1989), 1-16; Mannix and Cowley, A History of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 231-2; John Atkins, A Voyage to Guinea, Brazil, and the West Indies (London, 1930), 54; B. Martin and M. Superell, "thought Upon the African Trade, 1750-1754," Journal of Slave Trader (London, 1962), 25; Christopher Fyfe, Sierra Leone Inheritance (London, 1964), chap. 12; Captain Canot, Adventures of an African Slaver (1928), 302; Svend E. Holsoe, "Slavery and Economic Response Among the Vai: Liberia and Sierra Leone," in Kopytoff and Miers, eds., Slavery in Africa: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives, 289; Fyfe, "Peoples of the Windward Coast, A.D. 1000-1800," in Ajayi and Espie, eds., A Thousand Years, 158; Idem., "The Dynamics of African Dispersal," 63; Walter Rodney, "African Slavery and Other Forms of Social Oppression on the Upper Guinea Coast," Journal of African History 7 (1966): 434.

24 Fyfe, "The Dynamics of African Dispersal," 70; Rodney, A History, 254-63. Manning, Slavery and African Life, 88-92; Robin Law, The Oyo Empire (Oxford, 1977), 226; Idem., "Royal Monopoly and Private Enterprise in the Atlantic Trade: The Case of Dahomey" Journal of African History 18, no. 4 (1977), 555-77; Ralph A. Austen, "The Trans-Saharan Slave Trade: A Tentative Census," in The Uncommon Market, 23-76; E. H. Hair, "The Enslavement of Keolle's Informants," Journal of African History 6, no. 2 (1965): 193-203.

25 Manning, "Contours of Slavery and Social Change in Africa," 847; Idem., Slavery and African Life, 132-42.

26 Beckles, White Servitude and Black Slavery, 50-2; Smith, Colonists in Bondage, 144.

27 Rodney, A History, 106-21; A. G. Laing, Travels in the Timannee, Kooranko, and Sulima Countries (1825), 221; Manning, Slavery and African Life, 88-92.

28 Ila H. Edwards, "African and the Renaissance" Humanities: National Endowment for the Humanities 10 (2 November 1989): 16-7.

29 Rodney, A History, 200-22; S. M. Despitch, "A Short History of the Gallinas Chiefdom" Sierra Leone Studies no. 21 (1939), 218-9; Canot, Adventures, 300.

30 Rodney, A History, 216-22; Claude George, The Rise of British West Africa (London, 1903), 65-7; Gilberto Freyre, Portuguese Integration in the Tropics (Lisbon, 1961) 22; James Duffy, Portugal in Africa (New York, 1962), 71; Wadstron, Observations on Slave Trade, 75-6; Idem., An Essay on Colonization (London, 1795); Fyfe, A History of Sierra Leone, 157.

31 For details on the role played by the ACS in the development of Liberia see Beyan, The American Colonization Society and the Creation of the Liberian State; Earl E. Fox, The American Colonization Society, 1817-1840 (Baltimore, 1919); J. Staudenraus, The African Colonization Movement, 1816-1865 (New York, 1961); Tom W. Shick, Behold the Promised Land: A History of Afro-American Settler Society in Nineteenth-Century Liberia (Baltimore, 1980); Katherine Harris, African and American Values (Lanham, 1985).

Amos Beyan is an associate professor of history at West Virginia University.

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