Slave ships were large cargo ships which were well converted to transport slaves. Often the slave ships carried hundreds of slaves, who were chained tightly to plank beds. They were confined to cargo detainment with each slave chained with little room to move softly.
Neck ring and chains would have been worn by African captives, as they were transported to the West African coast and onboarding ship. The chains were linked to the African’s hands, or to the other enslaved person to keep them from escaping.
The owners of these slave ships did their best to hold as many enslaved people as possible by cramming, putting chain, and grouping slaves to create space and make travel more profitable and comfortable. Slaves on board were not fed well and were treated brutally and harshly causing many to die on the before even arriving at their destination. It took an average of one to two months to complete the journey.
The enslaved people were naked and locked together with several different types of chains, stored on the floor beneath an improvised bed with no room to move due to the restricted conditions. Some captains would assign Slave Guardians to watch over and keep the other slaves always in check.
For example, Clotilda was the last known United States slave ship to bring captives from Africa to the United States, the ship was a two-master Sailing ship with 26 m long with a beam of 7.0 m.
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