Slaves were acquired in a few different

Topics: Slavery, Starvation, Malnutrition Pages: 2 (506 words) Published: November 20, 2014
 Slaves were acquired in a few different ways.  Sometimes the capturers would simply hide out and wait for a passer-by.  Some traded for goods, as mentioned above, and other Africans who would receive pay captured some.  However acquired, their fate would depend on physical and mental toughness.  In order to survive what lay ahead these two qualities were essential for survival. Many Africans believed they were going to be eaten by the Europeans. This was a rumor that traveled among the captive slaves.  There were also rumors circulating among white slave traders about a grisly incident that took place in 1724 on an English slave ship commanded by Captain John Hardin. Believing that the slaves onboard his ships were plotting a revolt, Harding ordered the arrest of the man whom he believed to be the ringleader.  In front of the other captives, the man’s throat was cut and his heart and liver were cut out.  Then Captain Harding ordered the bloody heart and liver to be cut into three hundred pieces, and he forced each of the horrified captives to eat a piece by threatening to do the same thing to them if they refused.  The the experience so traumatized and disgusted the captives that many of them refused all food after that and gradually starved to death. Death of slaves on board was very common.  There are several reasons slaves died during the Middle Passage.  Starvation and malnutrition were common slave ships.  Sometimes captains underestimated the amount of food needed or the journey took longer than expected and therefore the slaves went hungry. Some slaves refused to eat in hopes to die.  Disease and sickness also affected slave survival rates. Many of the diseases came from the Europeans and very few doctors could treat the slaves.  Ship doctors rarely understood the causes of diseases that the captives suffered from.  If the illness or disease was treatable, appropriate medical care was difficult given the situation and numbers.  Some of the illnesses...
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