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AfriGeneas Caribbean Research Forum

[TRINIDAD] Book w/ African Slave Statistics etc

I was going through a few O-L-D printouts I had on hand from pre-archival days at the Afrigeneas MailList, and ran across this information from 1995 that might be useful to Trinidad researchers. If this is a repeat to the Forum, please overlook. Many thanks to Wesley Combs for his very interesting post of that year, which states in part:

"...a book I purchased during my 1991-1993 stay in Trinidad was: de Verteuil, Anthony. 1992. Seven Slaves & Slavery: Trinidad, 1777-1838. St. Mary's College, Port of Spain, Trinidad. Printed by Scrip-J Printers Ltd., 187B Tragarete Road, Port of Spain, Trinidad. 427 pp. ISBN 976-8012-89-7...

...Europeans not only know that their ancestors are from some particular European country but that their country of origin could be fixed because they spoke a language recognized widely outside the country. Africans are idnetified by tribe and languages which may be known only locally. Fr. de Verteuil identifies some of those tribal origins for Africans coming to Trinidad as indicated in the Slave Census of 1813:

(This part paraphrased) The Total Number of Slaves was 25,696 and
was divided as: Total Creole slaves at 11,633, with 28% of the total in Trinidad (7,088) and the British colonies (2,576). 18% of the Creole slaves were in the French colonies (1,593) and others (376). (Creole meant those born in the colonies.)

Total African Slaves involved 54% of the total slaves at 13,984, which were broken down as follows:
Ibo (S.E. Nigeria)-- 2,863-- 20%
Congo (Congo)-- 2,450-- 17%
Moco (Cameroons)-- 2,240-- 16%
Mandingo (Senegambia)-- 1,421-- 10%
Kormantyn (Ghana, Gold Coast):Fanti,Ashanti & Others--1,068--7%
Kwaka (Ivory Coast)-- 473-- 3%
Temne 169, Susu 145, Kissi 63 (Sierra Leone)-- 377-- 2.5%
Ibibio (S.E. Nigeria)-- 371-- 2.5%
Raddah (Dahomey)-- 281-- 2%
Chamba (Nigeria?)-- 275-- 2%
Fulani (N. Sierra Leone)-- 171-- 1.2%
Popo (Dahomey)-- 112-- 1%
Hausa (N. Nigeria)-- 109-- 1%
Yoruba (W. Nigeria)-- 10-- 0.07%
Various tribes under 1%-- 818-- 6%
Port of departure only-- 8.73% ... Verteuil also reviews recreation among slaves, which could be described in one word--dancing, though he does mention hunting, wrestling, cock-fighting and gambling. One dance, the "Calenda", was supposedly introduced from "Arda"/Guinea. Another was thought to be the "Jouba" from the Congo...

...Interviews in 1820 with slaves by the Anti-Slavery Society in England are reviewed (p274). The Society "firmly believed" that all slaves in the West Indies longed to return to Africa. This proved not to be the case even among those who had been born in Africa...."

(Interesting stuff; there are days I'm happy to be a pack-rat.)


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[TRINIDAD] Book w/ African Slave Statistics etc

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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