Carlisle Bay and Bridgetown, Barbadoes
John A. Waller, a surgeon in the British Navy, lived in Barbados for a year in 1807-08, but it is not known if this scene is based on his sketches. Carlisle Bay was the island's major port. Of the scene he witnessed when he first arrived in April, 1807, Waller wrote "the bay was covered with boats, conveying backwards and forwards the merchants of the place, rowed by their slaves. . . A number of slave ships too, just arrived, were lying close to us, whose owners were taking all possible advantage of the last weeks of their expiring commerce [Britain was to abolish the slave trade in 1807]. The poor wretches were going on-shore by hundreds from the slave-ships, in large barges, for the purpose of being exposed to sale. Barbados had no deep water harbor and ocean going vessels had to transfer their cargoes (human and non-human) to barges or lighters" (p. 3).
John A. Waller, A Voyage in the West Indies (London, 1820), facing p. 3.
Image is in the public domain. Metadata is available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International.
"Carlisle Bay and Bridgetown, Barbadoes", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed April 5, 2020, http://www.slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/2062