A Slaver's Canoe
This engraving depicts African slave traders and enslaved people in canoe from the Loango Coast and Kwanza North regions. Glave lived in the Congo for six years, 1883-1889. He provided a vivid account of slaving activities in the Congo river basin. The illustration was described as captives being "hobbled with roughly hewn logs which chafe their limbs to open sores; sometimes a whole tree presses its weight on their bodies while their necks are penned into the natural prong formed by its branching limbs. Others sit from day to day with their legs and arms maintained in a fixed position by rudely constructed stocks, and each slave is secured to the roof-posts by a cord knotted to a cane ring which either encircles his neck or is intertwined with his woolly hair. Many die of pure starvation, as the owners give them barely enough food to exist upon. . . After suffering this captivity for a short time they become mere skeletons. All ages, of both sexes, are to be seen: mothers with their babes; young men and women; boys and girls; and even babies who cannot yet walk. . . One seldom sees either old men or old women; they are all killed in the raids" (Glave, pp. 830-31). This image was reproduced in Thomas W. Knox, The Boy Travellers on the Congo (New York, 1887). A variant of this illustration, captioned for sale appears in Glave's book In Savage Africa (New York, 1892), p. 201).
E.J. Glave, The Slave-Trade in the Congo Basin. By one of Stanley's pioneer officers. Illustrated after sketches from life by the author (The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, 1889-1890), vol. 39, pp. 824-838. Copy in Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library.
Image is in the public domain. Metadata is available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International.
"A Slaver's Canoe", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed October 20, 2020, http://www.slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/440