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X-Posted from H-NET List for the History of Slavery <H-SLAVERY@H-NET.MSU.EDU> From: Steven Mintz <sm3031@COLUMBIA.EDU> _______ QUERY From: H-SHEAR Editor Peter Knupfer [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] From: David McKay <email@example.com> [Ed. note (PBK): I have CC'd this to our friends at H-SLAVERY as well.] I am trying to help out a friend of mine who is writing some historical fiction and wants it to be accurate. There is a scene where his characters are dealing with slaves coming off of the slave ships into the US in the 18th century, and he wanted to know if it was normal for those slaves to have already been given Anglicized names by the time they got here. My hunch is yes and the manifests I've been able to find online seem to back this up, but this is a bit outside my area. Would that have been standard practice? Why? If anyone has information on this and can help a fiction writer be a bit truer to the period, I'd be grateful. David McKay Lecturer in History UW-Rock County firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com _________ REPLY 1 From: Michael Zeuske [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Dear David McKay, I'm researching this topic since 2009 (the leading question for me was and is: Did African captives and slaves come across the Atlantic already with "written names" to the Americas?). The only answer I found in ship lists and manifests across all the great sections of Atlantic slave trade (English/American, Portuguese/Brazilian, Dutch, French, Danish, Brandenburg and so on, see: www.slavevoyages.org) until today is no - they do not come with written names, because the slave ship captains did like Marcus Rediker is describing it in his wonderful book "The Slave Ship": "The captain usually made initial contact with an enslaved person at the moment of inspection and purchase, whether in a fortress, in a factory, in a coastal village, or on a ship. At the time the captain and the doctor assessed that individual's age, health, and working capacity, according to the criteria of his employer. He would also "read" that person's "country marks", ritual scars distinctive to each West African cultural group, and he would, based on experience, ascribe likely behaviors rooted in stereotypes. For example: Igbos, the wisdom among captains went, were prone to suicide and must be watched; Coromantees were rebellious and must be chained; Angolas were passive and need not be chained. Related to this was an assessment of attitude - that is, each individual's probability of cooperation with or resistance to the shipboard regime. If the captains decided to purchase a given person, he offered a combination of goods to the traders and haggled until they closed the deal. From that moment forward, the enslaved person, whether man, woman, boy, or girl, would be known to the captain as a number (or an unwritten nickname). The first purchased was Number 1, and so on, until the ship was fully "slaved" and ready to sail to the Americas".[] So slaveship lists had three main elements: 1) numbers (1,2,3,4, etc.); 2) gendered bodies with an estimated age (for example: "man, ca. 34 years"; "woman, c. 18 years", "girl, c. 7 years", and "boy, c. 11 years"), and perhaps 3) the so called "nations" (Coromantees, Congos, Angolan, in Spanish America also: Lucumiés, Carabaliés, Mandingas, Ararás, etc.). But I'm not very sure, that all captains write down the "nations". The majority of the slave ships were bound to one or two African slave ports. There they got captives of one of these "nations" or the captains as slave traders put all the purchased captives in one of the stereotyped "nation"-groups. The last sentence of the Redikers book is the most important relative to slave naming or, here it seems better to say, slave numbering. Hypothetically we will presume that this was the general behavior of all captains of European and American slave ships from the beginnings of Atlantic slaving in the 15th century until 1820.[] After 1820, when the slave trade became more and more contraband trade to Cuba and Brazil (and the coasts of the American South) [], the captains avoided written evidence such as lists of numbers of their human cargoes, and returned partially to an older system of brand marking. But they did not longer brand the slaves on their shoulders, but with smaller marks on the knees, foot or elbows.[]. Lists with full "Christian names" of captives and their African names (see: www.slavevoyages.org) only begun to appear with the struggle of the Mixed Courts for the Abolition of Slave Trade, since more or less 1820, when British ships started to capture slave vessels on the African coasts and in the Caribbean. [] Rediker, Marcus, "Jailer", in: Rediker, The Slave Ship. A Human History, New York: Viking, 2007, pp. 212-217, here p. 212f. [] This must be remaining a hypothesis, because I have not seen yet enough shipping lists. [] Zeuske; García Martínez, Orlando, "La Amistad de Cuba. Ramón Ferrer, contrabando de esclavos, captividad y modernidad atlántica", in: Caribbean Studies Vol. 37, No. 1 (January-June 2009), pp. 97-170. [] For one of the very few known examples of entire lists of these small brand marks see the case of the Goleta Batans (alias Brick Segunda), which was detected 1854 with 750 children slaves on the coasts of Nuevitas (Eastern Cuba): Arnalte, Arturo, "Cónsules, comerciantes y negreros (espańoles en Sierra Leona en el siglo XIX)", in: Estudios Africanos, Vol. X, Nos. 18-19, Madrid (1996), pp. 65-79; Arnalte, Los últimos esclavos de Cuba. Los nińos de la goleta Batans, Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 2001, the original source for this case can be found under: Archivo Histórico Nacional (AHN) Madrid, Estado, Trata de negros, Leg. 8060/4, no. 3: "Testimonio del espediente gubernativo instruido para la averigacion de la introduccion de negros bozales por la Costa de Nuevitas" (370 folios), en la Ciudad de Puerto Principe, Septiembre/Octubre de 1854. -------------------------------------------------------- Prof. Dr. Michael Zeuske Historiador/Historiker Iberische und Lateinamerikanische Abteilung des Historischen Seminars Universität zu Köln Albertus Magnus Platz D-50923 Köln Tel.: 0049-(0) 221-470-4320 Fax.: 0049-(0) 221-470-4996 Email: Michael.Zeuske@uni-koeln.de www.uni-koeln.de/phil-fak/aspla/zeuske/ www.elcimarron.eu _________ REPLY 2 From: Manuel Barcia [mailto:email@example.com] To add to what Prof. Zeuske has already pointed out, I can Dear David, To add to what Prof. Zeuske has already pointed out, I can tell you that at least Africans who were taken to Cuba in the early 19th century received their Christian names once they were landed. It's always possible that names may have been given before, but what the records show is that they were given upon arrival in Cuba. Best Manuel Barcia University of Leeds _________ REPLY 3 From: rshell@IAFRICA.COM Dear David and Michael: The Dutch slavers from the Cape of Good Hope slaving off Mozambique and Madagascar kept pretty good autochthonous name lists. James Armstrong has done us all a service by listing these names from Madagascar and there is a small literature devoted to the subject in Afrikaans. These slaves belonging to the VOC were "allowed" to keep their names. We know this from the Company censuses. Their children however, were baptised and were given a new testament name. At the Cape the renaming (hernaam) of the slaves occurred after the middle passage at the point of disembarkation. Here the names were absurdly handed out, e.g. January February March etc as the slaves came down the gangplank. Such names are still found as surnames in the Cape population. Thus the slaves' original names were used on the middle passage, possibly for psychological reasons of stability? For some twenty years I have been trying to find someone who knew enough of the Malagasy language of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, but experts have told me that the names nor the words do not exist in contemporary Madagascar. Some references may be found in my Children of Bondage. All the lists I have found are in my CD From Diaspora to Diorama 9,000 pages 2nd edition 2009 Cape Town Ancestry24.com Here is a small sample, formatting did not survive 1 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Renecallo female adult Voorhout 2 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Mangabeen female adult Voorhout 3 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Manata male child Voorhout 4 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Mora male youth Voorhout 5 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Ingora female youth Voorhout 6 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Vollesoor (Vollasoua) female youth Voorhout 7 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Volandia female adult Voorhout 8 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Sona female adult Voorhout 9 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Callo female adult Voorhout 10 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Callomenke female adult Voorhout 11 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Laysoua (Lahesoua) male child Voorhout 12 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Sakisa male adult Voorhout 13 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Thiteo male adult Voorhout 14 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Souatomba female adult Voorhout 15 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Voetiara Hombe female adult Voorhout 16 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Lahe Sara male youth Voorhout 17 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Callo female youth Voorhout 18 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Lambo Voela female youth Voorhout 19 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Kinsa male child Voorhout 20 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Soua female adult Voorhout 21 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Lambaa (Lamboa) male adult Voorhout 22 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Calla Houva female adult Voorhout 23 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Ihandia female adult Voorhout 24 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Ihangie female adult Voorhout 25 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Imone female adult Voorhout 26 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Kinse Pernela female child Voorhout 27 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Lahet Sara male youth Voorhout 28 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Lahit Sara male youth Voorhout 29 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Isaka male youth Voorhout 30 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Isandie (Isaria?) female youth Voorhout 31 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Ibara male adult Voorhout 32 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Iman Hansa male adult Voorhout Muslim? 33 AR (JCA),KA (MSN), 3989, pp. 45ff. Evangasie (Evanfatove) unknown unknown Voorhout Rob Shell _________ REPLY 4 From: ww22000@YAHOO.COM I doubt that many would already have been named. If so, this would have been incidental, unless they had been owned elsewhere, or, if they were coming from Kongo ports, they had Catholic names. The trip was usually 2 - 3 months long. They had been kept, usually, for some time before being transhipped, in a warehouse. They were not really individuals at this point but commodities. Further, sailors and ship captains could not afford to see them as individual people, for security and psychological reasons, as well as the fact that they barely if ever spent time with any individual slave, unless it was a woman or man for sex. This construction of them already having English names assumes that most came on English ships, that there were so many sailors on board that the sailor/slave ratio would allow that sort of discernment, and that anyone buying them would have cared what they had been called on board, also doubtful. There is plenty of literature on this subject (ie P. Lovejoy, I. Berlin, Lorena Walsh). Earlier in the 16th and 15th centuries there were slaves with Portuguese names, but they left Africa or the Iberian peninsula with those names already. On the other hand, many, in the first generation (during the seventheenth and eighteenth) and particularly the first year or so, can be found with African names (Ibo, Muslim, etc) in account books of traders and planters in the colonies of the 18th century. Archives also show that planters recorded when they were naming their slaves, again making it unlikely that slaves arrived with English names. The slave trade and the Middle Passage were messy, dangerous, and risky undertakings that would rarely have allowed for the niceties of naming people on board. Wendy Wilson Fall, PhD. Associate Professor Pan African Studies Kent State University Kent Ohio 44241 office tel 330 672 2300 cell phone 330 357 2165 _________ REPLY 5 From: ghall1929@GMAIL.COM I think the Portuguese, Brazilians and Spanish normally baptized the slaves they purchased in Africa before they were shipped to America and gave them Christian names. And many of the Kongo/Angola slaves were already Christians before they were enslaved and already had Christian names. I found one list of names, mainly African names which included gender and physical "defects" on a French ship sent from Senegal to Martinique during the 1720s. It seems more likely that those enslaved persons baptized in Africa were listed by name but I don't know for sure. -- Gwendolyn Midlo Hall Wikipedia Page: http://en.wikipedia.org <https://outlook.cuit.columbia.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://en.wikipedia.org> wiki/Gwendolyn_Midlo_Hall Most reliable: Mexico Cell Phone: 0115214151012353 Mexico Land Line: 0115214151852284 MagicJack phone from USA: 504-298-2525 (Doesn't always work, but much cheaper). email: firstname.lastname@example.org Louisiana Slave & Free Database: www.ibiblio.org/laslave Mailing Address: Gwendolyn Midlo Hall PMB 547-A 220 N. Zapata Hwy #11 Laredo, TX. 78043-4464 _________ REPLY 6 From: Michael Zeuske [mailto:email@example.com] Dear Rob Shell, with saludos to Gwendolyn, David, Manuel, and Wendy. The practice you are describing, dear Rob, is the same used by the British officials (or scribes) of the capturing ships (ships which chased and captured slave vessels), from 1820 onwards, downwriting the "African names" they heard from the mouth of a interpreter. But let me repeat it in form of a question: is there any evidence of one sigle captive/slave (I'm exxagerating, because a so called "privileged slave" may have been mentioned in a Log or a ship record) coming over whatever see or ocean with a "written name", repeating: written name in a ship record, list or manifest (nom écrit), even in the case of the "Catholic names" of Kongo-captives? Saludos from Cologne (Koeln) Michael -------------------------------------------------------- Prof. Dr. Michael Zeuske Historiador/Historiker Iberische und Lateinamerikanische Abteilung des Historischen Seminars Universität zu Köln Albertus Magnus Platz D-50923 Köln Tel.: 0049-(0) 221-470-4320 Fax.: 0049-(0) 221-470-4996 Email: Michael.Zeuske@uni-koeln.de www.uni-koeln.de/phil-fak/aspla/zeuske/ www.elcimarron.eu _________ REPLY 7 From: Alejandro de la Fuente [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Monday, May 03, 2010 11:42 AM Dear Michael (and all): I do not know about the 19th century, but as Gwendolyn states, in previous centuries it was customary for Spanish/Portuguese slave ships to have a manifesto which included a list of the slaves, including their Christian names (due to fiscal considerations). Such records can be found in Contaduria and Contratacion at the AGI, Seville. best, Alejandro de la Fuente _________ REPLY 8 From: Gwendolyn Hall [mailto:email@example.com] here you are. p. 1 of a long inventory lisitng names of slaves loaded aboard a ship at Goree heading for Martinique. *Slave Inventory Sheets* * Examples of some of the original documents. Click on the thumbnail to get a larger view* <http://www.ibiblio.org/laslave/inventory/inv4_lg.gif> *Ship from Goree Jasmin, 26, one-eyed. Guinee, 28, swollen testicle. Quiacoura, 26, idem* -- Gwendolyn Midlo Hall Wikipedia Page: http://en.wikipedia.org <http://en.wikipedia.org/> <http://en.wikipedia.org/> wiki/Gwendolyn_Midlo_Hall Most reliable: Mexico Cell Phone: 0115214151012353 Mexico Land Line: 0115214151852284 MagicJack phone from USA: 504-298-2525 (Doesn't always work, but much cheaper). email: firstname.lastname@example.org Louisiana Slave & Free Database: www.ibiblio.org/laslave Mailing Address: Gwendolyn Midlo Hall PMB 547-A 220 N. Zapata Hwy #11 Laredo, TX. 78043-4464 _________ REPLY 8 From: rshell@IAFRICA.COM Dear Michael: Do you mean that the slaves actually wrote their names at point of capture? The slave names were either written by the Captain or Trade Commissioner sometime in their logs, but not in all logs. Most of our knowledge of the slave names comes from the separate lists and of the censuses. Each Cape VOC slave ship had an autochthonous slave interpreter who was multilingual and may have been the person who called out the names. One Cape\Malagasy name Kinsa means Stubborn. I have found several Kinsas in the records. The interpreter may also have written the lists and had something to do with the naming. The lists we have may have been copied by the interpreter (tolk), or re-copied at the Cape. We have one Arabic letter written or transcribed in the Comoros in 1770 by such an interpreter. The slave interpreter was by no means a popular figure among the slaves. One of his peculiar perks was the right to buy his own slaves. We know of one interpreter, Simon de Arabier who was housed separately from the other slaves, but still had his house torched...in the seventeenth century. I found one interpreter who "rescued" his aunt into Cape slavery [sic]. Again Jim Armstrong has done all the pioneering work. I am his humble copyist. VOC slaves born at the Cape had to be able to write if they wanted freedom. Archie Dick and I are currently transcribing a 1724 Slave schoolteacher's ABC book which should be out in the next issue of the Quarterly Bulletin of the SA library. Refs in my index of Children of Bondage, s.v. interpreters Hope this helps, I am finding all these comparative points most illuminating. Yours faithfully, Rob