Countries and regions in the Atlantic World where slave voyages were organized

by share of captives carried off from Africa

Jan. 1, 2022, 12:53 p.m.

David Eltis

Robert W. Woodruff Professor Emeritus of History

David Richardson

Former Director of the Wilberforce Institute

Introductory Maps

Slave voyages were organized and left from all major Atlantic ports at some point over the nearly four centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Nevertheless, vessels from the largest seven ports, Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, Liverpool, London, Nantes, Bristol, and Pernambuco carried off almost three-quarters of all captives removed from Africa via the Atlantic Ocean. There was a major shift in the organization of slaving voyages first from the Iberian peninsular to Northern Europe, and then later back again to ports in southern Europe. A similar, but less pronounced shift may be observed in the Americas from South to North and then back again.