Old World slave trade routes in the Atlantic before 1759

Jan. 1, 2022, 12:46 p.m.

David Eltis

Robert W. Woodruff Professor Emeritus of History

David Richardson

Former Director of the Wilberforce Institute

Introductory Maps

Before the Atlantic slave trade began and for two centuries thereafter, some African captives were taken to Europe as well as to the Atlantic islands and between African ports. It is hard to get precise estimates of these flows, but they were certainly much smaller than the trans-Atlantic traffic. Many of the captives involved in this traffic were subsequently carried to sugar plantations in the Old World.