‘Today a girl slave passed away’
The Zeeland Archives in the Netherlands, which holds the archives of the MCC, a slave-trading company in the 18th century, has made an online reconstruction of one of the 113 voyages made under the company’s auspices.
At this point the Dutch slaver The Unity is not far from the Berbice coast.
Below is a translation of the First mate’s logbook entry for June 20, 1762:
A weak topsail to average topgallant sail breeze came from ENE to E during the morning and forenoon. We had good weather. Today a girl slave passed away, No.17. At noon our estimated compound course and covered distance of the last 24 hours was WNW 33 miles, with an estimated north latitude of 0º28’, longitude 345º38’ and a found north latitude of 0º45’. During the afternoon, evening and at night an average topgallant sail breeze came from E. The weather was good until the morning. (Courtesy of the Zeeland Archives)
A communication from Roosanne Goudbeek of the Zeeland Archives says that “For one and a half years the events on board can be followed day by day on a blog. The main players of 252 years ago ‘tell’ us about the events through the authentic archival documents, such as the logbook, the surgeon’s journal, the trade book and the letters of the captain to the directors in Middelburg, the Netherlands.”
The blog can be accessed on www.atlanticslavetrade. org