The M iddle Passage. S hantilly Pena Mallory Steffey. Table of Contents. Introduction A Sudden Change of Fate The Ships The Journey Disease Suicide Overboard Olaudah Equiano After the Journey. Introduction. What is the Middle Passage?
“When I looked round the ship too and saw a large furnace of copper boiling, and a multitude of black people of every description chained together, every one of their countenances expressing dejection and sorrow, I no longer doubted of my fate and quite overpowered with horror and anguish, I fell motionless on the deck and fainted. . . . I asked if we were not to be eaten by those white men with horrible looks, red faces and long hair?"
A child, not even one year old, was very sick and unable to eat the boiled rice that had been made for the slaves. The captain decided that the child was just being difficult, and set out to ‘teach it a lesson’. A twelve pound piece of wood was tied to his neck, and he whipped the child at every meal. On the fourth day of this torture, the child died, unable to withstand the brutal beating. The captain then called the mother of the child to throw the body overboard. In the beginning, she adamantly refused, but after a severe lashing, she gave in. She walked slowly to the body, gently lifted it up, and tossed it as lightly as she could off the ship. The story is undoubtedly true, told under oath before Parliament.