Slavery and the Making of AmericaPicture of a plantation house near Social Circle, Georgia
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Captain Thomas Phillips' journal of the voyage of the HANNIBAL
Cited in Dorothy Schneider & Carl J. Schneider, eds. SLAVERY IN AMERICA: FROM COLONIAL TIMES TO THE CIVIL WAR. (New York: Facts on File, 2000).
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Document Description
The Middle Passage journey gave slaves a taste of the harsh conditions captivity might bring once their destination was reached. As reflected by this captain's journal, the slave ships were overcrowded and the quality and quantity of food served to the captives was insufficient.

Their chief diet is call'd dabbadabb, being Indian corn ground as small as oat-meal, in iron mills, which we carry for that purpose; and after mix'd with water, and boil'd well in a large copper furnace, till 'tis thick as a pudding, about a peckful of which in vessels, call'd crews, is allow'd to 10 men, with a little salt, malagetta, and palm oil, to relish; they are divided into messes of ten each, for the easier and better order in serving them: Three days a week they have horse-beans boil'd for their dinner and supper, great quantities of which the African company do send aboard us for that purpose; these beans the negroes extremely love and desire, beating their breast, eating them, and crying Pram! Pram! Which is Very good! They are indeed the best diet for them, having a binding quality, and consequently good to prevent the flux, which is the inveterate distemper that most affects them, and ruins our voyages by their mortality.

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