Primary Source

Children in the Slave Trade Table

Children in the Slave Trade Table


The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: A Database on CD-ROM, edited by David Eltis, Stephen D. Behrendt, David Richardson, and Herbert S. Klein, contains the best quantitative evidence to date on the number of Africans sold into the slave trade. A collection of trader inventories, the CD-Rom serves as a searchable database of voyages that took place during from the 16th to 19th centuries. Information on points of embarkation and disembarkation, mortality rates, gender and age, captains and crew, instances of rebellion, and epidemics can all be found in the database. However, one should be aware that the information is not complete and that is drawn from the evidence recorded in slave ship logs by the captain and crew. Therefore, the quantitative data gleaned from such a source should be used carefully.

In the chart on the left, the number of children recorded in the database by century is listed, as well as the region of embarkation. This data shows an increase in children traveling the Middle Passage, as well as changes in supply and demand from region of disembarkation. This not only gives an idea of changes in planter demand and child worth, but also regional preference as well. Furthermore, the data suggests changes in supply as well as demand.

This source is a part of the Children in the Slave Trade teaching module.


The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: A Database on CD-Rom. Edited by David Eltis, Stephen Behrendt, Herbert S. Klein, and David Richardson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Annotated by Colleen A. Vasconcellos. Now available as Slave Voyages,

How to Cite This Source

"Children in the Slave Trade Table," in World History Commons, [accessed December 7, 2023]