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* The Gallery: The slave trade

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The slave trade

Catalogue Reference:(PRO) FO 84/1310

This photograph is dated to the late 1860s, one of the earliest photographs in the Moving Here Catalogue. It shows the upper deck of a sailing ship crowded with people including children. The picture comes from a series of British Naval documents. Although the slave trade was illegal by this time, it still continued. One of the key roles of the British Navy in the mid-19th century was to patrol the coasts of Africa intercepting ships filled with slaves destined mostly for South Africa, the Middle East or the southern United States. This photograph appears to show either the slave ship itself or perhaps the British ship to which the rescued slaves have been taken.

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