In this article, Hawthorne examined some scholars who as written about the African slave trade with information produced from the Slave Ships record .e.g. David Eltis, Stephen Behrendt, David Richardson, and Herbert Klein’s 1999 The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the postmodern inventory records in Maranhao from 1767 to 1832. In the course of examining the scholarly articles, Hawthorne concluded that the information in those articles didn’t give details of where precisely in Africa Slaves came from. Information recorded in the Slave Ships only included where the slave ship embark in Africa and the number of slaves being transported, hence he furthered his research by studying from the inventory record kept by the people of Maranhao.
The documents in Amazonia were written by savants following the death of slave owners. When Slave owners died in Amazonia, custom requires descendants to make a list of all the properties and belonging of such person. This list also, includes the information of the slaves owned by the deceased. The slaves owned by the deceased were asked several questions such as: their names, ages, marital life, children, profession, valu...
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...ican Slaves answered the inventories keepers, those that answered limited their identity to a certain ethnicity and that the inventory keepers could have assigned different ethnic groups to the slaves. Lastly, most of the African people at this time period were not educated they do not speak English, French or a common language with the Amazonas therefore, there language was a barrier between the two parties. If this is so, the information recorded by the inventories keepers is not reliable as a good source to trace the African Slaves to their origins, the absence of substantial record about the slave trade in America as made it impossible to trace back the African back to their Origins. Though, the primary source used by Hawthorne provided some information about where the slaves hail from, the problem still is that the source used is not hundred percent trustworthy.
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