The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 42, Issue 1

Article 3
Intra-American and Caribbean Destinations and Transit Points for the Slave Trade

Pedro L.V. Welch


This essay investigates the factors that were involved in the development of an intra-regional trade in enslaved Africans throughout the Americas. It traces the beginnings of this intra-regional trade from the establishment of the Spanish New World empire and its expansion, consequent the emergence of the plantation system in the British West Indies. It notes that even after the abolition of the British slave trade in 1807, several thousands of enslaved persons were traded between the various anglophone Caribbean territories. The trade created multiple “middle-passage” experiences for many of the enslaved and considerably increased the trauma of enslavement. The essay also notes the involvement of Danish, Dutch and Swedish traders in the trade.