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IntroductionDepartureMiddle PassageArrivalAbolitionLegacy

Captive Passage: The Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Making of the Americas

Captive Passage
has been made
possible in part by:
National Endowment for the Humanities
Recognition of
additional sponsors
for this exhibition
can be found by
clicking on

Arrival: Life in the AmericasPreference for AfricansThe Slave Markets
European RewardsSlave Populations in the AmericasThe Ships Return to EuropeEconomics
Sugar IntroductionSlavery in North AmericaReligionSilver Mines of South America

The Ships Return to Europe

Completing the triangular trade route, the ships that had carried Africans to the Americas returned to Europe with the products of slave labor. Sugar was the most common cargo, particularly from the Caribbean Islands. Rum and molasses, which are made from sugar, were shipped in large quantities as well. Ships returning from North America carried tobacco, rice, and, beginning in the 1780s, cotton. Coffee, cocoa, spices, mahogany, and indigo were regular return cargoes from the West Indies and South America.