Supplying the Slave Trade


ACLS Fellowship Program


Economic History


“Supplying the Slave Trade” considers the goods that made the transatlantic slave trade possible, as Europeans and Africans exchanged trade goods for captives on the African coast. This project asks how Europeans generated economic knowledge of tastes and preferences on the African coast, relayed that information back to Europe, worked with international suppliers to acquire the right trade goods, and then strategically deployed those goods in Atlantic Africa. It argues that African consumer demand shaped the transatlantic slave trade, both on the African coast, and deep in the European interior, as European slave-ship outfitters ranged far and wide to get the trade goods their partners desired.