National Geographic : 1977 Dec
_, The slave trade: shiploads of agony r- EN MILLION AFRICANS or S .more endured the horrors of long " ocean crossings to New World mines andfields from the late 15th through the 19th centuries. Early shipments supplanted native Americans decimated by disease and overwork under the Spanish yoke. Portuguese, English, Dutch, and French marauders bought their victims on Africa's west coast, then chained and crammed them like cordwood into their ships' holds. All told, a slaver like this one from an 18th-century English engraving (above) could carry about 450 men, women, and children. The death rate sometimes exceeded 20 percent. In the Caribbean,Mexico, and North and South America, survivors were herded to the auction block passport to labor on a plantation.