A Vanished Port: Slave Ship Logbooks

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VanishedporticonshortIn January of 1757, 18-year-old Dudley Saltonstall boarded the Africa in New London. Saltonstall was charged by his father, the ship’s owner, with keeping a log of its voyage to the coast of Sierra Leone.  The Africa was commanded by John Easton, a resident of Middletown.

Once there, Saltonstall transferred to the sloop Good Hope, commanded by Alexander Urqhart, carrying enslaved people to the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean.

The next year Saltonstall recorded his voyage aboard the Fox, another ship involved in the ‘triangle trade’ between New England, Africa, and the Caribbean.

These logs are contained in a book now at the Connecticut State Library. Many thanks to the Library and to Christine Pittsley who digitized the pages of the logbook for this exhibit.

This short video (3:45 minutes) outlines the 1757 voyages of the Africa and the Good Hope, as described in Saltonstall’s log.