Enslavement and the Middle Passage

museum display cases including paintings and models of ships

Enslavement and the Middle Passage, the second gallery in the International Slavery Museum, looks at how enslaved Africans were taken to work on plantations in the Americas. It includes sections on the economics of slavery; life in the Americas and a walk-in audiovisual display about the Middle Passage.

The Middle Passage was the second leg of the triangular slave trade route | . It involved a horrific eight to ten week journey across the Atlantic in cramped and disgusting conditions on slave ships. Many of the enslaved Africans died of disease and many made the ultimate sacrifice and took their own lives. African men, women and children were treated like animals by European crews and on arrival in the Americas were equally inhumanely treated. The central interactive in this gallery features a two minute recreation of that journey. Please be warned that it includes graphic scenes of life on board a slave ship.

Another large feature of this gallery is a model featuring scenes from a St Kitts sugar plantation in about 1800.

Highlights from the collection

Follow the links below to find out more about each item.