Okechukwu - Arrival in the Americas
Okechukwu did not see land again. He died from dysentery during the voyage across the Atlantic and his body was thrown overboard.
Read about arrival in the Americas for Kwame, Oyeladun and Kofi.
This medal was produced to celebrate the end of slavery throughout British lands during the reign of William IV on August 1st 1834. It features psalm 118, verse 23 and reads, 'This is the Lord's doing: it is marvellous in our eyes'.
Dysentery was also known as 'flux'. Symptoms include fever, vomiting and bloody diarrhoea. The sufferer would usually die from dehydration (they lost more water than they drank).
Living people as well as dead were thrown over the side of slaving ships. Sick people were thrown into the water to protect the rest of the crew from disease, but some captains took this idea too far.
In 1781 there was the famous case of the slave ship 'Zong'. The ship got lost on the way to the Americas and ran short of fresh water. As a result many people died or fell ill. The captain spoke to his officers and told them that if the Africans died of natural causes the ship owners would have to carry the cost. However, if 'they were thrown alive into the sea, it would be the loss of the underwriters (insurers)'. As a result 133 Africans, some of whom were healthy, were thrown into the water and drowned. The case went to court when the insurers refused to pay any compensation to the ship's owner.
The Zong's captain was found innocent of any wrongdoing.