Oyeladun - On the ship
At first there was much room in the space under the floor yet we were chained together. We soon found out why. Through the holes in the walls we could see the coast and sometimes the ship stopped to collect more people like us. Very soon there was no room to move with so many women and children. Then the land disappeared as we moved in the direction of the setting Sun. Then the crying and heat and smell got worse.
Captives on board ship
Holes in the wall
The holes are portholes. These could be opened to let in fresh air but as they were so close to the waterline could only be used when the sea was calm. The only other air usually came from the doorway or hatch through which the captives entered the space.
Collect more people
Slave ships often made more than one pick-up while on the African coast, collecting more Africans, goods, food and water. For the captives who were first onboard, this made an already difficult journey considerably longer.
Women and children
Men and boys went into one space, women and smaller children into another. It was said that this was to stop male captives seducing female captives, and also to prevent women encouraging the men to attack the crew.
The ship carrying Oyeladun is moving west, across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to the Americas.