Description of a Slave Uprising at Sea (1732)
The riskiest and most desperate form of slave resistance was mutiny at sea, attempted numerous times throughout the era of the Middle Passage. From that period, there are some 250 recorded examples of slaves attempting to violently seize control of a ship. In the excerpt below, a sailor named James Barbot, Jr. describes an uprising onboard the English slaver Don Carlos, which left dozens dead or wounded. Once the slaves were subdued, Barbot writes, the crew whipped the remaining conspirators, while at the same time attempting to fortify their defenses against another possible revolt.