Eighteenth Century

120 High Street | Reading Room Home | Hours

Papers of the American Slave Trade, provides scholars with access to primary source material on the business aspect of the trade in human beings. The collection documents the international slave trade in Britain’s New World colonies and the United States from 1718 to the trade’s demise after 1808. There are multiple series accompanied by printed guides. More information is available online.

Part one centers on Jamaica, c1765-1848. It includes the Taylor and Vanneck-Arcedekne Papers from Cambridge University Library and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. Highlights include the correspondence and papers of West Indian agents, correspondence and accounts of London agents concerning Jamaica, and materials covering the Maroon and French wars, slave revolts, the treatment of colonists by the British government, births, deaths, marriages, inheritances, debts and family quarrels. A detailed guide is available online.

1080 Chapel Street | Gallery Home | Hours

A portrait of Elihu Yale (1649-1721) and associates being waited upon by an enslaved young man. Painted circa 1708. The Yale University Art Gallery owns a different version of this painting and a related portrait depicting Yale interacting with a similar “black servant.”

409 Prospect Street | Library Home | Hours

Established in Philadelphia in the 1700s by Richard Allen, the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church was the first black church to expand on a national level in the United States. These extensive records of the first AME church detail the establishment and daily operation of the church. The collection also contains committee meeting minutes, records of marriages and baptisms, financial records, receipts, lists of church officers, class roll books, records of committee activities, and other items. More information is available online.

121 Wall Street | Library Home | Hours

Holograph journal of a voyage to Martinique of the three-masted ship Le Diligent. Probably not an official log, the journal was written by First Lieutenant Robert Durand and describes in detail a voyage from Vannes, France, to the coast of Guinea, each slave trade port encountered on the coast, purchase of 256 slaves at Jacquin, voyage to Martinique, selling of the slaves at St. Pierre, and return to Vannes. Also described are conditions of trade in the African and Caribbean ports, dealings between slave traders and kings and chiefs, prices of provisions, competition among slave traders, effects of climate and disease, and expenses and revenues of the voyage.

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