Many Thousand Gone
African Americans from Slavery to Freedom
It is difficult to believe, but throughout the plantation period there were free blacks as well as slaves in the South. Their position was always unstable and dangerous, for at any time they could be sold back into bondage. The white slave owners hated and feared freed blacks, whom they believed set a bad example for their slaves.
In the last twenty-five years of the seventeenth century the slave trade grew by leaps and bounds. Hundreds of ships went to Africa from Europe and England to barter in human beings and nearly 50,000 Africans were shipped to America as slaves.
Illustrations © 1993 by Leo and Diane Dillon