New England and the Slave Trade

On the level of I NEVER KNEW:

Slave-trading ship captains, many of whom hailed from New England port towns, regularly sailed in and out of the congested piers of Manhattan. Nathaniel Gordon Sr., a native of Portland, Maine, made a long and prosperous career in buying and selling African peoples beginning in the 1820s, and by the 1830s he was running a regular business in black bodies among the West African coast, Havana, and New York City. Gordon oversaw the conversion of legitimate commercial ships into vessels outfitted for the slave trade, and he remained one step ahead of law enforcement.

The Kidnapping Club: Wall Street, Slavery, and Resistance on the Eve of the Civil War, by Jonathan Daniel Wells, pp. 85 – 86

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