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NEWPORT RI TRIANGLE TRADE THE ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS OF THE RHODE ISLAND SLAVE TRADE An estimated 59070 slaves were taken by Newport Slavers prior to the American Revolution An estimated 15 million were taken to the West in total Between 1709 and 1807 Rhode Island merchants sponsored at least 934 slaving voyages to the coast of Africa Their ships carried an estimated 106544 Africans from their homeland to the New World Coughtry Of the 421 Rhode Island slavers tabulated for the period of 1784 to 1807 402 or 95 can be identified today by port of ownership Three hundred and ninety-seven 988 of the vessels were registered in one of the following Rhode Island towns Bristol Newport Providence and Warren The remaining vessels were owned by merchants in Little Compton or North Kingstown Together Newport and Bristol accounted for 318 African voyages or 792 of post war trade which they shared equally Coughtry Each financed 159 ventures or 396 of the joint total Providence made 55 trips 1374 of the total and tiny Warren RI made 24 trips with 6 of the share Coughtry All together 204 different Rhode Island citizens owned a share or more in a slave voyage at one time or anot her It is evident that the involvement of RI citizens in the slave trade was widespread and abundant For Rhode Islanders slavery had provided a major new profit sector and an engine for trade in the West Indies RHODE ISLANDS MONOPOLIZATION OF THE SLAVE TRADE Rum as a tradable commodity in the late 1600s and early 1700s was a factor in the establishment of the RI slave trade By 1672 the exportation of brandy was taking place and was the work of profit-seeking English and West Indian interlopers or illegal participants in the trade The English based Royal African Company had in fact established a monopoly
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