Reference: FO 84/1310 

Indian Ocean: East African slaves taken aboard the Dutch HMS Daphne from a Arab dhow, 1 November 1868.

These photographs dated 1868 reveals a very little of the terrible suffering caused to millions of people by the slave trade. This group of severely emaciated boys and young men on the lower deck of a Royal Naval ship apparently have been taken from what was a slave vessel trading illegally off the African coast headed to the Americas. The captain of the Royal Naval ship had instructions not to return the rescued slaves to the place on the coast where they had been put on the slave ship (presumably because they were in danger of being recaptured by traders) but it is not clear from the available documentation what happened to them afterwards.

Public Domain Photographs
Date: 1868
Origin of Photos: The National Archives, United Kingdom
This 1868 photograph is believed to show a group of rescued slaves from an illegal slave ship.

“Group of Slaves with Arab men”
Zanzibar, 1850-1890
The Indian Ocean Slave trade evolved around the Indian Ocean basin. Slaves were taken from mainland East Africa and sold in markets in the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf. In contrast to the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the Indian Ocean Slave Trade was much older dating back from at least the second century C.E. until the early twentieth century. For example, the oldest written document from the East Africa Coast, the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, describes a small trade in slaves around the second century C.E.
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