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Website Lets Public Track Slave Trade Voyages

This year marks 200 years since the end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, one of the largest, and most tragic, migrations of humans in history. To mark the anniversary, Emory University launched "Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database," a project that allows the public to search information about 35,000 trips and 70,000 slaves traded from the 1500s to the 1800s. In the introduction to the project, David Eltis of Emory writes:

It is difficult to believe in the first decade of the twenty-first century that just over two centuries ago, for those Europeans who thought about the issue, the shipping of enslaved Africans across the Atlantic was morally indistinguishable from shipping textiles, wheat, or even sugar.

Many of European ancestry can search records kept at Ellis Island or other entry points, if they want to know more about their ancestry. Now those of African slave descent can fill in details regarding the voyages of previously anonymous ancestors.


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