Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade — Database (

It is estimated that some 37,000 slaving voyages sailed from ports of the Atlantic littoral between the early sixteenth and the mid-nineteenth century and, collectively, they transported an estimated eleven million individuals from Africa.5   The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database comprises more than 35,000 individual slaving expeditions between 1514 and 1866.  Records of the voyages have been found in archives and libraries throughout the Atlantic world. They provide information about vessels, enslaved peoples, slave traders and owners, and trading routes.  Below is the information from this database related to the voyage of Irving in 1786 (noted in the prior page).6

Slave Voyage ID: 81990

Vessel name: Jane

Vessel owner: William Boats & James Percival

Flag: Great Britain

Place & Year constructed: Liverpool (1766)

Place & Year registered: Liverpool (1781)

Rig & Tonnage of vessel: Ship (242 ton)

Place where voyage began: Liverpool

Principal place of slave purchase: New Calabar

Principal place of slave landing: Zion Hill & Tobago, port unspecified

Place where voyage ended: Liverpool

Voyage length, homeport to disembarkation: 190 days

Middle passage: 49 days

Date that voyage began: 1786-5-19

Date vessel departed Africa: 1786-10-7

Date vessel arrived with slaves: 1786-11-25

Date voyage completed: 1787-2-27

Captain's name: Quayle Fargher

Crew at voyage outset: 43

Crew deaths during voyage: 7

Crew Mortality rate: 16.3%

Total embarked: 574

Total disembarked: 526

Slaves intended at 1st place: 550

Slaves died during middle passage: 48

Slave Mortality rate: 8.0%

This data shows a typical triangle slave trade voyage during the 17th and 18th centuries: most experienced a purchase of slaves on the coast of West Africa, their re-sale in the Americas and the return journey to Liverpool with bills of exchange to be drawn against a British merchant house and/or a cargo from Africa and the Caribbean to be sold for cash or credit.7 

Interesting note that the crew mortality rate on this voyage was twice as high as the slave rate; further research (outside the scope of this project) would be required to determine if this is an anomaly or normal.


5 Schwarz, Slave Captain : The Career of James Irving in the Liverpool Slave Trade, Page ix

6 Three authors, whose works were used extensively in this research, Davis Eltis, Stephan D. Behrendt and David Richardson worked on the earlier versions of the Slave Voyages database.

7 Schwarz, Slave Captain : The Career of James Irving in the Liverpool Slave Trade, Page 20