Tracing the slaves who shaped America

Historians in the News

Just who are the Africans who helped shape the Americas, and where did they come from?

It's a question professor David Eltis and his team at Emory University in Atlanta are trying to answer with a new online project called "African Origins."

Launched in April, the online database could help trace the roots of more than 100,000 Africans who were shipped to the Americas during the transatlantic slave trade.

"In the 19th century, when the slave trade was in the process of being suppressed, there were a set of international courts established around the Atlantic world and captured slave vessels were brought into these ports and adjudicated by the courts," Eltis said....

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