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A Grandfather's Tale, Chapter 6, MERCHANT SLAVER

A GRANDFATHER'S TALE, LIVERPOOL SLAVE MERCHANT WILLIAM BOLDEN1730-1800


Chapter Six:  MERCHANT SLAVER

Duke Street, Liverpool
                                September, 1775


Edward Mason said this would happen.
There is a knot of Hard-men in the Chamber of Commerce. William James is one of them. A cattle-dealer turned slaver. Someone who thinks all livestock are the same-- that experience in one trade is sufficient qualification for success in the other.
James is a wealthy man, right enough. That much was obvious when the mob took his house and compting-rooms apart on Saturday. Such quantity of furnishings that remained after he and his family decamped to their country house were destroyed in full public view. Good rich stuff, an abundance of china and chintz, linens and plate, all tumbled into the street and smashed and thrown about, his papers and books torn to shreds and scattered to the wind.
When James returns he will find little left to drown his sorrows in either. During the crowd&#…

A Grandfather's Tale, Chapter 5, THE AFRICA TRADE

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A GRANDFATHER'S TALE: LIVERPOOL SLAVE TRADER WILLIAM BOLDEN 1730-1800



Chapter Five:  THE AFRICA TRADE

William Bolden returned to Liverpool in 1767. John Sparling preceded him in about 1765. Together the partners devoted the next six years of their mercantile careers to the slave trade. All their energies and resources were committed to this 'new business' of theirs, in a determined bid to reap as much profit as possible from the traffic in human beings. The money they had made from their trading in Virginia provided the essential seed-capital for their venture. For the rest, they were dependent on the combined human capital of their own management skills, and that of their carefully cultivated contacts in the Liverpool merchant community.

Between the departure of the Fanny on 9 January 1768 and that of the Friendship on 25 November 1773, Sparling and Bolden were investors in 18 slave ships sent to Africa ('the Coast'). These 18 slaving voyages were responsible for pur…

A Grandfather's Tale, Chapter 4, MERCHANT TRADER

A GRANDFATHER'S TALE: LIVERPOOL SLAVE TRADER WILLIAM BOLDEN, 1730-1800


Chapter Four:  MERCHANT TRADER

Norfolk, Virginia
                                    September, 1766

The Black Prince rides low in the water off the Old Fort land. Beyond her, the Hampton Roads are busy enough with vessels waiting on the customs officer to board. But Thomas Newton's ship is anchored close off-shore. Deliberately so. To build his own slaver and name it Black Prince is all part of Newton's little joke. At my expense. Mooring her just off the end of Main-street with a bellyful of slaves is his way of mulching additional laughter from his tavern cronies. But he who laughs last...

I think young Thomas has been a tad too clever in his jest this time. The auction of his "120 Windward Coast Negroes" will follow hard on the heels of the Apollo and the Bassra -- two cargoes of 200 Pieces each that Lawrence and I have just sold to strong demand in these last weeks. With the needs of the South…