From Capture to Sale

The Portuguese Slave Trade to Spanish South America in the Early Seventeenth Century


From Capture to Sale illuminates the experience of African slaves transported to Spanish America by the Portuguese in the early seventeenth century. It draws on exceptionally rich accounts of one of the most prominent slave traders, Manuel Bautista Pérez. These papers cover the whole journey of the slaves from Africa, through Colombia and Panama to their final sale in Peru. The prime focus of the study is on the diet, health and medical care of the slaves. It will not only be of interest to scholars of the slave trade, but also to those interested in the impact of the Columbian Exchange on diets, medicine and medical practice in the early modern period. The book is well illustrated and contains over thirty tables and seven appendices.

From Capture to Sale has been selected by Choice as Outstanding Academic Title (2007).

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Linda A. Newson, Ph.D. (1971) in Geography, University College London, is Professor of Geography at King’s College London. She has published four books and many articles on different aspects of demographic change in colonial Spanish America. She is a Fellow of the British Academy.

Susie Minchin, Ph.D. (1998) in History, University of Cambridge, is an Honorary Research Fellow at King’s College London.
The importance of Newson and Minchin's work is two fold. In the first place, they have uncovered precious new documentation in the Archivo General de la Nación in Lima which gives perhaps the most detailed record we have for the entire proceedings of a slave-trading enterprise from the 1610s. In the second place, they have pieced together perhaps the most detailed account we have of the lives of slaves in this Iberian trade during every aspect of their transatlantic migration, from capture to sale, as their title suggests. [...] This is a book which scholars need to consider with care and detailed attention.Tobias O. Green, University of Birmingham, H-Luso-Africa (May, 2010)

This outstanding book adds significantly to the understanding of a relatively understudied part of the Atlantic slave trade in a period that similarly suffers from neglect, when compared with the attention paid to the trade's later incarnations.J.M. Rosenthal, Choice, 2007

From Capture to Sale shows that Portuguese slave-trading in the early seventeenth century was indeed a risky business. Before the era of trading companies merchants like Manuel Bautista Pérez relied on far-flung networks of kin and compatriots for local knowledge and capital to carry out the many transactions necessary to move slaves safely and profitably from Africa to Peru. Though the authors' conclusion refers to the risks incurred by the Portuguese slave-traders at the heart of the book, the meticulously analyzed evidence on slaves' diets, health, and mortality richly documents the many hazards they too faced on the very long journey from capture to sale. [...]
The text has more than a dozen photographs, maps, and illustrations and is supplemented with thirty-one tables, seven appendices, a glossary of Spanish and Portuguese terms, a bibliography, and an extensive index. This wealth of supporting material is increasingly rare in academic publishing, as is the use of footnotes rather than endnotes. Brill may be one of the few publishers to allow such relative extravagances, but they will be much appreciated by the book's scholarly readers.
Evelyn Powell Jennings, Saint Lawrence University, H-Atlantic

This study can be recommended to all readers interested in the history of the slave trade to Spanish America. A general audience as well as students of slave history will gain from the clear structure of the study following the different stages of slave trade. Thanks to the the rich material presented in 7 appendices, 7 figures, 7 maps, and 31 tables, the study is equally valuable to the specialist.Dagmar Bechtloff, University of Bremen, Hispanica American Historical Review, vol. 88, no. 4, pp. 730-731
List of Illustrations, Maps and Tables

Chapter One: A Bureaucratic Business
Chapter Two: The Acquisition of Slaves
Chapter Three: Time on the Coast
Chapter Four: The Middle Passage
Chapter Five: In the Barracoons of Cartagena
Chapter Six: The Final Passage
Chapter Seven: Slave Doctors, Surgeons and Healers
Chapter Eight: Medicines and Mortality

Appendix A: Textiles Sold on the Upper Guinea Coast 1613 to 1618.
Appendix B: Beads Sold on the Upper Guinea Coast 1613 to1618.
Appendix C: Other Commodities Sold on the Upper Guinea Coast 1613-1618.
Appendix D: Nutritional Composition of Selected West African Staples.
Appendix E: Lists of Daños Calculated on Slaves Purchased in Cartagena 1633.
Appendix F: Business Associates of Manuel Bautista Pérez.
Appendix G: Select Genealogy of the Pérez-Duarte Families.
All those interested in the history of the slave trade and slavery in both Africa and Spanish America, as well as the history of food and medicine in the early modern period.