Teaching Module

Children in the Slave Trade

Document Based Question

by Susan Douglass
(Suggested writing time: 50 minutes)

Using the images and texts in the documents provided, write a well-organized essay of at least five paragraphs in response to the following question.

Evaluate the role of children in the Atlantic slave trade during the 18th and 19th centuries, based on analysis of evidence in the documents.

  • How did the capture, transport, and sale of children affect these enslaved individuals
  • What were the advantages and disadvantages of enslaving children to slave merchants and slave owners
  • What do these documents indicate in terms of the possible effects of images and narratives of enslaved children on public opinion about slavery and on the abolitionist movement

Your essay should:

  • have a clear thesis,
  • use at least six of the documents to support your thesis,
  • show analysis by grouping the documents into at least two groups,
  • analyze the point of view of the documents, and
  • recognize the limitation of the documents before you by suggesting an additional type of document or source to make your discussion more complete or valid.

How to Cite This Source

Colleen A. Vasconcellos, "Children in the Slave Trade," in Children and Youth in History, Item #141, http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/teaching-modules/141 (accessed August 23, 2014).