European Slave trade in the Indian Ocean...

5fish

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Here a look at European Slave trade in the Indian ocean... need for labor...


EARLY IN JULY 1758, the British East India Company’s Court of Directors in London wrote to officials at Bombay (Mumbai) after receiving reports that the financial problems plaguing Fort Marlborough, the company’s factory at Bencoolen (Benkulen, Bengkulu) on the west coast of Sumatra, stemmed from a “want of labouring people.” The directors noted that since company personnel at Madras (Chennai) were unable to procure slaves for their Sumatran outpost while English merchants based at Bombay had “an intercourse with Mozambique and Madagascar, and make the Coffrees a part of their traffick, we order that you purchase all the Slaves procurable, Men, Women, and Children, for our Settlement of Bencoolen, and convey them thither by the Cruizer we have ordered upon that Station, or by any other speedy method that may offer.”1

There is a book as well...

 

5fish

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Here a good summary of European slave trade activity in the Indian Ocean...


The European Indian Ocean slave systems drew captive labor from three interlocking and overlapping circuits: (1) the westernmost, African circuit of East Africa, Madagascar, and the Mascarene Islands; (2) the middle, South Asian circuit of the Indian Subcontinent; and (3) the easternmost, Southeast Asian circuit of Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea (Irian Jaya), and the southern Philippines. The Indian Subcontinent remained the most important source of forced labor until the 1660s. The eastward expansion of the Mughal Empire (1526–1857), however, cut off supplies from Arakan and Bengal, though Coromandel remained the center of an intermittent slave trade that occurred in various short-lived booms accompanying natural and human-induced disasters.
 
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