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The story of American slave trading, from its early beginning in 1619 to its end with the hanging of the last slaver in 1862. In this carefully researched history, John R. Spears, an American naval historian, tells of ship-owners who crammed 500 or more human beings into holds so filthy that half of them died before the voyage ended, of captains who chained their human cargo to the anchor and threw them into the sea to avoid being taken with "evidence. " Chapters on the first slaver pirate to be executed in the United States, the forming of the law that followed Amistad's voyage, "that a man may take another life if his liberty is at stake." Lots of facts showing the gain involved and the dreams of a slave state, the sham efforts to stop slavery and the real ones, fanatical bigots - who they were and how they stood to profit. "The facts about the overcrowded ships and brutal masters in the odious traffic in African slaves."