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According to Melvin Sylvester: The Middle Passage has been defined in several ways. Some authors refer to these routes as the "triangle trade" or "circuit trade," "three cornered," "round about," and "transatlantic trade" routes. The typical voyage for slaves taken by the British went south down the coast of Africa into the area adjacent to the Gulf of Guinea. These English slavers brought cargoes of rum, brandy, glass, cloths, beads, guns, and other appealing goods from Europe. They bargained with African traders for their tribal captives. Some slavers entered the shores and kidnapped the unsuspecting natives and took them aboard their slave ships or kept them in waiting areas near the shore called "barracoons" or slave barracks. When the desired number of African slaves was met for shipping, the voyage of middle passage continued from Africa on the slave ships going across the Atlantic Ocean with a destination in one of several ports in the West Indies and Caribbean (including: Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Santo Domingo, and the islands of St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix, and Barbados). In the West Indies and Caribbean, some slaves were off-loaded and
sold to work at the sugar plantations, also called the "Sugar Islands." The raw molasses was taken aboard the ships; then they sailed up the coast northbound for Newport or Bristol, Rhode Island's distilleries, to make rum from the molasses. Other stops along the Atlantic coast where slaves were exchanged for goods or cash were Charleston, South Carolina and Boston, Massachusetts. The goods produced by cheap slave labor were loaded aboard the now empty slave ships along with sugar, tobacco, or cotton for the trip back to England. The rum from the rum distillers went directly back to Africa for more slaves, bartering on this, the Triangular Trade Routes. By 1768, the English slave trade had a figure of 53,000 slaves a year being shipped to the North American continent. Other slave traders included the French at 23,000, the Dutch at 11,000, and the Portuguese at 8,700 slaves being transported yearly from Africa. Estimates of up to 10 million slaves took the Middle Passage Voyage to reach the Americas" (Sylvester).The book Beloved is based on a published story about a slave, Margaret Garner, who in 1851 escaped with her children to Ohio from her master in Kentucky. When she was about to be re-captured, she tried to kill her children rather than return them to life of slavery. Only one of her children died and Margaret was imprisoned for her deed. She refused to show remorse, saying she was unwilling to have her children suffer as she had done.Beloved was published in 1987 and was a bestseller. In 1988 it won the Pulitzer prize for fiction" (Bois). The fictional account of a true story, set in the midst of the end of slavery, may set it within the boundaries of Historical Fiction. The book gives the implied reader a glimpse into what might have happened and how.