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    Coast of Slaves

    This is the first volume in Hansen’s classic slave trade trilogy. When America was discovered and plantations established, slave labour became the principal export commodity from the Gold Coast. This book is about the history of Danish/Norwegian participation in the trans- Atlantic slave trade. It describes the organisation of the trade, the participants, the challenge, and the link with the West Indies to where the slaves were transported for work on the sugar plantations. It describes Danish purchase of islands in the West Indies, and traces how the decline in Dutch and British trade, and the abilities of the Danish administration led to a golden age in the Danish slave trade in the 1770s and 1780s. In that period, the Danish share in the total slave trade exceeded ten percent; and the decline in the trade with the growth of a new European consciousness, heralded abolition.

    Coast of Slaves, the first volume of the trilogy, was originally published in Danish in 1967. This English translation is edited to provide explanations about inaccessible references as well as established factual misrepresentations.

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    Coast of Slaves

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    Islands of Slaves

    This is third title in Thorkild Hansen’s classic trilogy on the Atlantic slave trade, originally published in Danish in 1967; and the first major translation and publication of the work in English. In Europe and North America, few are aware that the beautiful and now wealthy Virgin Islands of St Thomas, St Croix and St Jan were once Danish settlements and outposts of the slave trade. Moreover that the question of the independence of the islands was never seriously considered by the Danes, who instead sold them to the US in 1917 for 25 million dollars, several decades after the official end of slavery. This was against the will of the majority of the islanders, who were opposed to rule by the Americans, wary of their iniquitous treatment of blacks. In Denmark meanwhile, the popular view of national history presides that Denmark was the first of the imperial powers to abolish the slave trade. Thorkild Hansen’s work breaks with these miss- representations of Denmark’s role in the Atlantic slave trade. The third and biggest volume in the trilogy covers the period from the introduction of African slaves to the Danish islands, their official emancipation in 1848, subsequent sale to the Americans in the twentieth century, and reactions and resistance to these processes. Scrutinizing Denmark’s moral obligation towards the islanders, the author draws extensively on primary sources, dramatizing and depicting real life characters into a moving and descriptive narrative.

    The introduction is provided by the historian A.V. Adams who states that ‘Hansen’s trilogy and Dako’s scholarly initiative and competence in translating it contributes not only to Danes’ re-reading of their own history, but also to West Indians’ understanding of theirs… Hansen and Darko’s contribution reaches beyond the Caribbean into the larger history of African-diaspora slave resistance… And inasmuch as the islands under consideration of the United States of America, this book through its translation becomes a text of US historiography…’

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    Les Cent Puits de Salaga

    Elles ont le nom de reines guerrières, et tout semble les opposer. Aminah a quinze ans, guette les caravanes de marchands dans la région de Gonja, vend un peu de nourriture. Bientôt, un raid de cavaliers fait d’elle une captive.

    Wurche est une princesse, fille têtue du chef de Salaga, la ville aux cent puits, haut lieu du commerce d’esclaves. Elle a l’âge d’être bientôt mariée, alors qu’elle ne rêve que de pouvoir, en ces temps d’alliances et de conflits entre chefs de tribus, avec les Ashantis de la forêt voisine, avec les Allemands, les Anglais, les Français.

    Et il y a Moro, l’homme à la peau si noire qu’elle est bleue. Il vit de la vente d’esclaves mais croit à la destinée, et cède à la beauté.

    Les Cent Puits de Salaga se déroule à la fin du XVIIIe siècle dans l’actuel Ghana, à la période précoloniale et avant que l’esclavage soit réellement aboli. Une histoire de courage, de pardon, d’amour et de liberté.

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    Ship of Slaves

    This is the second volume in the trilogy, The Ships of Slaves, which tells the story of the Danish/Norwegian participation in the transatlantic slave trade on the Gold Coast (now Ghana) to the West Indies. This volume narrates the middle passage of the slave trade, from the time the remadors at the beach east of Christiansborg coerced the slaves onto the boat. It details the journey the slaves underwent; the conditions in which they travelled, and resulting deaths along the way; and the auctions on St Thomas and St Croix in the West Indies.

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    Ship of Slaves

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  • The Hundred Wells of Salaga

    Aminah lives an idyllic life until she is brutally separated from her home and forced on a journey that turns her from a daydreamer into a resilient woman. Wurche, the willful daughter of a chief, is desperate to play an important role in her father’s court. These two women’s lives converge as infighting among Wurche’s people threatens the region, during the height of the slave trade at the end of the 19th century.

    Set in pre-colonial Ghana, The Hundred Wells of Salaga is a story of courage, forgiveness, love and freedom. Through the experiences of Aminah and Wurche, it offers a remarkable view of slavery and how the scramble for Africa affected the lives of everyday people.

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