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15 March 2005

The Seaborne Slave Trade of North Carolina

"...Like other branches of seaborne commerce, the maritime slave trade suffered because of North Carolina’s notoriously hostile coast. Shallow sounds and rivers further restricted the draft of vessels and impeded communications inland. As a result, North Carolina ports proved inadequate centers of trade. The comparatively sparse population of the coastal areas also provided only limited markets for imports. North Carolina had no Charleston, Philadelphia, or New York. Until the modest trade in rice and indigo developed to supplement the export of naval stores and animal skins, North Carolina ports furnished few commodities for return cargoes.

This article is an attempt to reconstruct the number of slave importations by sea before the state of North Carolina began restricting the trade in the mid-1790s."

a paper by Walter E. Minchinton

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