The Historical Aspects of Slavery

The rubber is good,
the pepper is good,
Three hundred barrels and sacks; I have gold dust and ivory, too,
And better still, I have blacks.

I took the irons off the dead
As I did generally,
And threw the bodies overboard At dawn into the sea'...

... verses from Heinrich Heine's poem on the slave trade. The economic calculations allowed for the deaths of many of the slaves. The cargo would bring returns even if nearly every other slave died of diseases, or from lack of water or the wretched diet. There were rich profits to be made. It is estimated that between 1550 and 1800, about 60 million Africans were sent into slavery.