Description of Items which might cause a prospective slave vessel to be Condemned

Description of Items which might cause a prospective slave vessel to be Condemned, per a tick-off list provided by the Marshall's Office at the Vice-Admiralty Court at St. Helena ;

  • Slave coppers fitted ie cooking vessels were sufficiently large to enable large quantities of food, such as Farina and Jerked beef, to be cooked, sometimes for up to 800 or more Slaves.
  • Open gratings ; ie the hatches on normal merchant vessels were normally water tight, but in order for air to circulate the hatches on slave vessels were replaced by hatches with open gratings.
  • Slave deck laid, sometimes, on smaller vessels, mats laid on water casks, but usually a timber platform fitted across the vessel, may be the length of the vessel, often divided to separate males from females and children.
  • Water casks for and after ; enormous quantities of water of a large number of people ie thousands of gallons.
  • Slave irons and shackles to control the movements of slaves.
  • Ladles for slave coppers, ie larger than would be of any use on a regular merchant vessel.
  • Mess Kids in large quantities for the slaves to eat off.
  • Poo Poo tubs, probably says it all.
  • Large hatchways.
  • Food : Farinha, Beans, Rice, and Jerked beef in enormous quantities, far greater than could be consumed by a vessel's regular crew.
  • There are other clues, and I'll attempt to come back to them when I come across them, e.g. a slave deck might not be fitted, but the wood to make it and the bulkheads around the where the slave deck is to be fitted will be notched to support the planks when fitted,
  • and to that can probably be added the large cooker required to support the coppers mentioned above.
  • or the bricks to build such a cooker might be a clue.
  • or a large sheet of lead laid down under where the cooker will be built.
  • or wooden carlings fitted around the hatches in an attempt to prevent water getting below decks.

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