A Massive New Database Will Connect Billions of Historic Records to Tell the Full Story of American Slavery

Posted by Jean-Yves on Dec 21, 2019
 

In 1834, a 22-year-old Yoruba man who would come to be known as Manuel Vidau was captured as a prisoner of war and sold to slave traders in Lagos, today the largest city in Nigeria. A Spanish ship transported him to Cuba, where he was sold to a white man who forced him to roll 400 cigars a day (if his pace slowed, he recalled, he would be “stripped, tied down and flogged with the cow hide”).

A decade later, however, Vidau secured permission from a new owner to hire himself out, and with his earnings he bought a share in a lottery ticket—and won. That allowed him finally to buy his freedom.

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