Episode 008: Gregory E. O’Malley, Final Passages: The Intercolonial Slave Trade of British America, 1619-1807

Final Passages

The Middle Passage forced millions of African men, women, and children to migrate across the Atlantic Ocean, but did you know that there existed an even more deadly voyage for slaves?

For many Africans the journey into slavery did not end with their arrival at a Caribbean entrepôt such as Barbados or Jamaica.

After their transatlantic journey, many captives had to embark on a second, deadlier voyage to their new homes.

In this episode we explore this second, deadlier voyage with Gregory O’Malley, author of Final Passages: The Intercolonial Slave Trade of British America, 1619-1807.


About the Show

Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.

It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.

Each episode features a conversation with an historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.

Episode Summary

Greg O'MalleyIn this episode we explore the intercolonial slave trade with Gregory O’Malley, Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz and author of Final Passages: The Intercolonial Slave Trade of British America, 1619-1807.

Greg reveals the differences between the transatlantic and intercolonial slave trades and why the latter trade proved so deadly. He shares how the intercolonial slave trade spread slavery throughout North and South America and he also makes a case for why we need to view the slave trade not just as the forced migration of millions of African people, but as a trade.


What You’ll Discover

• How Greg became interested in early American history and the slave trade
• How the the transatlantic slave trade worked
• What the Middle Passage was and how it received its name
• What the intercolonial slave trade was and how it worked
• How far the intercolonial slave trade extended
• More about the 18th-century Atlantic World economy and how it functioned
• How the intercolonial slave trade opened a freer trade between foreign colonies
• Why non-British colonies opened their ports to British slave traders
• The consequences slave traders faced if colonial authorities caught them smuggling slaves
• How the intercolonial slave trade contributed to the spread of slavery in North and South America
• Why transatlantic slave traders preferred to sell most of their slaves in Caribbean ports
• More about how slaves experienced the intercolonial slave trade
• How the intercolonial slave trade came to an end


Links to People, Places, and Publications

Greg O’Malley
Greg’s UC-Santa Cruz Webpage
Greg’s Academia.edu page
• Final Passages: The Intercolonial Slave Trade of British America, 1619-1807


Time Warp PlainTime Warp Question

What might have happened if Great Britain, Spain, and France had stuck to their mercantilist policies and not allowed their colonists to trade slaves with each other? Would there have been an intercolonial slave trade? Would the institution of slavery have spread as far and wide as it did?


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