William Davenport, a major 18th century, British, slave trader and merchant from Liverpool, landed his first cargo of slaves at Dominica in 1769. Davenport is said to have financed over 160 slaving voyages, in over 70 ships including the Fox, that arrived in Dominica from Old Calabar.
The enslaved cargo averaged £30 per person; a substantial improvement on the £25-27 per person Davenport received from Barbados and Grenada at the same time.”
No less than 110,000 Africans were imported as slaves into Dominica from the 1700s, particularly after Dominica was ceded to the British following the Seven years’ war. Many would-be sold to neighbouring French planters in Guadeloupe and Martinique, others were sold elsewhere in the Greater British Caribbean. Arnold Kennedy M.A. in his contribution to The Story of the West Indies, in the 1889 reader, The Story of Empire, wrote that Dominica had long been the first contact of many ships crossing the Atlantic. Indeed he wrote, “The words touched at Dominica are as common in the ample records of voyages as “sailed from Plymouth” or “sailed from Bristol.” In one anecdote, he wrote, “After being becalmed for eighteen days, Hawkins’ ships reached Dominica at last by help of the Ordinary Breeze ” (the Trade Wind), which they had been longing for; badly in want of water and glad to scoop up the rain from the pools of which supply, one is glad to notice, the negroes got their share.”
The slave voyages database identifies the regions in Africa where most of my African descendants in Dominica were captured, stored in slave castles along the West African coast, and then later endured the gruelling 4-6 week journey known as the middle passage across the Atlantic chained and crammed into slave ships with names such as: Fly, Black Joke, Prince of Wales and Charles.
The database identifies, Gambia, Bonny, Bassa, Bight of Biafra, Gulf of Guinea Islands, Saint-Louis, Calabar, Anomabu, New Calabar, Banana Island, Cape Mount, Sierra Leone Estuary, Gambia, Popo, West Central Africa, Cameroons, Iiles de Los and Cameroon River as regions from where most of the enslaved in Dominica originated from.