The forced removal of enslaved persons from Africa to North Carolina began in the early sixteenth century, launching an epic journey in both proportion and impact.
Enslaved Africans arrived at North Carolina's ports of Bath, Beaufort, Brunswick, Edenton, New Bern, and Wilmington. In an unfamiliar land, these captive people faced horrific conditions while developing ways to resist, survive, and build the infrastructure of a new nation. Within this paradox, enslaved Africans shaped the colony's history, culture, and economy.
Enslaved Africans constructed the foundational structures of North Carolina's earliest settlements. Transported thousands of miles from their families’ homes to North Carolina's docks, the enslaved also formed systems of kinship that manufactured diverse cultural threads that connect descendant communities across North Carolina.
From 1759-1787 eleven voyages are documented, bringing approximately 2,000 enslaved Africans directly from the African continent to North Carolina's shores. This does not include the many lives lost onboard these vessels prior to disembarking in North Carolina’s ports. These vessels illustrate the direct relationship between the African continent and the development of the institution of slavery within North Carolina.
The information located in the table below is provided by Slave Voyages Database and Walter Minchinton's The Seaborne Slave Trade in North Carolina.