Historical Records of the DeWolf Family, Series 3: Journal and manifest of Benjamin. S. Olney on board Ship I.s.I.s.

About the Project

The DeWolf family was one of the wealthiest New England families in the 18th-19th centuries and made their fortune from the transatlantic slave trade. Between 1769 and 1820, it is believed that DeWolf-owned vessels carried more than 12,000 enslaved Africans across the Middle Passage. The DeWolf family owned numerous sugar and coffee plantations in Cuba, where sugar from the plantations was made into molasses, transported to Rhode Island in DeWolf vessels, and transformed into rum in DeWolf-owned distilleries. The rum was then taken to Africa and used as payment for enslaved captives, who were transported across the Atlantic and eventually sold in Cuba and ports for tremendous profit. The profit generated from the transatlantic slave trade allowed the family to start a bank and insurance company. In 1808, Congress banned the import of enslaved people into the United States. The DeWolf family turned to new ventures to keep their wealth, including privateering and establishing the Arkwright Mill in Coventry, Rhode Island, which processed and manufactured cotton harvested by enslaved people. Help us transcribe this important collection that documents the business of the transatlantic slave trade and how the DeWolf family profited off the institution of slavery.

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Project Progress (details)
36 pages completed
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