Stages of the voyage

Preparations

On the 21st of July, 1761, the directors of the Middelburg Commercie Compagnie (MCC) gave orders for the ship The Unity to ready itself for a triangular, or trans-Atlantic slave voyage. This voyage, which was simply called ‘a voyage for slaves’ by the 18th century sources, would take the ship first to West-Africa, then across the Atlantic Ocean to West-India (Caribbean/South-America) and finally back home to Europe.

The Unity was a snow ship. These were relatively small, fast sailing ships with two square-rigged masts. ‘Square-rigged’ means that the sails are attached to horizontal stays instead of the vertical masts. The name ‘snow’ is derived from a separate little mast behind the main mast with a trysail – these are then known as the snow mast and the snow sail, respectively.

The ship was about 73 ft 10 in. long, 10 ft 6 in. deep and 23 ft wide, with one ‘tween deck, about 4 ft 7 in deep, giving a total volume of 6000 ft³. Read more about the Unity.

The decision to make this third voyage was made on 21 July 1761. On the first of October, the crew of The Unity hoisted the sails.

015 Duration of the voyage per stage

016 Triangular trade