Image Africans liberated from a slaving vessel, 1884

TLF ID M008723

This is a black-and-white engraving showing African men, women and children who had been captured to be sold as slaves and then liberated by the Royal Navy schooner HMS Undine in July 1883. It comes from the 7 June 1884 issue of the Graphic, an illustrated weekly newspaper published in London, and its caption reads 'THE AFRICAN SLAVE-TRADE - SLAVES TAKEN FROM A DHOW CAPTURED BY H.M.S. "UNDINE"'. The men, women and children are shown in the company of two British sailors.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This photograph is a useful source for the year 9 history depth study elective, Movement of peoples (1750-1901), which studies the influence of the industrial revolution on the movement of peoples throughout the world, including the transatlantic slave trade. While these Africans were being transported along the eastern coast of Africa as part of the Indian Ocean slave trade, the scene is highly evocative of the Atlantic trade.
  • Like almost all captured Africans, these men, women and children were being shipped to slave markets in conditions so appallingly overcrowded that large numbers died during each journey. An article accompanying the engraving in the Graphic said that there had been 120 captives in the slave dhow of 64 tons (58 tonnes). The slaves had been kidnapped and brought to the coast at Zanzibar to be transported to Asia.
  • Stamping out the Indian Ocean slave trade was the final step in Britain's transformation from the world's dominant slaving nation to an international anti-slavery enforcer. After the British Parliament outlawed the slave trade in 1807, it took nearly 60 years of diplomatic effort and naval patrolling to finally abolish the Atlantic trade. Then throughout the 1870s, 80s and 90s the British Navy turned its attention to the Indian Ocean trade, capturing around 1,000 dhows and liberating about 12,000 Africans.
Learning area
  • History
  • Studies of society and environment

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: The Library of Congress
  • Organization: The Library of Congress
  • Description: content provider
  • Address: UNITED STATES
  • URL:
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Commonwealth of Australia, 2011, except where indicated otherwise. You may copy, communicate and modify this material for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.