Newport Slave Traders: A List

Newport Slave Traders: A List

Newport Rhode Island 1777- 1890. New York Public Library.

The Newport merchants who trafficked in human cargo were among the town’s richest residents.

Of the 135 taxpayers assessed in 1772 at 2 pounds or more, nearly half of the top 50 taxpayers were also slave merchants. Six were former slave captains, seven ran distilleries and 19 were major importers of molasses and rum. A dozen years earlier the list included the town’s early slave merchants, including Godfrey Malbone, William Ellery, David Cheseborough and Abraham Redwood.

Aaron Lopez15
Joseph & William Wanton*26
George Rome313
Jacob R. Rivera612
John Tillinghast71
Simon Pease86
John Collins*913
Evan Malbone107
Francis Malbone1110
Samuel & William Vernon1410
John Scott15x
Charles Wickham*183
George Gibbs196
Benjamin Mason207
Edward Wanton*21x
Moses Levy221
John Mawdsley2620
Caleb Gardner*292
Thomas Richardson314
Christopher Champlin*382
Jonathan Otis423
James Clarke 425
Abraham Redwood443
Thomas Cranston456

Sources: Elaine Forman Crane, A Dependent People: Newport, Rhode Island in the Revolutionary Era; Jay Coughtry, The Notorious Triangle, Rhode Island and the African Slave Trade, 1700-1807

Paul Davis is a former staff writer for The Providence Journal.

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