Such claims represent a gross distortion of the facts. There were approximately , free blacks in the United States in Slaves could not own property, move about without consent of their owners, or legally marry. Most professional slave traders, however, set up bases along the west African coast where they purchased slaves from Africans in exchange for firearms and other goods. While there had been a slave trade within Africa prior to the arrival of Europeans, the massive European demand for slaves and the introduction of firearms radically transformed west and central African society. Help Supercharge Snopes For We have big plans. Their testimony was restricted in legal cases and could not be used either for or against whites. Before the end of the seventeenth century, England, France, Denmark, Holland, and Portugal had all established slave trading posts on the west African coast. Miles places the number of enslaved people held by Cherokees at around at the start of the 19 th century and around 1, at the time of westward removal in
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