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Elizabeth Donnan published, Documents Illustrative of the History of the Slave Trade to America, in four volumes between

1930 and 1935. It was originally intended to be in three volumes, but the materials collected for the American colonies was so massive it required a fourth volume. Still so much had to be left out of that series, another book entitled Virginia Slave-Trade Statistics 1698-1775 published by the Virginia State Library in Richmond in 1984 resulted to cover Virginia. The information provided contains a description of the ship, when it was built, when it was registered, who owned it, how many Blacks or Indian slaves were aboard, the port of entry and where and when the bond was given. From the 1700s on the information contained the number of dead or drawn back slaves and where they came from.

Although actual names are not given, the clues provided in these sources coupled with property, tax, court, and later census records can help in tracing colonial African Americans.

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