The Hannibal was a wooden sailing slave ship that weighed 450 tons with thirty-six guns mounted on it. The Hannibal could take aboard 750 people at one time.

Captain Thomas Phillips commanding Officer of the Hannibal. Phillips was a British captain and a member of the Royal African Company.

The Royal African Company and the African Company

In 1694 the Hannibal arrived in Ouidah, an African port located in modern-day Benin, and purchase 694 African slaves, about a third of them were women to be transport and sold in the New World. The slaves were branded with the letter ‘H‘ on their chest for the Hannibal. Many slaves tried to escape, so Captain Phillips ordered the crew men to cut off the arms and legs of some to terrify the rest . The slaves were fed regularly corn meal and beans twice a day, they were given only a liter of water per day, and given exercise for an hour every evening to keep them fit. Many of the slaves had to spend the entire voyage on what they called the slave deck, (rigged shelves on the middle of the ship) so the slaves could not sit upright.

An average 20% of the slaves died aboard the Hannibal from disease, physical injuries, and suicide by jumping over board or starving themselves to death.

The Hannibal arrived in the New World with only 372 slaves remaining. 320 African Slaves died during this voyage.

The Hannibal is most remembered for its disastrous voyage in 1694.


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