African Origins in the U.S.

Of the Africans who reached the United States, 90 percent came from Senegambia (Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali), the Upper Guinea Coast (Sierra Leone, Guinea), the Gold Coast (Ghana), the Bight of Biafra (eastern Nigeria, Cameroon), and west-central Africa (Angola, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon). Almost half of the arriving Africans came from two areas — Senegambia and west central Africa.

Although the demographic figures are revealing, the statistics can disguise the odyssey undertaken by each individual forced to cross the Atlantic on a slave ship. Ethnic and regional categories can provide a window through which to examine the slave trade, but the personal histories of individuals are essential in examining the impact on society, both in Africa and in the Americas, of this forced migration and enslavement.

Biography reveals the experience of Africans and their descendants as they were integrated into the Diaspora in the Americas. It is fortunate that autobiographical and biographical accounts have been recorded for several thousand individuals, and while most relate the experiences of people in the nineteenth century, some accounts of individuals born in Africa in the eighteenth century inform our understanding of the defining period of the African Diaspora.



Regional Origins of Africans Arriving in the United States



Senegambia

Sierra Leone

Windward Coast

Gold Coast

Bight of Benin

Bight of Biafra

West Central Africa

South-east Africa

Totals


1628-1630

0

0

0

0

0

0

100

0

100


1631-1640

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0


1641-1650

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0


1651-1660

0

0

0

0

0

631

434

0

1,065


1661-1670

1,511

0

0

0

0

0

866

0

2,377


1671-1680

331

0

0

568

518

983

0

56

2,456


1681-1690

1,592

0

0

0

0

514

0

448

2,554


1691-1700

2,299

0

0

0

0

2,924

0

1,461

6,684


1701-1710

3,214

0

0

3,424

872

5,295

231

96

13,132


1711-1720

2,812

311

0

2,849

740

4,392

220

1,354

12,678


1721-1730

11,755

1,342

1,806

5,457

1,392

9,798

4,434

851

36,835


1731-1740

12,968

0

0

2,286

783

14,120

31,582

439

62,178


1741-1750

5,583

1,846

330

1,977

0

8,576

2,833

0

21,145


1751-1760

12,866

4,952

2,635

5,087

1,001

8,869

7,226

311

42,947


1761-1770

12,454

6,498

7,043

8,610

1,289

2,739

8,061

0

46,694


1771-1780

10,073

5,876

3,387

6,280

1,117

767

3,319

0

30,819


1781-1790

3,514

1,186

987

5,076

425

362

2,644

0

14,194


1791-1800

1,606

7,142

630

4,143

0

0

868

0

14,389


1801-1810

8,072

14,663

4,966

10,488

981

3,710

27,929

2,164

72,973


1811-1820

905

1,080

0

0

0

1,010

1,230

410

4,635


1821-1830

0

0

0

0

0

91

0

0

91


1831-1840

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0


1841-1850

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0


1851-1860

0

0

0

0

110

0

303

0

413


Totals

91,555

44,896

21,784

56,245

9,228

64,781

92,280

7,590

388,359


Percent

23.6

11.6

5.6

14.5

2.4

16.7

23.8

2.0




Africans in the Chesapeake Tidewater



Senegambia

Sierra Leone

Windward Coast

Gold Coast

Bight of Benin

Bight of Biafra

West Central Africa

South-east Africa

Totals

1628-1630

0

0

0

0

0

0

100

0

100

1631-1640

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1641-1650

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1651-1660

0

0

0

0

0

631

0

0

631

1661-1670

1,511

0

0

0

0

0

96

0

1,607

1671-1680

331

0

0

568

518

983

0

0

2,400

1681-1690

1,592

0

0

0

0

381

0

255

2,228

1691-1700

2,299

0

0

0

0

2,924

0

0

5,223

1701-1710

3,214

0

0

3,197

872

5,295

231

0

12,809

1711-1720

1,832

311

0

1,379

266

3,912

220

1,102

9,022

1721-1730

1,913

329

1,806

4,059

0

9,300

3,505

674

21,586

1731-1740

8,233

0

0

1,222

783

8,538

9,597

0

28,373

1741-1750

2,251

897

0

405

0

7,198

1,343

0

12,094

1751-1760

3,524

1,185

868

716

110

4,145

4,042

0

14,590

1761-1770

3,391

618

2,167

2,616

592

1,263

2,306

0

12,953

1771-1780

750

409

0

1,051

0

617

681

0

3,508

1781-1790

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1791-1800

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1801-1860

0

0

0

68

0

0

0

0

68

Totals

30,841

3,749

4,841

15,281

3,141

45,187

22,121

2,031

127,192

Percent

24.2

2.9

3.8

12.0

2.5

35.5

17.4

1.6



Africans in the Carolinas and Georgia



Senegambia

Sierra Leone

Windward Coast

Gold Coast

Bight of Benin

Bight of Biafra

West Central Africa

South-east Africa

Totals

1700-1710

0

0

0

227

0

0

0

0

227

1711-1720

846

0

0

899

0

480

0

0

2,225

1721-1730

5,168

1,013

0

866

0

498

306

0

7,851

1731-1740

3,468

0

0

447

0

5,582

18,362

0

27,859

1741-1750

769

0

330

219

0

1,378

287

0

2,983

1751-1760

7,369

2,559

1,526

2,654

529

4,724

3,184

311

22,856

1761-1770

7,368

5,029

4,354

3,368

697

1,476

5,755

0

28,047

1771-1780

7,888

4,849

3,387

4,876

1,117

150

2,638

0

24,905

1781-1790

3,309

1,186

987

5,076

0

362

2,445

0

13,365

1791-1800

1,606

6,863

630

3,512

0

0

474

0

13,085

1801-1810

6,795

13,545

4,966

9,243

811

3,710

26,440

1,170

66,680

1811-1820

95

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

95

1821-1830

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1831-1840

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1841-1850

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1851-1858

0

0

0

0

0

0

303

0

303

Totals

44,681

35,044

16,180

31,387

3,154

18,360

60,194

1,481

210,481

Percent

21.2

16.6

7.7

14.9

1.5

8.7

28.6

0.7