The tiny island of St Helena, 1,000 miles off the coast of south-west Africa, acted as the landing place for many of the slaves, captured by the Royal Navy during the suppression of the slave trade between 1840 and 1872. During this period a total of around 26,000 freed slaves were brought to the island, most of whom were landed at a depot in Rupert’s Bay. The appalling conditions aboard the slave ships meant that many did not survive their journey, whilst Rupert’s Valley — arid, shadeless, and always windy — was poorly suited to act as a hospital and refugee camp for such large numbers. At least 5,000 people are likely to have been buried there.
Story: ScienceDaily | Photo: Wikimedia Commons