Books: Unexpiated Guilt

BLACK CARGOES (306 pp.)—Daniel P. Mannix with Malcolm Cowley—Viking ($6.95).

There were two schools of loading. The "loose packers" held that more slaves survived in a ship's hold if they had enough room to lie on their backs. The "tight packers" insisted slaves should be jammed in "spoon fashion" on their sides because, even if a few more died that way, the extra bodies a ship could carry more than made up the loss.

For a slave-ship captain, how to pack the cargo was but one of many vexatious commercial calculations. Another was whether to throw ailing slaves overboard or not. If they...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!