Personal stories: Traders and Merchants

There are not many documents that tell us a lot about the individuals involved in buying and selling their fellow man. Most of the documents that remain are about their business affairs rather than their thoughts and feelings about their trade. Occasionally something in their business letters does say something about the person rather than the businessman, but not often.

There were many people from Bristol who were involved in the slave trade as slave traders and merchants. Very few of them have left any record of their dealings. Often the same names appear again and again in records and documents which can be used today to learn about the slave trade. Some of these names are the Pinneys, the Tobins, the Baillies, James Rogers, and James Laroche. They happen to be the ones who left their business papers in good order for future researchers, but they were not the only ones who were involved in some way in the slave trade.