Thanks for the book recommendation. Does he get into " why Africa " in the first place? I wish I could remember the source from the top of my head- may be Mann, said the Native Americans already here were sure handy but disease brought by Europeans decimated the population. As in one man, enslaved, escaped, kidnapped to Europe, made his way back, saw the world he left simply gone. So they began swiping people from another continent.\n\nI'm not sure why these incredibly important pieces of history tend to be missing from both current narrative and really, American history. Just bookmarked Berlin's book. Sounds awfully depressing but important.\n\n\nYes, to a degree. Although there are other works that go into more detail about how and why Europeans ceased being "enslavable" while Africans grew more so... To be brief and avoid thread drift, part of the answer lay in supply: By 1453 the Ottoman Empire and the fall of Constantinople cut off sources of supply in the Black Sea and Mediterranean. At the same time, the extension into the Atlantic World created new catchment areas--the Guanches of the Canary Islands (thought to be kindred to the peoples of North Africa called the Numidians by the Romans and Carthaginians, e.g. modern-day Berber tribes), and eventually sub-Saharan African kingdoms that practiced forms of pawnship, slavery, and highly organized warfare that produced streams of prisoners of war and other captives. Before the discovery of the New World, the Portuguese initially trans-shipped slaves between rival African kingdoms, diverting only a small proportion to "feitorias" or "factories" along the coast and formerly uninhabited islands like São Tomé e Príncipe, etc.\n\nThere was much Indian slavery initially. Witness the Yammassee War in colonial North Carolina. As you note, Indians were highly vulnerable to European diseases. Vis-a-vis African and European, the opposite was true, with Africa and much of the tropic regions that had African diseases brought in veritable "whitemen's graveyards." Also, those Indian peoples that practiced permanent, sustained agriculgure--corn\/maize, squashes, etc.--relied on women farmers. African agriculturalists emphasized men as field hands, or both sexes working in farming. An Indian who escaped into the interior could elude or evade recapture and possibly join other Indian peoples in ways that were more difficult for Africans, although early on of course very many Africans did escape into impassible wildernesses and swamps to form so-called "maroon" communities--"palenques" or "palisaded villages" in Spanish, "quilombos" in Portuguese. Some places like the "Great Dismal Swamp" in the Carolinas are thought to have had some maroons from early on, as did Florida with its "black Seminoles." The phenomenon is more commonly associated with the circum-Caribbean and Brazil, however.