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Access the Documents
The central evidence we have about the voyage of the Sally comes from original documents drawn chiefly from the collections of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, supplemented by documents from the Rhode Island Historical Society Library and other archives. These documents include letters, invoices, legal documents, ship's manifests and trade books, memoranda, and other materials. From these texts we can learn more about how the ship was outfitted, who sailed aboard her, what cargo she carried, the details of her trade on the coast of Africa for slaves and provisions, and how her voyage ended. The documents have been digitized and transcribed so that you can see the original sources, and search and read their contents.


The Sally venture unfolded over a period of about eighteen months, beginning with the fitting out of the ship in August 1764 and ending with the ship's return return to Providence in late December 1765. A timeline highlights some of the significant episodes in the ship's journey.


The voyage of the Sally traced a great transatlantic triangle, from New England to the "Guinea Coast" of West Africa, from Africa to the West Indies, and from the West Indies back to New England. Follow the ship's progress using maps from the period.