Michael Eli Dokosi is a journalist and a formidable writer with a decade"s experience. He is a blogger, voice-over artist and MC. Dokosi is fluid with both spoken and written communication. He is for the African cause and reckons Africa shall regain its rightful place in world affairs soon.
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Between 1562 and 1567, Hawkins and his cousin Francis Drake made three voyages to Guinea and Sierra Leone and enslaved between 1,200 and 1,400 Africans.
Mind you, these men, women and children would have contained some of the brightest, fittest and strongest the two states would have needed to develop and become mighty.
A loss, accounting for one of the steep costs African states have suffered, not to talk of the death of those who viciously fought back, those who got drowned while escaping and those simply beaten or clobbered to death.
With the slave trade proving more profitable than plantations, Hawkins’ slave-trading path involved sailing for the West African coast and, sometimes, with the help of other corrupted African natives, he kidnapped villagers. He would then cross the Atlantic and sell his cargo with others sold to the Spanish.
Hawkins’ personal profit from selling slaves was so hugethat Queen Elizabeth I granted him a special coat of arms. He was appointed asTreasurer for the Navy in 1577 and knighted in 1588 by the Lord High Admiral,Charles Howard, following the defeat of the Spanish Armada.
Hawkins’ slave business only concluded in 1567 not out of volitionor repentance but because his fleet, which included a ship commanded by FrancisDrake, took shelter from a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. The fight with theSpanish led to the loss of many of his men.
Hawkins escaped in one ship and Drake in another. He’d lost 325 men on that voyage, depleting logistics and his human resource although he recorded a financial profit.
In 1595, Hawkins accompanied his second cousin Sir Francis Drake on a treasure-hunting voyage to the West Indies. They twice attacked San Juan in Puerto Rico, but could not defeat its defences.
During the voyage, they both fell sick. Hawkins died on November 12, 1595, and was buried at sea off Puerto Rico. Drake succumbed to disease, most likely dysentery, on January 27, and was buried at sea somewhere off the coast of Portobelo in Panama. Hawkins was succeeded by his son Sir Richard Hawkins.
Although England banned slavery in 1772, the trade in Africans continued after Hawkins, right into the 19th century across the colonies.
As with many things which cast aspersion on claims by enslaving states and people that they regret the slave trade, Hawkins has numerous public monuments in his name in Plymouth, including the Sir John Hawkins Square.
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However, neither thousands of Africans killed and enslaved by Hawkins and Drake nor the millions who perished in the period that followed, have monuments erected in their memory, much more talk about reparation or financial support for African states affected by such vile acts.