Help identifying sketches of ships - Ships Nostalgia

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Help identifying sketches of ships

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Old 25th July 2020, 20:52
Kevrein Kevrein is offline
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 2
Help identifying sketches of ships

Hi there,

Awesome looking community. I worked as a defense contractor creating data for VMS software and did nothing but read charts and update navigational data all day so it's pretty cool to find the community on the other side who uses it.

But anyway, I've since moved on from that profession and I currently sell maps online. 16k+ maps sold so far, it's going extremely well.

One of the maps created uses three public domain sketches as ships that are worked into the design. I recently had a customer come back to me and claim:

"the specific ships you chose is problematic and is eerily similar to the ships Christopher Columbus used to commit unthinkable crimes against indigenous people. It is also eerily similar to the ships used to displace and enslave millions of African people.(...)in this day and age, where Indigenous and Black people are still suffering from the harmful effects of those "ships", it's time to do more. I hope you hold yourselves accountable for changing these maps. Now that it's brought to your attention, you cannot ignore this. If you do, you are telling the world that ya'll stand behind violence, murder, enslavement, and genocide"

Normally, I would just ignore something like this and move on with my day because we obviously weren't trying to put "Slave ships" on our map. They are just public domain sketches. But, I figured getting an expert's interpretation of the images would help because she seems to be escalating this and even told me:

"P.S Take your time time but I would like a response and your commitment to change this by a certain date."

Hilarious. But anyway. I've attached images of the three ships used in the map's design. If anyone is able to provide any information on what these kinds of ships were and what their primary historical uses were, It would be extremely appreciated. I don't mean to take away from the forum's normal discussion but I don't know who else to ask and there's so many historical ship images out there it's making my head spin trying to tell them apart.



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Old 25th July 2020, 22:09
eddyw eddyw is offline  
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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I don't claim to be an 'expert'. I am though a supporter of the movement to expose the iniquities of the slave trade and slavery and sympathetic to the BLM campaign. That said I don't think the claims made about the images of the ships really carry much weight. The top one looks like an 18th century British Navy 'ship of the line' two decker, possibly a '74' (74 guns) nothing like the ships of Columbus' time.
Middle one later 18th possibly early 19th century naval ship-rigged 'sloop-of-war' judging by the number of gun ports. Fast sailer and ironically the sort of vessel that the RN employed to chase and capture slave ships on the 'middle passage' following the Slave Trade Act 1807.
Third one a merchant brigantine with lateen sail on aftermast and distinctive stern possibly of continental origin (Dutch?) and suitable for shorter voyages.
Slave ships came in all shapes and sizes. Those in the 'triangular trade' were sizeable cargo carriers capable of long ocean passages taking manufactures out to West Africa; slaves to the West Indies; sugar etc back to Britain. Later in the early 19th century specialised smaller faster vessels evolved to evade anti-slave patrols. I've no idea if the map in question is intended to relate to a particular historical period or what scale it is or which area it depicts. I don't think there is any one type of vessel you could definitely conclude 'looks like a slave ship' but it is pretty certain you would not have found the types illustrated above afloat at the same period. It will be interesting to read others' comments.
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Old 25th July 2020, 22:51
Kevrein Kevrein is offline
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 2
Thank you for the response I appreciate it. I should mention, I don't mean to sound dismissive of the BLM movement i'm also in support and I understand this person will interpret these ships in their own way and I'm not counting on being able to change that. But I definitely want to explain my thoughts on assumptions like this that can be harmful and spread the increasing amount of misinformation that's out there. No worries about an expert response, I'm definitely not looking for anything official, just any sort of educated information.
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Old 25th July 2020, 23:13
Mad Landsman's Avatar
Mad Landsman Mad Landsman is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Just a quick search on line produced:
Columbus's ships
A fairly contemporary representation of a slave ship.

Slave ships were large cargo vessels with very limited defensive weapons - guns added weight that could be better used, normally just mounted fore and aft and not in the hold space. Even the one pictured had extra gun ports as an artistic impression.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0024.JPG (157.5 KB, 10 views)
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Old 26th July 2020, 01:05
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makko makko is offline  
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Having perused, many times, the exhibitions at Liverpool Museum, once accompanying Tony Johns of NY City, a monumental African American whose father had been a wrestler, I coincide with Eddyw.

It is just a shot in the dark, or as we say in Mexico,"See if your chewing gum sticks", regarding the sketches. I do not concur that they are slave vessels.

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Old 26th July 2020, 06:30
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Those old antique looking maps and charts look great decorated with a bit of nautical stuff, ships, whales, etc. Why not put the ship drawings on the map and write "Ya Boo" underneath them (in "copperplate" natch).

John T
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Old 26th July 2020, 12:49
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GW3OQK GW3OQK is offline  
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Ignore the threats Kev, perhaps try and get more business out of them. Some people have worked themselves into a warped hatred of history. Next thing could be them destroying tangible representations such as sailing replicas of La Pinta, Nina, Amistad, Mayflower or HMS Victory.
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Old 1st August 2020, 17:15
Piecesofeight Piecesofeight is offline
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I think you could avoid the whole controversy by changing all three designs to line drawings of clippers, fast cargo ships trading between the UK and Australia. They post date the period you have chosen and more importantly post date the slave trade so far as I know and so the implied criticisms would not apply. I'm no expert, this is a lay opinion from the facts as you've stated them.
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