"That chief is a brave as Caesar," said one of the white men when
the fight was won.
"A black Caesar," laughed another, and so this chief come to be
known as Black Caesar. The chief and his warriors did not know it but
at this time many thousands of free Africans were forced into slavery
each year. Slave traders sometimes lured the Negroes into their ships by
false promises, and sometimes they need whips and guns. Often whole
villages-men, women, and children-were placed in chains and carried
to America. Under this cruel treatment, many hundreds of Negroes died
each month while being carried across the Atlantic Ocean. They were
confined in little dark cells not much larger than coffins. Nearly always
they went hungry, thirsty, and unclothed.
The slave trader sailed his ship westward to America where he
hoped to sell the black men as slaves. He gave them little to eat. He
wished them to be too weak to fight when they reached America.
During the long voyage the first mate dressed black Caesar's wounds
and gave him food.
When the ship reached the Florida Keys a great storm arose and
wrecked it. The first mate freed Black Caesar from his chains. Together,
they opened the hold but only a few of the warriors came out. The
others were too weak or too sick to help themselves.
Led by the mate, Black Caesar and his men ran up on deck.
The trader and his men had already left the ship, but one life boat still