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Slave traders had many activities which needed to be done to fulfill their role. First, they had to capture people who would become slaves. This meant raiding villages, often in west Africa, and capturing people against their will. Sometimes, the slave traders would buy Africans who were captured by government leaders and black merchants. Once the slaves were secured, either by capture or purchase, the slaves had to be transported to the Americas. This was an important job of the slave trader. Because conditions on the slaves ships were very bad, there was a good chance that some of the captured slaves would die as they were being transported to the Americas. Every captured slave that died meant a loss of revenue. Thus, the goal was to get the slaves across the ocean in a way that was inexpensive and which kept them alive. Finally, upon arriving in the Americas, the slave traders had to get the slaves ready for auction. A properly prepared slave could bring in significant revenue.
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