In 1792, the Danish government announced the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade and granted St. Croix planters a grace period to import slaves before the cessation. Despite hopes for improved conditions for the enslaved after the abolition, surging sugar prices prompted planters to increase imports of enslaved Africans. Census data, slave trade records, and land tax registers illustrate how St. Croix planters, in the face of impending abolition, exacerbated mortality rates among the enslaved and hindered efforts to create a naturally reproducing enslaved population. The short-term acceleration of slave importation after the Danish decision to end the slave trade increased the total mortality rates of Africans throughout the Atlantic region.

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