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Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America

Slavery in America, typically associated with blacks from Africa, was an enterprise that began with the shipping of more than 300,000 white Britons to the colonies. This little known history is fascinatingly recounted in White Cargo (New York University Press, 2007). Drawing on letters, diaries, ship manifests, court documents, and government archives, authors Don Jordan and Michael Walsh detail how thousands of whites endured the hardships of tobacco farming and lived and died in bondage in the New World.

Following the cultivation in 1613 of an acceptable tobacco crop in Virginia, the need for labor accelerated. Slavery was viewed as the cheapest and most expedient way of providing the necessary work force. Due to harsh working conditions, beatings, starvation, and disease, survival rates for slaves rarely exceeded two years. Thus, the high level of demand was sustained by a continuous flow of white slaves from England, Ireland, and Scotland from 1618 to 1775, who were imported to serve America's colonial masters.

These white slaves in the New World consisted of street children plucked from London's back alleys, prostitutes, and impoverished migrants searching for a brighter future and willing to sign up for indentured servitude. Convicts were also persuaded to avoid lengthy sentences and executions on their home soil by enslavement in the British colonies. The much maligned Irish, viewed as savages worthy of ethnic cleansing and despised for their rejection of Protestantism, also made up a portion of America's first slave population, as did Quakers, Cavaliers, Puritans, Jesuits, and others.

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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is true...especially among the Irish...but do not tell this to certain people because they only think people who are from Africa were the only slaves in this country!!

Anonymous said...

10:09 Pm,
There a big different between indentured servants who had options. After three years white indentured servant had the option to buy land, go back to their homes or etc. However, African slave had no options period. They couldn't own or buy. They couldn't go back to Africa. They couldn't practice their faith base the men and women were beaten, raped and treated worst than dogs, they were sold. there children were pulled from their parents and sold and most of all; the women woman were breeded like cattle in order to give birth to more slaves to work those fields for free. Need we say more.

Anonymous said...

Just like the Black on White crime, the media and the Left Wing Nuts aren't going to talk about it. they will tell you lies, they will tell you that it was "indentured survants" and not slavery. The will deflect and make you feel bad because blacks had it harder than white slaves, shame on you for asking. They will make you feel like a racist for even talking about you, you racist... etc.

Anonymous said...

Not only that. The history books act like every white man had slaves. Less than 1% owned slaves... just like today.

Anonymous said...

It should be told because it's the truth.

Anonymous said...

120 Indentured Servants did not have options. Sorry. Once they were bound by contract to their 'owner' they were dug in for however long the contract lasted. When they ran away, which some did, they had bounties just like black slaves did back in Colonial era. You really should study more history before making these comments. Given the hour, I'll just chalk it up to drunk blogging.

Anonymous said...

With conservative teachers and college professors at a 36 to 1 disadvantage there is little chance of actual American History being taught. The teacher's union approves all teaching and instruction materials so that the students can be properly indoctrinated into the Soros approved Progressive way of 'thinking'.

Anonymous said...

1:44 Pm,
At least indentured servant had contact. Slaves had no contracts. Slaves were born into slavery. Slaves worked for free and died as slaves. This is a fact and not drunk blogging.