White slavery in USA - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Early modern era & beginning of the modern era. Exploration, enlightenment, industrialisation, colonisation & empire (1492 - 1914 CE).
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Here's a quick pair of reviews:

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, more than 300,000 white people were shipped to America as slaves. Urchins were swept up from London's streets to labor in the tobacco fields, where life expectancy was no more than two years. Brothels were raided to provide "breeders" for Virginia. Hopeful migrants were duped into signing as indentured servants, unaware they would become personal property who could be bought, sold, and even gambled away. Transported convicts were paraded for sale like livestock.

Drawing on letters crying for help, diaries, and court and government archives, Don Jordan and Michael Walsh demonstrate that the brutalities usually associated with black slavery alone were perpetrated on whites throughout British rule. The trade ended with American independence, but the British still tried to sell convicts in their former colonies, which prompted one of the most audacious plots in Anglo-American history.

This is a saga of exploration and cruelty spanning 170 years that has been submerged under the overwhelming memory of black slavery. White Cargo brings the brutal, uncomfortable story to the surface.

They came as slaves; vast human cargo transported on tall British ships bound for the Americas. They were shipped by the hundreds of thousands and included men, women, and even the youngest of children.

Whenever they rebelled or even disobeyed an order, they were punished in the harshest ways. Slave owners would hang their human property by their hands and set their hands or feet on fire as one form of punishment. They were burned alive and had their heads placed on pikes in the marketplace as a warning to other captives.

We don’t really need to go through all of the gory details, do we? We know all too well the atrocities of the African slave trade.

But, are we talking about African slavery? King James II and Charles I also led a continued effort to enslave the Irish. Britain’s famed Oliver Cromwell furthered this practice of dehumanizing one’s next door neighbor.

The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.

Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.

From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.

During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.

Many people today will avoid calling the Irish slaves what they truly were: Slaves. They’ll come up with terms like “Indentured Servants” to describe what occurred to the Irish. However, in most cases from the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish slaves were nothing more than human cattle.

As an example, the African slave trade was just beginning during this same period. It is well recorded that African slaves, not tainted with the stain of the hated Catholic theology and more expensive to purchase, were often treated far better than their Irish counterparts.

African slaves were very expensive during the late 1600s (50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than 5 Sterling). If a planter whipped or branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African. The English masters quickly began breeding the Irish women for both their own personal pleasure and for greater profit. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, which increased the size of the master’s free workforce. Even if an Irish woman somehow obtained her freedom, her kids would remain slaves of her master. Thus, Irish moms, even with this new found emancipation, would seldom abandon their kids and would remain in servitude.

In time, the English thought of a better way to use these women (in many cases, girls as young as 12) to increase their market share: The settlers began to breed Irish women and girls with African men to produce slaves with a distinct complexion. These new “mulatto” slaves brought a higher price than Irish livestock and, likewise, enabled the settlers to save money rather than purchase new African slaves. This practice of interbreeding Irish females with African men went on for several decades and was so widespread that, in 1681, legislation was passed “forbidding the practice of mating Irish slave women to African slave men for the purpose of producing slaves for sale.” In short, it was stopped only because it interfered with the profits of a large slave transport company.

England continued to ship tens of thousands of Irish slaves for more than a century. Records state that, after the 1798 Irish Rebellion, thousands of Irish slaves were sold to both America and Australia. There were horrible abuses of both African and Irish captives. One British ship even dumped 1,302 slaves into the Atlantic Ocean so that the crew would have plenty of food to eat.

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By ThirdTerm
Indentured servitude was a method of increasing the number of colonists in addition to voluntary migration and convicts were also forcefully shipped out to American colonies before America's independence for this purpose. Indentured servitude wasn't slavery per se and there were laws to protect some of their rights and they were freed after five years of service and they went on to become small landowners or part of the colonial elite. It was a typical way for working-class Englishmen to start a new life in the New World because they could not afford to pay their passage and indentured servants made up around 60% of the total English emigration to America prior to the American Revolution.

While slaves existed in the English colonies throughout the 1600s, indentured servitude was the method of choice employed by many planters before the 1680s. This system provided incentives for both the master and servant to increase the working population of the Chesapeake colonies. Virginia and Maryland operated under what was known as the "HEADRIGHT SYSTEM." The leaders of each colony knew that labour was essential for economic survival, so they provided incentives for planters to import workers. For each labourer brought across the Atlantic, the master was rewarded with 50 acres of land. This system seemed to benefit the servant as well. Each INDENTURED SERVANT would have their fare across the Atlantic paid in full by their master. A contract was written that stipulated the length of service — typically five years. The servant would be supplied room and board while working in the master's fields. Upon completion of the contract, the servant would receive "freedom dues," a pre-arranged termination bonus. This might include land, money, a gun, clothes or food. On the surface it seemed like a terrific way for the luckless English poor to make their way to prosperity in a new land. Beneath the surface, this was not often the case.
Last edited by ThirdTerm on 28 Jun 2013 20:49, edited 2 times in total.
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By Potemkin
King James II and Charles I also led a continued effort to enslave the Irish. Britain’s famed Oliver Cromwell furthered this practice of dehumanizing one’s next door neighbor.

The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.

The author actually means James I, not II. I wonder how many other schoolboy errors he's made....
I think that article is absolutely overflowing with a whole dancing cavalcade of grievous errors. It really reads like a horrendous and mind-boggling story, but John Martin at Globalresearch.ca (click the embedded link) put that article together was clearly playing fast and loose with the facts.

The example of "Black Irish of Montserrat" is assuredly a terrible thing, but it is an extreme exception to the rule. You will not find crowds of mixed people like that anywhere else in the West Indies, and you will not find anyone speaking in an accent like that anywhere outside of the twilight zone that is Montserrat.

So what has he done? Extreme distortions of the facts, and cherry picking somewhere in Montserrat.

The part of that article which was not quoted, is where John Martin goes completely stir crazy and begins asking why schools are not talking about what he's talking about, and begins ending sentences with up to four questionmarks. He then begins to hyperventilate about the 'tanned faces' of West Indian blacks, making some wild speculations about their genetic make up that he absolutely cannot substantiate.

The West Indies is a highly racially stratified collection of societies. Class stratification existed and still exists also, for instance, the 'poor whites' and 'redlegs' or 'indentured servants' did not associate with the blacks, and in fact quite famously refused to work alongside them. This is why the former indentured servant groups in that region are still ethnically isolated even now, they exist as they did back then. And those whites who were settlers that owned assets, also remained pretty much genetically isolated for reasons which ought to be obvious.
A few historical facts that the article doesn't mention:
1. The impact of Malaria
The shift from Irish and low class English indentured servitude to Africans was motivated primarily by malaria -- which had infected large numbers of Dutch and low class English - especially the London Eastenders during the 1600's. Sending slave ships across the Atlantic was very costly, and if indentured servants were infected with malaria already, there was a strong likelihood that none of them would be alive or in any condition to work once they arrived in the New World. And, as a result of importing malaria to the New World, if those Irish and English hadn't already got sick, they would once they were sent to the plantations.

2. Racial identity politics doesn't start until the ruling class needed the support of lower class whites to maintain slavery and continue their rule after slavery ended

The book may get to this, but it is true that the governing classes and landowners of that time didn't see a need to draw distinctions between Africans and the low classes among their own societies, until they were faced with the prospects of slave revolts and unrest later on. Then, it became necessary to establish a hierarchy where Africans were inferior to white servants, and antimiscegenation laws were created to prevent any cooperation. The whites were inculcated with the idea that they would become inferior if they allowed themselves to be intermarried with blacks and give them a slightly superior attitude which still drives many low class southern whites today to support a political and economic system that keeps them impoverished also. Also worth noting that in Louisiana, antimiscegenation laws didn't start until after slavery had ended. Until then, a black who managed to buy or win his or her freedom had all the rights of a citizen....so as through the rest of the South, new laws and schemes were created to maintain the class system. But that's how identity politics works! Just tell someone that they are not the lowest in the social hierarchy, and they will trudge along compliantly in their walmart jobs.

Worth noting that when coal mining really started to become a big business in West Virginia over 100 years ago, that the mine owners established a deliberate policy of hiring in thirds: one third blacks, one third recent immigrants, and one third local whites, in order to lessen the likelihood that the miners would unionize or take any collective action against the owners. Considering the lack of effective action in the wake of mine disasters in the last 10 years, it seems that the policy of divide and conquer is more effective now than it has been in over half a century!
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Thanks for all the replies.
I haven't read this book but thought it was interesting.
It should be mentioned that, while there are some plying of the facts, it is very true that a lot of Irish were sent over to the New World by Cromwell and others. It was part of the, "To Hell or Connaught" policy.

This was repeated throughout the West Indies, though it is correct that you don't normally find people speaking with the Cork accent and that haven't been absorbed into later waves of the African slaves that took their place.

A fair example—from what I know—is Jamaica, where the British tried to redouble their slave system using the Irish under Cromwell. John Thurloe was the main architect of the enslavement in Ireland supposedly saying:

John Thurloe, saying something that's widely quoted that I have not seen the actual text of, wrote:it was a measure beneficial to Ireland, which was thus relieved of a population that might trouble the planters, and of great benefit to the sugar planters who desired the men and boys for their bondsmen and women and Irish girls in a country where they had only Maroon women and Negresses to solace them.

In Jamaica you'll find places called Irish Town, Dublin Castle, Irish Pen, Sligoville, St. Catherine Athenry, Bangor Ridge, Clonmel, Kildare, St. Mary, Belfast, Middleton, Ulster Spring, Hibernia, Leinster Road, Leitrim Road, Longford Road, Killarney Avenue, Sackville Road Kinsale Avenue and even a street named after Tom McDermot

Supposedly the last names survive there and a lot of people have these Irish last names for no reason.

But this is hardly new or different in Europe. The Pope declared the Canary Islands Christianized and part of the Europe sphere, and the Spaniards still enslaved as many as they could. The Portuguese went into Christian kingdoms like Kongo in Africa, who had clergy in Rome, and enslaved them. The Slavs and the Westerners bought each other as slaves during the crusades and after. It's all a big mess.

No hatred for the English more than anyone else doing this (everyone).
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