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Scottish Slaves

Scotland and the Slave Trade

In the 17th and 18th Centuries

My interest in slavery and the Scots was invoked by listening to a song, The Tall Ship by Duncan Ferguson (www.duncanferguson.com) 

“The song highlights the white slave trade which flourished in the 17th and 18th centuries.  Thousands were kidnapped, chained, whipped and worked to death in colonial America.

Many were shipped from the Highlands of Scotland to Norfolk, Virginia which at that time was part of the British Colonies.

Records are kept in the Orlando Library of thousands of Highlanders who were white slaves in colonial America.  You can also find records relating to the white slave trade in Aberdeen City, the port of origin for many of those poor unfortunate wretches.”

 

The Tall Ship

by Duncan Ferguson

I’m on a tall ship upon the high seas

In chains a prisoner of his Majesty

And for his pleasure I did not agree

To be on this tall ship on the high seas

On the high seas

 

It’s only a month I was hunting the deer

Peat fires a-burning and not have a care

Now my brother lies dead on the moor

No water or bread will he taste any more

Taste any more

 

Oh Caledonia

We are your sons

On a ship on the sea

Norfolk Virginia we are bound  (repeat 3 times)

 

Clare was cooking by the fireside

Wee Jamie lying by her side

They used and abused her, they locked her inside

The burning cottage where my Jamie lies

My Jamie lies

 

I’m on a tall ship a long way from home

In shackles and chains with nowhere to go

Freedom is for the rich, don’t you know

In shackles and chains a long way from home

Long way from home

 

Chorus

Hotter than hell now we land on the shore

I look at my body all covered in sores

Tied up like cattle they pull us along

Through swamp and woodland they hurried us on

They hurried us on

 

The smell of sulphur it floats through the air

The whip on my back it lays my flesh bare

My blood and sweat it falls to the ground

In the swamp the mosquitoes fly all around

 

As I fall to the ground

As I fall to the ground

They all fly around

As I fall to the ground

 

Slavery and the slave trade

Jacobites, Enlightenment and the Clearances

 

“After the 1745 Rebellion many defeated Scots Jacobites fled the country to the West Indies to become slave masters on plantations.”

http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandshistory/jacobitesenlightenmentclearances/slavetrade/index.asp

Interestingly, this “education” website only ever refers to Scots as slave masters

The site is deliberately misleading and perpetuating a lie.

 

 

Scotland and the Slave Trade

In the 17th and 18th Centuries

 

~ overview ~

 

My research into slavery in the 17th and 18th centuries has led me to the conclusion that we have been consistently misled and lied to by successive governments about the historic truth of slavery.

I will begin by stating the official view and go on to show the shameful truth – that large numbers of Scottish people, perhaps as many as 100,000 were rounded up and transported to the colonies to be sold into slavery.

Everyone I have discussed this with assumes that when I say slavery of Scots that I mean bonded slavery.  Not so.  It is true that Scots would bond themselves (debenture) to an owner who paid their passage to the New World – the American colonies. They worked until the debt of passage was paid off, often for years.   It is also true that after Culloden prisoners were exiled as bonded slaves.  But there is a more sinister side to slavery as I shall attempt to show.

 

IT WISNAE US

Background……….the perpetuation of lies, partial truths and misinformation.

Excerpt from www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandshistory/jacobites

 

Slavery and the slave trade

 

After the 1745 Rebellion many defeated Scots Jacobites fled the country to the West Indies to become slave masters on plantations.”

 

Excerpt from The National Trust of Scotland website (www.nts.org.uk)

The Scottish connection

The Scots and English began to own land in the West Indies and the east coast of America in the 1600s. The land was cleared for tobacco and sugar plantations, and native people and indentured servants (with few rights) worked on them. Some Scots owned tobacco plantations.

Following the 1707 Act of Union between Scotland and England, Scottish merchants joined the English trade routes including ‘the triangular trade’. In the 1700s, the sugar and tobacco industries grew, along with the slave trade.

The triangular trade turned people into commodities. This is how it worked:

Goods such as cloth, copper and guns were shipped from Britain to West Africa to be sold or exchanged.  There, captive Africans were bought …… and taken to the West Indies or America and sold as slaves.  The enslaved people worked on the plantations, producing raw materials such as sugar, rum, tobacco and cotton  

 

 

Excerpt from the Scottish Government official web site (www.scotland.gov.uk)

The detailed history of the transatlantic slave trade is unfamiliar to the majority of the Scottish public. It was a period that lasted for nearly 250 years, affecting generations of people, but a period that is often dismissed. Although most people are appalled by the thought of slavery, there is also the attitude that it happened so long ago, that it was an 'American thing' and that very few British people had anything to do with it. The truth is it is only 200 years since the trade ended and even less since slavery was abolished in the British Empire. British ships carried just over 3.4 million Africans to slavery in the Caribbean and America.

Excerpt from www.scotlandagainstracism.com

 

Scotland and the Slave Trade

After the Act of Union in 1707, Scottish merchants were allowed access to the England’s trade routes and began to trade with the new colonies.  Glasgow prospered and became known as the “second city of the Empire”.

Scots travelled to the colonies from all parts of Scotland, some transported by force, others seeking opportunity and adventure.  Merchants arrived followed by administrators, doctors and missionaries.  Some were employed to help manage the estates, others built new plantations themselves.

Many prospered.  In 1796, Scots owned nearly 30% of the estates in Jamaica.  In 1817 they owned 32% of the slaves.

The profits from the slave trade established Glasgow as a major port and made the “tobacco Lords” of Glasgow wealthy.  Many of those who had established estates in the colonies using slave labour returned to Scotland with their wealth, building large mansions.

Some of this wealth was invested in Scotland’s developing industries.  During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Scotland became one of the most advanced industrial economies of the world.

 

Uncovering the Truth

Looking at Irish History

 

Irish Slavery

Jim Cavanaugh

Transportation and Banishment

If Queen Elizabeth I had lived in the 20th Century she would have been viewed with the same horror as Hitler and Stalin. Her policy of Irish genocide was pursued with such evil zest it boggles the mind of modern men. But Elizabeth was only setting the stage for the even more savage program that was to follow her, directed specifically to exterminate the Irish. James II and Charles I continued Elizabeth’s campaign, but Cromwell almost perfected it. Few people in modern so-called “civilized history” can match the horrors of Cromwell in Ireland. It is amazing what one man can do to his fellow man under the banner that God sanctions his actions!

During the reign of Elizabeth I, English privateers captured 300 African Negroes, sold them as slaves, and initiated the English slave trade. Slavery was, of course, an old established commerce dating back into earliest history. Julius Caesar brought over a million slaves from defeated armies back to Rome. By the 16th century, the Arabs were the most active, generally capturing native peoples, not just Africans, marching them to a seaport and selling them to ship owners. Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish ships were originally the most active, supplying slaves to the Spanish colonies in America. It was not a big business in the beginning, but a very profitable one, and ship owners were primarily interested only in profits. The morality of selling human beings was never a factor to them.

After the Battle of Kinsale at the beginning of the 17th century, the English were faced with a problem of some 30,000 military prisoners, which they solved by creating an official policy of banishment. Other Irish leaders had voluntarily exiled to the continent, in fact, the Battle of Kinsale marked the beginning of the so-called “Wild Geese”, those Irish banished from their homeland. Banishment, however, did not solve the problem entirely, so James II encouraged selling the Irish as slaves to planters and settlers in the New World colonies. The first Irish slaves were sold to a settlement on the Amazon River In South America in 1612. It would probably be more accurate to say that the first “recorded” sale of Irish slaves was in 1612, because the English, who were noted for their meticulous record keeping, simply did not keep track of things Irish, whether it be goods or people, unless such was being shipped to England. The disappearance of a few hundred or a few thousand Irish was not a cause for alarm, but rather for rejoicing. Who cared what their names were anyway, they were gone.

Almost as soon as settlers landed in America, English privateers showed up with a good load of slaves to sell. The first load of African slaves brought to Virginia arrived at Jamestown in 1619. English shippers, with royal encouragement, partnered with the Dutch to try and corner the slave market to the exclusion of the Spanish and Portuguese. The demand was greatest in the Spanish occupied areas of Central and South America, but the settlement of North America moved steadily ahead, and the demand for slave labour grew.

The Proclamation of 1625 ordered that Irish political prisoners be transported overseas and sold as labourers to English planters, who were settling the islands of the West Indies, officially establishing a policy that was to continue for two centuries. In 1629 a large group of Irish men and women were sent to Guiana, and by 1632, Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat in the West Indies. By 1637 a census showed that 69% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves, which records show was a cause of concern to the English planters. But there were not enough political prisoners to supply the demand, so every petty infraction carried a sentence of transporting, and slaver gangs combed the country sides to kidnap enough people to fill out their quotas.

Although African Negroes were better suited to work in the semi-tropical climates of the Caribbean, they had to be purchased, while the Irish were free for the catching, so to speak. It is not surprising that Ireland became the biggest source of livestock for the English slave trade.

In the 12 year period during and following the Confederation revolt, from 1641 to 1652, over 550,000 Irish were killed by the English and 300,000 were sold as slaves, as the Irish population of Ireland fell from 1,466,000 to 616,000. Banished soldiers were not allowed to take their wives and children with them, and naturally, the same for those sold as slaves. The result was a growing population of homeless women and children, who being a public nuisance, were likewise rounded up and sold. But the worse was yet to come.

In 1649, Cromwell landed in Ireland and attacked Drogheda, slaughtering some 30,000 Irish living in the city. Cromwell reported: “I do not think 30 of their whole number escaped with their lives. Those that did are in safe custody in the Barbados.” A few months later, in 1650, 25,000 Irish were sold to planters in St. Kitt. During the 1650s decade of Cromwell’s Reign of Terror, over 100,000 Irish children, generally from 10 to 14 years old, were taken from Catholic parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In fact, more Irish were sold as slaves to the American colonies and plantations from 1651 to 1660 than the total existing “free” population of the Americas!

But all did not go smoothly with Cromwell’s extermination plan, as Irish slaves revolted in Barbados in 1649. They were hanged, drawn and quartered and their heads were put on pikes, prominently displayed around Bridgetown as a warning to others. Cromwell then fought two quick wars against the Dutch in 1651, and thereafter monopolized the slave trade. Four years later he seized Jamaica from
Spain, which then became the centre of the English slave trade in the Caribbean.
 

On 14 August 1652, Cromwell began his Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland, ordering that the Irish were to be transported overseas, starting with 12,000 Irish prisoners sold to Barbados.

Although it was not a crime to kill any Irish, and soldiers were encouraged to do so, the slave trade proved too profitable to kill off the source of the product. Privateers and chartered shippers sent gangs out with quotas to fill, and in their zest as they scoured the countryside, they inadvertently kidnapped a number of English too. On March 25, 1659, a petition of 72 Englishmen was received in London, claiming they were illegally “now in slavery in the Barbados”'. The petition also claimed that "7,000-8,000 Scots taken prisoner at the battle of Worcester in 1651 were sold to the British plantations in the New World,” and that “200 Frenchmen had been kidnapped, concealed and sold in Barbados for 900 pounds of cotton each."

Subsequently some 52,000 Irish, mostly women and sturdy boys and girls, were sold to Barbados and Virginia alone. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were taken prisoners and ordered transported and sold as slaves. In 1656, Cromwell’s Council of State ordered that 1000 Irish girls and 1000 Irish boys be rounded up and taken to Jamaica to be sold as slaves to English planters. As horrendous as these numbers sound, it only reflects a small part of the evil program, as most of the slaving activity was not recorded. There were no tears shed amongst the Irish when Cromwell died in 1660.

The Irish welcomed the restoration of the monarchy, with Charles II duly crowned, but it was a hollow expectation. After reviewing the profitability of the slave trade, Charles II chartered the Company of Royal Adventurers in 1662, which later became the Royal African Company. The Royal Family, including Charles II, the Queen Dowager and the Duke of York, then contracted to supply at least 3000 slaves annually to their chartered company. They far exceeded their quotas.

There are records of Irish sold as slaves in 1664 to the French on St. Bartholomew, and English ships which made a stop in Ireland en route to the Americas, typically had a cargo of Irish to sell on into the 18th century.
Few people today realize that from 1600 to 1699, far more Irish were sold as slaves than Africans.

Slaves or Indentured Servants

There has been a lot of whitewashing of the Irish slave trade, partly by not mentioning it, and partly by labelling slaves as indentured servants. There were indeed indentureds, including English, French, Spanish and even a few Irish. But there is a great difference between the two. Indentures bind two or more parties in mutual obligations. Servant indentures were agreements between an individual and a shipper in which the individual agreed to sell his services for a period of time in exchange for passage, and during his service, he would receive proper housing, food, clothing, and usually a piece of land at the end of the term of service. It is believed that some of the Irish that went to the Amazon settlement after the Battle of Kinsale and up to 1612 were exiled military who went voluntarily, probably as indentureds to Spanish or Portuguese shippers.

However, from 1625 onward the Irish were sold, pure and simple as slaves. There were no indenture agreements, no protection, no choice. They were captured and originally turned over to shippers to be sold for their profit. Because the profits were so great, generally 900 pounds of cotton for a slave, the Irish slave trade became an industry in which everyone involved (except the Irish) had a share of the profits.

Treatment

Although the Africans and Irish were housed together and were the property of the planter owners, the Africans received much better treatment, food and housing. In the British West Indies the planters routinely tortured white slaves for any infraction. Owners would hang Irish slaves by their hands and set their hands or feet afire as a means of punishment. To end this barbarity, Colonel William Brayne wrote to English authorities in 1656 urging the importation of Negro slaves on the grounds that, "as the planters would have to pay much more for them, they would have an interest in preserving their lives, which was wanting in the case of (Irish)...." many of whom, he charged, were killed by overwork and cruel treatment. African Negroes cost generally about 20 to 50 pounds Sterling, compared to 900 pounds of cotton (about 5 pounds Sterling) for an Irish. They were also more durable in the hot climate, and caused fewer problems. The biggest bonus with the Africans though, was they were NOT Catholic, and any heathen pagan was better than an Irish Papist. Irish prisoners were commonly sentenced to a term of service, so theoretically they would eventually be free. In practice, many of the slavers sold the Irish on the same terms as prisoners for servitude of 7 to 10 years.

The planters quickly began breeding the comely Irish women, not just because they were attractive, but because it was profitable,,, as well as pleasurable. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, and although an Irish woman may become free, her children were not. Naturally, most Irish mothers remained with their children after earning their freedom. Planters then began to breed Irish women with African men to produce more slaves who had lighter skin and brought a higher price. The practice became 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.” This legislation was not the result of any moral or racial consideration, but rather because the practice was interfering with the profits of the Royal African Company! It is interesting to note that from 1680 to 1688, the Royal African Company sent 249 shiploads of slaves to the Indies and American Colonies, with a cargo of 60,000 Irish and Africans. More than 14,000 died during passage.

Following the Battle of the Boyne and the defeat of King James in 1691, the Irish slave trade had an overloaded inventory, and the slavers were making great profits. The Spanish slavers were a competition nuisance, so in 1713, the Treaty of Assiento was signed in which Spain granted England exclusive rights to the slave trade, and England agreed to supply Spanish colonies 4800 slaves a year for 30 years. England shipped tens of thousands of Irish prisoners after the 1798 Irish Rebellion to be sold as slaves in the Colonies and Australia.

Curiously, of all the Irish shipped out as slaves, not one is known to have returned to Ireland to tell their tales. Many, if not most, died on the ships transporting them or from overwork and abusive treatment on the plantations. The Irish that did obtain their freedom, frequently emigrated on to the American mainland, while others moved to adjoining islands. On Montserrat, seven of every 10 whites were Irish. Comparable 1678 census figures for the other Leeward Islands were: 26 per cent Irish on Antigua; 22 per cent on Nevis; and 10 per cent on St Christopher. Although 21,700 Irish slaves were purchased by Barbados planters from 1641 to 1649, there never seemed to have been more than about 8 to 10 thousand surviving at any one time. What happened to them? Well, the pages of the telephone directories on the West Indies islands are filled with Irish names, but virtually none of these “black Irish” know anything about their ancestors or their history. On the other hand, many West Indies natives spoke Gaelic right up until recent years. They know they are strong survivors who descended from black white slaves, but only in the last few years have any of them taken an interest in their heritage

 

 

The Scots-Irish have been enslaved longer than any other race in the world’s history.

 

 

Most governments do not teach White Slavery in their World History classes. Children of modern times are only taught about the African slave trade.

 

Once we have assimilated the full enormity of what happened to the Irish, it is easier to accept that “troublesome” Scots could have been treated in the same way….  

 

White Slavery Re: Slaves of Scotland

(www.africaresource.com)

There were hundreds of thousands of Scots sold into slavery during Colonial America. White slavery to the American Colonies occurred as early as 1630 in Scotland.

According to the Egerton manuscript, British Museum, the enactment of 1652: it may be lawful for two or more justices of peace within any county, citty or towne, corporate belonging to the commonwealth to from tyme to tyme by warrant cause to be apprehended, seized on and detained all and every person or persons that shall be found begging and vagrant.. in any towne, parish or place to be conveyed into the Port of London, or unto any other port from where such person or persons may be shipped into a forraign collonie or plantation.

The judges of Edinburgh Scotland during the years 1662-1665 ordered the enslavement and shipment to the colonies a large number of rogues and others who made life unpleasant for the British upper class. (Register for the Privy Council of Scotland, third series, vol. 1, p 181, vol. 2, p 101).

The above accounting sounds horrific but slavery was what the Scots have survived for a thousand years. The early ancestors of the Scots, Alba and Pics were enslaved as early as the first century BC. Varro, a Roman philosopher stated in his agricultural manuscripts that white slaves were only things with a voice or instrumenti vocali. Julius Caesar enslaves as many as one million whites from Gaul. (William D Phillips, Jr. SLAVERY FROM ROMAN TIMES TO EARLY TRANSATLANTIC TRADE, p. 18).

Pope Gregory in the sixth century first witnessed blonde hair, blue eyed boys awaiting sale in a Roman slave market. The Romans enslaved thousands of white inhabitants of Great Britain, who were also known as Angles. Pope Gregory was very interested in the looks of these boys therefore asking their origin. He was told they were Angles from Briton. Gregory stated, “Non Angli, sed Angeli.” (Not Angles but Angels).

The eighth to the eleventh centuries proved to be very profitable for Rouen France. Rouen was the transfer point of Irish and Flemish slaves to the Arabian nations. The early centuries AD the Scottish were known as Irish. William Phillips on page 63 states that the major component of slave trade in the eleventh century were the Vikings. They spirited many ‘Irish’ to Spain, Scandinavia and Russia. Legends have it; some ‘Irish’ may have been taken as far as Constantinople.
Ruth Mazo Karras wrote in her book, “SLAVERY AND SOCIETY IN MEDEIVEL SCANDINAVIA” pg. 49; Norwegian Vikings made slave raids not only against the Irish and Scots (who were often called Irish in Norse sources) but also against Norse settlers in Ireland or Scottish Isles or even in Norway itself…slave trading was a major commercial activity of the Viking Age. The children of the White slaves in Iceland were routinely murdered en masse. (Karras pg 52)

 

White Slavery, what the Scots already know
by Kelly d. Whittaker

(www.electricscotland.com/history)

 

A famous history professor stated that history was not a science but a continuing investigation into the past; a person’s conclusion is based on their own bias.  This story will offer evidence that the Alba, Scots, Irish and Pics have been the longest race held in slavery.  The reader will be responsible for their own bias pertaining to White Slavery. 

Alexander Stewart was herded off the Gildart in July of 1747, bound with chains.  Stewart was pushed onto the auction block in Wecomica, St Mary’s County, Maryland.  Doctor Stewart and his brother William were attending the auction, aware of Alexander being on that slave ship coming from Liverpool England.  Doctor Stewart and William were residents of Annapolis and brothers to David of Ballachalun in Montieth, Scotland.  The two brothers paid nine pound six shillings sterling to Mr. Benedict Callvert of Annapolis for the purchase of Alexander.  He was a slave.  Alexander tells of the other 88 Scots sold into slavery that day in “THE LYON IN MOURNING” pages 242-243.

Jeremiah Howell was a lifetime-indentured servant by his uncle in Lewis County, Virginia in the early 1700’s.  His son, Jeremiah, won his freedom by fighting in the Revolution.  There were  hundreds of thousands of Scots sold into slavery during Colonial America .  White slavery to the American Colonies occurred as early as 1630 in Scotland.

According to the Egerton manuscript, British Museum, the enactment of 1652: it may be lawful for two or more  justices of the peace within any county, citty or towne, corporate belonging to the commonwealth to from tyme to tyme by warrant cause to be apprehended, seized on and detained all and every person or persons that shall be found begging and vagrant.. in any towne, parish or place to be conveyed into the Port of London, or unto any other port from where such person or persons may be shipped into a forraign collonie or plantation.

 The judges of Edinburgh Scotland during the years 1662-1665 ordered the enslavement and shipment to the colonies a large number of rogues and others who made life unpleasant for the British upper class .  (Register for the Privy Council of Scotland, third series, vol. 1, p 181, vol. 2, p 101).

The above accounting sounds horrific but slavery was what the Scots have survived for a thousand years.   The early ancestors of the Scots, Alba and Pics were enslaved as early as the first century BC.   Varro, a Roman philosopher stated in his agricultural manuscripts that white slaves were only things with a voice or instrumenti vocali.  Julius Caesar enslaves as many as one million whites from Gaul.  (William D Phillips, Jr.  SLAVERY FROM ROMAN TIMES TO EARLY TRANSATLANTIC TRADE, p. 18).

Pope Gregory in the sixth century first witnessed blonde hair, blue eyed boys awaiting sale in a Roman slave market.  The Romans enslaved thousands of white inhabitants of Great Britain, who were also known as Angles.  Pope Gregory was very interested in the looks of these boys therefore asking their origin.  He was told they were Angles from Briton.  Gregory stated, “Non Angli, sed Angeli.”  (Not Angles but Angels).

The eighth to the eleventh centuries proved to be very profitable for Rouen France.  Rouen was the transfer point of Irish and Flemish slaves to the Arabian nations.  The early centuries AD the Scottish were known as Irish. William Phillips on page 63 states that the major component of slave trade in the eleventh century were the Vikings.  They spirited many ‘Irish’ to Spain, Scandinavia and Russia.  Legends have it; some ‘Irish’ may have been taken as far as Constantinople.

Ruth Mazo Karras wrote in her book, “SLAVERY AND SOCIETY IN MEDEIVEL SCANDINAVIA” pg. 49; Norwegian Vikings made slave raids not only against the Irish and Scots (who were often called Irish in Norse sources) but also against Norse settlers in Ireland or Scottish Isles or even in Norway itself…slave trading was a major commercial activity of the Viking Age.  The children of the White slaves in Iceland were routinely murdered en masse. (Karras pg 52)

According to these resources as well as many more, the Scots-Irish have been enslaved longer than any other race in the world’s history.  Most governments do not teach White Slavery in their World History classes. Children of modern times are only taught about the African slave trade. 

White Slavery in America 

The topic of this story is a sensitive one yet one of great importance.  White slavery in America was real. There are many documents that verify the bondage, kidnapping and transporting of Brits to the Colonies as slaves.  The importance of this story will help those who cannot find a ship passenger list on their ancestor.  This story may not pertain to all who came to America that are not listed on ship passenger lists.

The Journal of Negro History #52 pp.251-273 states, “The sources of racial thought in Colonial America pertaining to slave trade worked both directions with white merchandise as well as black.”

Thomas Burton recorded in his Parliament Diary 1656-1659 vol. 4 pp. 253-274 a debate in the English Parliament focusing on the selling of British whites into slavery in the New World.  The debate refers to whites as slaves ‘whose enslavement threatened the liberties of all Englishmen.’

The British government had realized as early as the 1640’s how beneficial white slave labor was to the profiting colonial plantations.  Slavery was instituted as early as 1627 in the British West Indies.  The Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series of 1701 records 25000 slaves in Barbados in which 21700 were white slaves.

George Downing wrote a letter to the honorable John Winthrop Colonial Governor of Massachusetts in 1645, “planters who want to make a fortune in the West Indies must procure white slave labor out of England if they wanted to succeed.”  Lewis Cecil Gray’s History of Agriculture in the Southern United States to 1860 vol.1 pp 316, 318 records Sir George Sandys’ 1618 plan for Virginia, referring to bound whites assigned to the treasurer’s office. “To belong to said office forever.  The service of whites bound to Berkeley Hundred was deemed perpetual.”

The Quoke Walker case in Massachusetts 1773 ruled that; slavery contrary to the state Constitution was applied equally to Blacks and Whites in Massachusetts.

Statutes at Large of Virginia, vol. 1 pp. 174, 198, 200, 243 & 306 did not discriminate Negroes in bondage from Whites in Bondage.

Marcellus Rivers and Oxenbridge Foyle, England’s Slaves 1659 consists of a statement smuggled out of the New World and published in London referring to whites in bondage who did not think of themselves as indentured servants but as “England’s Slaves” and “England’s merchandise.”

Colonial Office, Public Records Office, London 1667, no. 170 records that “even Blacks referred to the White forced laborers in the colonies as “white slaves.”  Pages 343 through 346 of Historical Sketch of the Persecutions Suffered by the Catholics of Ireland by; Patrick F. Moran refers to the transportation of the Irish to the colonies as the “slave-trade.”

Ulrich B. Phillips, Life and Labor in the Old South explain that white enslavement was crucial to the development of the Negro slave system.  The system set up for the white slaves governed, organized and controlled the system for the black slaves.  Black slaves were “late comers fitted into a system already developed.”  Pp 25-26.  John Pory declared in 1619, “white slaves are our principle wealth.”

The above quotations from various authors are just the tip of the iceberg on the white slave trade of the Americas.  People from the British Isles were kidnapped, put in chains and crammed into ships that transported hundreds of them at a time.  Their destination was Virginia Boston, New York, Barbados and the West Indies.  The white slaves were treated the same or worse than the black slave.  The white slave did not fetch a good price at the auction blocks.  Bridenbaugh wrote in his accounting on page 118, having paid a bigger price for the Negro, the planters treated the black better than they did their “Christian” white servant.  Even the Negroes recognized this and did not hesitate to show their contempt for those white men who, they could see, were worse off than themselves.

Governments have allowed this part of American and British history to be swallowed up.  The contemptible black slavery has taken a grip on people associated with American History.  Yet, no one will tell of these accountings that are well established on to the middle 1800’s.

 

Slavery in Scotland?

(www.unknownscottishhistory.com)

 

April 1666 City fathers of Edinburgh were exporting beggars and vagabonds because they were “not fit to stay in the kingdom”. A ship named “Phoenix” which was captained by James Gibson would sail from Leith loaded with the unfit and poor to be sold in Virginia. These people were seen as a commodity in Virginia to be bought and sold like tobacco or firewood.

In February 1659 merchants in Barbados requested a ship load of “shiftless people and vagabonds” to be sold on the block. The Burgh Council was happy to comply, this would clear some of the streets of Edinburgh of the unwanted and unfit.

Many men and women were slaves in Scotland working in the coal mines until 1799. Their status as slaves was hereditary being passed on to their children.

Ships sailing to Virginia needed a cargo. A good example was the ship “Charles” sailing from Leith in 1669. The syndicate that owned her was granted “saleable cargo of any loose beggars or gypsies plus any poor, or unfit they could find on the streets of Edinburgh, Canongate or Leith. Some of these were termed “indentured labour ” a polite term.

In 1681 a ship’s captain who sailed from Port Glasgow told the government he was ready to sail to Virginia, if they had a cargo of “sorners, lusty beggars or gypsies”

It is said many Edinburgh ships in 1690 would top off their ships with mugged and kidnapped people before sailing to the colonies. In 1694 a merchant from Glasgow one James Montgomerie Jr. requested to the Edinburgh Council “collect dissolute women” for shipment to the colonies.

There is a manuscript in the British museum which states that any two judges in any city, towne of the commonwealth can from time to time issue warrants for the arrest of any beggar or vagrant. The said beggars or vagrants to be shipped to the colonies as cargo. The judges in Edinburgh from 1662-1665 ordered the enslavement and shipment to the colonies of any rouges, beggars or any other persons of low class who are a plague on society.

The calendar of state papers, colonial series 1701 records 25,000 slaves in Barbados, of the 25,000 slaves it is noted 21,700 were white slaves.

The term Redlegs or Redshanks in Barbados was used to describe Scots slaves whose fair skin legs would burn in the tropical sun.
(picture: Little Scotland, Barbados)

 

The Forgotten Slaves: Whites in Servitude in Early America and Industrial Britain

Michael A. Hoffman II

(www.revisisonishistory.org)

When White servitude is acknowledged as having existed in America, it is almost always termed as temporary "indentured servitude" or part of the convict trade, which, after the Revolution of 1776, centered on Australia instead of America. The "convicts" transported to America under the 1723 Waltham Act, perhaps numbered 100,000.

The indentured servants who served a tidy little period of 4 to 7 years polishing the master's silver and china and then taking their place in colonial high society, were a minuscule fraction of the great unsung hundreds of thousands of White slaves who were worked to death in this country from the early l7th century onward.

Up to one-half of all the arrivals in the American colonies were Whites slaves and they were America's first slaves. These Whites were slaves for life, long before Blacks ever were. This slavery was even hereditary. White children born to White slaves were enslaved too.

Whites were auctioned on the block with children sold and separated from their parents and wives sold and separated from their husbands. Free Black property owners strutted the streets of northern and southern American cities while White slaves were worked to death in the sugar mills of Barbados and Jamaica and the plantations of Virginia.

The Establishment has created the misnomer of "indentured servitude" to explain away and minimize the fact of White slavery. But bound Whites in early America called themselves slaves. Nine-tenths of the White slavery in America was conducted without indentures of any kind but according to the so-called "custom of the country," as it was known, which was lifetime slavery administered by the White slave merchants themselves.

In George Sandys laws for Virginia, Whites were enslaved "forever." The service of Whites bound to Berkeley's Hundred was deemed "perpetual." These accounts have been policed out of the much touted "standard reference works" such as Abbott Emerson Smith's laughable whitewash, Colonists in Bondage.

I challenge any researcher to study 17th century colonial America, sifting the documents, the jargon and the statutes on both sides of the Atlantic and one will discover that White slavery was a far more extensive operation than Black enslavement. It is when we come to the 18th century that one begins to encounter more "servitude" on the basis of a contract of indenture. But even in that period there was kidnapping of Anglo-Saxons into slavery as well as convict slavery.

Before British slavers traveled to Africa's western coast to buy Black slaves from African chieftains, they sold their own White working class kindred ("the surplus poor" as they were known) from the streets and towns of England, into slavery. Tens of thousands of these White slaves were kidnapped children. In fact the very origin of the word kidnapped is kid-nabbed, the stealing of White children for enslavement.

According to the English Dictionary of the Underworld, under the heading kidnapper is the following definition: "A stealer of human beings, esp. of children; originally for exportation to the plantations of North America."

The center of the trade in child-slaves was in the port cities of Britain and Scotland:

"Press gangs in the hire of local merchants roamed the streets, seizing 'by force such boys as seemed proper subjects for the slave trade.' Children were driven in flocks through the town and confined for shipment in barns...So flagrant was the practice that people in the countryside about Aberdeen avoided bringing children into the city for fear they might be stolen; and so widespread was the collusion of merchants, shippers, suppliers and even magistrates that the man who exposed it was forced to recant and run out of town." (Van der Zee, Bound Over, p. 210).

White slaves transported to the colonies suffered a staggering loss of life in the 17th and 18th century. During the voyage to America it was customary to keep the White slaves below deck for the entire nine to twelve week journey. A White slave would be confined to a hole not more than sixteen feet long, chained with 50 other men to a board, with padlocked collars around their necks. The weeks of confinement below deck in the ship's stifling hold often resulted in outbreaks of contagious disease which would sweep through the "cargo" of White "freight" chained in the bowels of the ship.

Ships carrying White slaves to America often lost half their slaves to death. According to historian Sharon V. Salinger, "Scattered data reveal that the mortality for [White] servants at certain times equaled that for [Black] slaves in the 'middle passage,' and during other periods actually exceeded the death rate for [Black] slaves." Salinger reports a death rate of ten to twenty percent over the entire 18th century for Black slaves on board ships enroute to America compared with a death rate of 25% for White slaves enroute to America.

The hidden Scots victims of the slave trade

By Elizabeth McQuillan

(www.caledonianmercury.com)

 

We tend to be very proud of Scotland’s role in abolishing the slave trade, with parliament passing the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 1807, but Scotland also played an integral role in the development of slavery in the 250 years leading up to this.

Standing as testament to the wealth generated by that association, rows of opulent Georgian townhouses that were once owned by the wealthy plantation merchants, tobacco lords and slave-traders can still be seen in Scotland’s major cities. Street names such as Jamaica Street (Glasgow) also nod to our associated heritage.

There were an extraordinarily high proportion of Scottish plantation owners in St Kitts and Jamaica, as well as Virginia in the American colonies. Scottish merchants and investors fuelled the trade in slavery. Scottish slave traders such as Richard Oswald organised large scale ventures to capture, transport and sell slaves, with voyages leaving from all the main UK ports.

Voyages such as these transported 3.4 million (of the 10 million) African slaves to slavery in the colonies in America and the Caribbean. Shocking as this is, these statistics are a reasonably well-known and documented part of our history.

What is perhaps less well known are the large numbers of Scottish people, perhaps as many as 100 000, that were rounded up and transported to the colonies to be sold into slavery.

According to the Egerton manuscript (held by the British Museum):

“It may be lawful for two or more justices of the peace within any county, citty or towne, corporate belonging to the commonwealth to from tyme to tyme by warrant cause to be apprehended, seized on and detained all and every person or persons that shall be found begging and vagrant. in any towne, parish or place to be conveyed into the Port of London, or unto any other port from where such person or persons may be shipped into a forraign collonie or plantation.”

Affluent and powerful local government officials, who likely had a stake in the plantations, slave trade and the associated benefits, were happy to oblige. The poor, homeless and irksome Scottish people were rounded up – or simply kidnapped – to be sold for a great profit on arrival at their destination. Children were no exception:

Political prisoners were routinely sold into slavery, and The Act of Proscription (1746) stated that anyone wearing tartan or Highland dress was subject to transportation. Conditions on the ships were appalling, and many would not survive the long, gruelling sea crossing and the cruel treatment meted out.

Merchants were known to put in special requests to the city council to fulfil specific wants and requirements for the procurement of slaves. Young women were often on the wish list, and it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to guess at the awful indecencies and treatment that these women endured to amuse the sailors during the long voyages.

As early as the 1600’s, ships from Leith and Port Glasgow in Scotland sailed off to the colonies laden with Scottish people that had been rounded up to be sold at the block to line the pocket of their compatriots. The numbers taken as slaves must have been huge as, according to the Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, America and West Indies of 1701, we read of there being there being an estimated 25,000 slaves in Barbados, of whom 21,700 were white. The fair-skinned slaves were known as Redlegs or Redshanks by the locals because of their sunburned flesh.

It was upon the sweat and tears of these unfortunate people that the British economy was driven forward and thrived.

Descendants of the Scots forced into slavery are now beginning to realise that it a part of our history that has been quietly swept under the carpet, and are understandably feeling very angry. Pressure groups are looking for an official apology, and there is even a Scottish Slave Facebook page that is an “open group to all who believe they are descendents of the Scottish slaves, and all who support the recognition that this happened and demand an apology from the government”.

It is certain that a good few Scottish individuals were appalled by the slave trade and were ultimately integral in the abolition of the slave trade. Scotland, however, was not an innocent bystander and did play a very active role in the procurement, transportation and selling of slaves.

 

rom "Highland Jacobites 1745" by Frances McDonnell

While we should all be aware of the events surrounded the '45 and the reason for the Cumberland being called the Butcher, most think of the rising and the revenge meted out to the Jacobites was mostly fell on the male gender. Here is a list of women that were swept up in those times and the way they were dealt with by the Hanoverians. It should be remembered that this list represents only those that were captured alive - not those that were raped, burned out, or murdered.

Abbreviations used:
Archives
PRO - Public Records Office, London
SP - State Papers
T - Treasury
SRO - Scottish Record Office, Edinburgh
GD - Gifts and Deposits

Publications
BMHS - Barbados Museum Historical Society Journal
MR - The Muster Roll of Prince Charles Edward Stewart's Army 1745-1746, A. Livingstone (Aberdeen, 1984)
P - Prisoners of the '45, B. Seton (Edinburgh, 1929)
SHS - List of Persons Concerned in the Rebellion 1745-1746, Earl of Roseberry (Edinburgh, 1890)

------------------------------------------------------------

Bateman, Katherine, Keppoch's Regiment.
Imprisoned on suspicion and released. SHS.1.215.

Cameron, Anne (and her female child aged 2 months), aged 28 (or 18), from Lochaber, Inverness-shire, "knits and spins", imprisoned 30.12.1745 Carlisle and Lancaster Castle.

Transported to Antigua 8.5.1747, or from Liverpool to Leeward Islands in Veteran, arriving Martinique June 1747. SHS.2.72, PRO.SP36.102

Cameron, Effie, aged 28 from Lochaber, Inverness-shire, "knits and spins," captured at the fall of Carlisle.

Transported 8.5.1747 to Antigua, or from Liverpool to the Leeward Islands in Veteran, arriving Martinique June 1747. SHS.2.80, PRO.SP.36.102

Cameron, Flora, (and her child), aged 40, from Lochaber, Inverness-shire, captured at the fall of Carlisle, imprisoned Carlisle and Lancaster Castle.

Transported to Antigua 8.5.1747, or from Liverpool to the Leeward Islands in Veteran, arriving Martinique June 1747. SHS.2.80, PRO.SP.36.102

Cameron, Jean, Miss, of Glendessary, Inverness-shire, imprisoned Elphinstone 11.2.1746, Edinburgh Castle, discharged on bail 8.7.1746, released on bail 15.11.1746. On suspicion.
Miss Jean or Jenny Cameron is said to have been the daughter of Hugh Cameron of Glendessary, and to have joined the Prince when he set up his standard with 200 men whome she personally led at Presonpans and Falkirk.
On the other hand Aeneas Macdonald, in his account of the early days, says, "She was so far from accompanying the Prince's army that she went off with the rest of the specators as soon as the army marched. Neither was she with the Prince, except when he had his Court at Edinburgh. SHS.2.82

Kennedy, Mary (and child), aged 20, from Glengarry, Inverness-shire, Glengarry's Regiment, "sews and washes."
Imprisoned Carlisle; York Castle, Chester.

Transported 5 May 1747 from Liverpool to the Leeward Islands in Veteran, arrived Martinique June 1747. SHS.2.316 PRO.SP.36.102.

McDonald, Flora, born 1722, from the Isle of Skye.
Imprisoned 1746 Skye; Dunstaffnage Castle, HMS Furnace; HMS Bridgewater (Commodore Thomas Smith), HMS Royal Sovereign the Nore; 6.12.1746 London, Mr. Dick the Messenger's House. Released July 1747.
Her father died in her infancy, she was step-daughter to Hugh Macdonald of Armadale. She was sister of Angus Macdonald of Milton, one of the cadets of Macdonald of Clanranald, and was adopted by Lady Clanranald, chief of the clan.
She met the Prince at Ormaclett in South Uist, and arranged to help him get across to Skye, which they did on 29 June. She accompanied him to Portree, and there left him on 1 July. A few day later she was captured near Sleat and placed on the Furnace where, owing to the presence on board of General Campbell, she was well-treated. From the beginning of September to 7 November she was in HMS Bridgewater in Leith Harbour, and was allowed to meet her friends, and to be entertained by them. On 28 November she was placed in the Royal Sovereign at the Nore, and then transferred to the house of a messenger, Mr. Dick, where there were several other Jacobite prisoners. She was released in July 1747, and in 1750 married Alan, son of Alexander Macdonald of Kingsburgh. In 1775 they emigrated to North Carolina and when the War of Independence broke out he became a Brigadier-General, and was made prisoner. She returned home in 1779, and her husband ultimately rejoined her at Kingsburgh. She died on 5 March 1790. SHS.1.215, SHS.3.58.

McDonald, of Clanranald, Lady Margaret.
Imprisoned July 1746 in Tilbury, London, in messenger's house. Liberated on bail 4.7.1747. Daughter of William Macleod of Luskintyre. Wife of Ranald McDonald of Clanranald. This was the lady who met and entertained the Prince 27 June 1746 at Rossinish. She was taken prisoner shortly afterwards, and sent to London. General Campbell reported that "she had not only been very zealous in serving the Young Pretender while on the Long Island but has brought her husband and several others into that same scrape." The Privy Council on 31 March decided to release her on bail to appear before the Court of Judiciary in Edinburgh. SHS.3.72.

McDonald, Margaret, aged 21 from Inverness.
Imprisoned Inverness, prison ship Thane of Fife, prison ship James and Mary, Medway.
Transported 1747. Taken up for endeavouring to delude the King's men to desert. SHS.1.216 SHS.3.72.

McDonald, Margaret, released. SHS.1.216.

McDonald, Mary, aged 35, from Inverness. Imprisoned in Lancaster Castle.

Transported 1747. SHS.1.216, SHS.3.74.

McGregor, Mary, Keppoch's Regiment. Released. SHS.1.216.

McIntosh, Lady, The Dowager, Anne, aged 21.
Daughter of Colin Mackenzie of Redcastle. Bailie John Stewart, Inverness, describing the treatment of the inhabitants after Cumberland's arrival there, says "the women of Inverness did not escape his royal highness his notice." Several of them were made prisoners and confined to the common guard amongst whom was the Dowager Lady McIntosh, who was confined for the space of 14 days, and contracted so violent a cold during that time that she almost died of it. SHS.3.100.

McIntosh, Lady Anne, from Moy, Inverness.
Imprisoned Moy House, Inverness. Released 1746. Anne, daughter of James Farquharson, 9th of Invercauld, was born 1723. She married Angus of [sic] Aeneas Mackintosh, 22nd of Mackintosh, who, though a Jacobite Peer as 3rd Lord McIntosh, and theoretically a Jacobite, refused to come out and raised a company for the Government. His wife, on the other hand, raised many of the clan, the McBeans, the McGillivrays, for the Prince, and put Alexander McGillivray or [sic] Dunmaglass to command them. Through her vigilance the Prince escaped capture at her house at Moy on 16 February 1746. She was arrested after Culloden, and taken to Inverness, but was released six weeks later through her husband's influence. She died in 1787. SHS.3.102.

McIntosh, Anne, aged 20, from Inverness, "knits and spins." Taken at the capture of Carlisle.
Imprisoned 30.12.1745 Carlisle, Lancaster Castle.

Transported to Antigua 8.5.1747. SHS.1.217, SHS.3.102.

McIntyre, Anne, aged 30, from Argyllshire. Captured at the fall of Carlisle.
Imprisoned at Carlisle 30.12.1745.

Transported to Antigua 8.5.1747. SHS.1.217, SHS.3.104.

McIntyre, Mary. Taken at the fall of Carlisle.
Imprisoned 30.12.1745 Carlisle.

Transported Antigua 8.5.1747. SHS.1.217, SHS.3.106.

McKay, or McLeod, Anne, from Skye. Imprisoned Inverness, released April 1747.
She was in Inverness in the house in which Robert Nairn and McDonald of Belfinlay were put after they were brought in wounded from Culloden. She assisted in a plot laid by certain ladies to help Nairn escape. She was captured and imprisoned in the Tolbooth, and sentenced to be whipped through the town; but this was prevented through interest brought to bear on the military authorities. She was, however, not allowed to sit or lie down, in order to get her to confess the names of her associates. This she refused to do. After some weeks she was released. SHS.3.106.

McKenzie, Anne, aged 60, from Glengarry, Inverness-shire. Taken at capture of Carlisle.
Imprisoned 30.12.1745 Carlisle , Lancaster Castle.

Transported 22.4.1747 from Liverpool to Virginia in Johnson, arriving Port Oxford, Maryland, 5 August 1747. SHS.1.217, SHS.3.114, PRO.T1.328.

McKenzie, Flora, taken at capture of Carlisle. Wife of Donald McKenzie.
Imprisoned 30.12.1745 Carlisle, Lancaster Castle.
Fate unknown. SHS.1.217, SHS3.120.

McKenzie, Jean or Jane, aged 19, "knits, sews and washes," from Inverness, taken at the capture of Carlisle.
Imprisoned 30.12.1745 Carlisle, York Castle.

Transported Antigua 8.5.1747 from Liverpool to Leeward Islands in Veteran, arriving Martinique June 1747. SHS.1.217, SHS.3.124, MR84.

McKenzie, Mary, aged 20, spinner from Lochaber, Inverness-shire, "lusty, healthy lass, knits and spins." Taken prisoner at the capture of Carlisle, 30.12.1745.
Imprisoned Carlisle, Lancaster Castle.

Transported, 5 May 1747 from Liverpool to Leeward Islands in Veteran, arriving Martinique June 1747. SHS.1.217, SHS.3.130, PRO.SP.36.102.

McKinnon, Anne, Lady, Clanranald's Regiment.
Imprisoned Morar; London (in messenger's house). Released 4.7.1747.
Wife of John Mackinnon of Mackinnon. She was taken prisoner to London with her husband. On 25 May 1747 the Privy Council decided she was to be released on bail, "No evidence appearing against her." SHS.3.136.

McQuin, Flora, from the "Highlands."
Imprisoned Lancaster Castle.

Transported 22.4.1747 from Liverpool to Virginia in Johnson, arriving Port Oxford, Maryland, 5.8.1747. SHS.1.217, SHS.3.180, PRO.T1.328.

Shaw, Mary, from Inverness.
Imprisoned Carlisle, Lancaster Castle.

Transported 22.4.1747 from Liverpool to Virginia in Johnson, arriving Port Oxford, Maryland, 5 August 1747. SHS.3.308, PRO.T1.328.

Stewart, Burray, Lady Anne.
Imprisoned May 1746 Burray; London, in custody of messenger, Money. Discharged on bail 4.7.1747.
Daughter of David Carmichael of Balmeady, and wife of Sir James Stewart, Bt. of Burray, Orkney.

 

IT WISNAE US

Background……….the perpetuation of lies, partial truths and misinformation

Excerpt from www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandshistory/jacobites

 

Slavery and the slave trade

 

After the 1745 Rebellion many defeated Scots Jacobites fled the country to the West Indies to become slave masters on plantations.”

 

Excerpt from The National Trust of Scotland website (www.nts.org.uk)

The Scottish connection

The Scots and English began to own land in the West Indies and the east coast of America in the 1600s. The land was cleared for tobacco and sugar plantations, and native people and indentured servants (with few rights) worked on them. Some Scots owned tobacco plantations.

Following the 1707 Act of Union between Scotland and England, Scottish merchants joined the English trade routes including ‘the triangular trade’. In the 1700s, the sugar and tobacco industries grew, along with the slave trade.

The triangular trade turned people into commodities. This is how it worked:

Goods such as cloth, copper and guns were shipped from Britain to West Africa to be sold or exchanged.  There, captive Africans were bought …… and taken to the West Indies or America and sold as slaves.  The enslaved people worked on the plantations, producing raw materials such as sugar, rum, tobacco and cotton                    

 

Excerpt from the Scottish Government official web site (www.scotland.gov.uk)

The detailed history of the transatlantic slave trade is unfamiliar to the majority of the Scottish public. It was a period that lasted for nearly 250 years, affecting generations of people, but a period that is often dismissed. Although most people are appalled by the thought of slavery, there is also the attitude that it happened so long ago, that it was an 'American thing' and that very few British people had anything to do with it. The truth is it is only 200 years since the trade ended and even less since slavery was abolished in the British Empire. British ships carried just over 3.4 million Africans to slavery in the Caribbean and America.

Excerpt from www.scotlandagainstracism.com

 

Scotland and the Slave Trade

After the Act of Union in 1707, Scottish merchants were allowed access to the England’s trade routes and began to trade with the new colonies.  Glasgow prospered and became known as the “second city of the Empire”.

Scots travelled to the colonies from all parts of Scotland, some transported by force, others seeking opportunity and adventure.  Merchants arrived followed by administrators, doctors and missionaries.  Some were employed to help manage the estates, others built new plantations themselves.

Many prospered.  In 1796, Scots owned nearly 30% of the estates in Jamaica.  In 1817 they owned 32% of the slaves.

The profits from the slave trade established Glasgow as a major port and made the “tobacco Lords” of Glasgow wealthy.  Many of those who had established estates in the colonies using slave labour returned to Scotland with their wealth, building large mansions.

Some of this wealth was invested in Scotland’s developing industries.  During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Scotland became one of the most advanced industrial economies of the world.

 

Uncovering the Truth

Looking at Irish History

 

Irish Slavery

Jim Cavanaugh

Transportation and Banishment

If Queen Elizabeth I had lived in the 20th Century she would have been viewed with the same horror as Hitler and Stalin. Her policy of Irish genocide was pursued with such evil zest it boggles the mind of modern men. But Elizabeth was only setting the stage for the even more savage program that was to follow her, directed specifically to exterminate the Irish. James II and Charles I continued Elizabeth’s campaign, but Cromwell almost perfected it. Few people in modern so-called “civilized history” can match the horrors of Cromwell in Ireland. It is amazing what one man can do to his fellow man under the banner that God sanctions his actions!

During the reign of Elizabeth I, English privateers captured 300 African Negroes, sold them as slaves, and initiated the English slave trade. Slavery was, of course, an old established commerce dating back into earliest history. Julius Caesar brought over a million slaves from defeated armies back to Rome. By the 16th century, the Arabs were the most active, generally capturing native peoples, not just Africans, marching them to a seaport and selling them to ship owners. Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish ships were originally the most active, supplying slaves to the Spanish colonies in America. It was not a big business in the beginning, but a very profitable one, and ship owners were primarily interested only in profits. The morality of selling human beings was never a factor to them.

After the Battle of Kinsale at the beginning of the 17th century, the English were faced with a problem of some 30,000 military prisoners, which they solved by creating an official policy of banishment. Other Irish leaders had voluntarily exiled to the continent, in fact, the Battle of Kinsale marked the beginning of the so-called “Wild Geese”, those Irish banished from their homeland. Banishment, however, did not solve the problem entirely, so James II encouraged selling the Irish as slaves to planters and settlers in the New World colonies. The first Irish slaves were sold to a settlement on the Amazon River In South America in 1612. It would probably be more accurate to say that the first “recorded” sale of Irish slaves was in 1612, because the English, who were noted for their meticulous record keeping, simply did not keep track of things Irish, whether it be goods or people, unless such was being shipped to England. The disappearance of a few hundred or a few thousand Irish was not a cause for alarm, but rather for rejoicing. Who cared what their names were anyway, they were gone.

Almost as soon as settlers landed in America, English privateers showed up with a good load of slaves to sell. The first load of African slaves brought to Virginia arrived at Jamestown in 1619. English shippers, with royal encouragement, partnered with the Dutch to try and corner the slave market to the exclusion of the Spanish and Portuguese. The demand was greatest in the Spanish occupied areas of Central and South America, but the settlement of North America moved steadily ahead, and the demand for slave labour grew.

The Proclamation of 1625 ordered that Irish political prisoners be transported overseas and sold as labourers to English planters, who were settling the islands of the West Indies, officially establishing a policy that was to continue for two centuries. In 1629 a large group of Irish men and women were sent to Guiana, and by 1632, Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat in the West Indies. By 1637 a census showed that 69% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves, which records show was a cause of concern to the English planters. But there were not enough political prisoners to supply the demand, so every petty infraction carried a sentence of transporting, and slaver gangs combed the country sides to kidnap enough people to fill out their quotas.

Although African Negroes were better suited to work in the semi-tropical climates of the Caribbean, they had to be purchased, while the Irish were free for the catching, so to speak. It is not surprising that Ireland became the biggest source of livestock for the English slave trade.

In the 12 year period during and following the Confederation revolt, from 1641 to 1652, over 550,000 Irish were killed by the English and 300,000 were sold as slaves, as the Irish population of Ireland fell from 1,466,000 to 616,000. Banished soldiers were not allowed to take their wives and children with them, and naturally, the same for those sold as slaves. The result was a growing population of homeless women and children, who being a public nuisance, were likewise rounded up and sold. But the worse was yet to come.

In 1649, Cromwell landed in Ireland and attacked Drogheda, slaughtering some 30,000 Irish living in the city. Cromwell reported: “I do not think 30 of their whole number escaped with their lives. Those that did are in safe custody in the Barbados.” A few months later, in 1650, 25,000 Irish were sold to planters in St. Kitt. During the 1650s decade of Cromwell’s Reign of Terror, over 100,000 Irish children, generally from 10 to 14 years old, were taken from Catholic parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In fact, more Irish were sold as slaves to the American colonies and plantations from 1651 to 1660 than the total existing “free” population of the Americas!

But all did not go smoothly with Cromwell’s extermination plan, as Irish slaves revolted in Barbados in 1649. They were hanged, drawn and quartered and their heads were put on pikes, prominently displayed around Bridgetown as a warning to others. Cromwell then fought two quick wars against the Dutch in 1651, and thereafter monopolized the slave trade. Four years later he seized Jamaica from
Spain, which then became the centre of the English slave trade in the Caribbean. 

On 14 August 1652, Cromwell began his Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland, ordering that the Irish were to be transported overseas, starting with 12,000 Irish prisoners sold to Barbados.

Although it was not a crime to kill any Irish, and soldiers were encouraged to do so, the slave trade proved too profitable to kill off the source of the product. Privateers and chartered shippers sent gangs out with quotas to fill, and in their zest as they scoured the countryside, they inadvertently kidnapped a number of English too. On March 25, 1659, a petition of 72 Englishmen was received in London, claiming they were illegally “now in slavery in the Barbados”'. The petition also claimed that "7,000-8,000 Scots taken prisoner at the battle of Worcester in 1651 were sold to the British plantations in the New World,” and that “200 Frenchmen had been kidnapped, concealed and sold in Barbados for 900 pounds of cotton each."

Subsequently some 52,000 Irish, mostly women and sturdy boys and girls, were sold to Barbados and Virginia alone. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were taken prisoners and ordered transported and sold as slaves. In 1656, Cromwell’s Council of State ordered that 1000 Irish girls and 1000 Irish boys be rounded up and taken to Jamaica to be sold as slaves to English planters. As horrendous as these numbers sound, it only reflects a small part of the evil program, as most of the slaving activity was not recorded. There were no tears shed amongst the Irish when Cromwell died in 1660.

The Irish welcomed the restoration of the monarchy, with Charles II duly crowned, but it was a hollow expectation. After reviewing the profitability of the slave trade, Charles II chartered the Company of Royal Adventurers in 1662, which later became the Royal African Company. The Royal Family, including Charles II, the Queen Dowager and the Duke of York, then contracted to supply at least 3000 slaves annually to their chartered company. They far exceeded their quotas.

There are records of Irish sold as slaves in 1664 to the French on St. Bartholomew, and English ships which made a stop in Ireland en route to the Americas, typically had a cargo of Irish to sell on into the 18th century.
Few people today realize that from 1600 to 1699, far more Irish were sold as slaves than Africans.

Slaves or Indentured Servants

There has been a lot of whitewashing of the Irish slave trade, partly by not mentioning it, and partly by labelling slaves as indentured servants. There were indeed indentureds, including English, French, Spanish and even a few Irish. But there is a great difference between the two. Indentures bind two or more parties in mutual obligations. Servant indentures were agreements between an individual and a shipper in which the individual agreed to sell his services for a period of time in exchange for passage, and during his service, he would receive proper housing, food, clothing, and usually a piece of land at the end of the term of service. It is believed that some of the Irish that went to the Amazon settlement after the Battle of Kinsale and up to 1612 were exiled military who went voluntarily, probably as indentureds to Spanish or Portuguese shippers.

However, from 1625 onward the Irish were sold, pure and simple as slaves. There were no indenture agreements, no protection, no choice. They were captured and originally turned over to shippers to be sold for their profit. Because the profits were so great, generally 900 pounds of cotton for a slave, the Irish slave trade became an industry in which everyone involved (except the Irish) had a share of the profits.

Treatment

Although the Africans and Irish were housed together and were the property of the planter owners, the Africans received much better treatment, food and housing. In the British West Indies the planters routinely tortured white slaves for any infraction. Owners would hang Irish slaves by their hands and set their hands or feet afire as a means of punishment. To end this barbarity, Colonel William Brayne wrote to English authorities in 1656 urging the importation of Negro slaves on the grounds that, "as the planters would have to pay much more for them, they would have an interest in preserving their lives, which was wanting in the case of (Irish)...." many of whom, he charged, were killed by overwork and cruel treatment. African Negroes cost generally about 20 to 50 pounds Sterling, compared to 900 pounds of cotton (about 5 pounds Sterling) for an Irish. They were also more durable in the hot climate, and caused fewer problems. The biggest bonus with the Africans though, was they were NOT Catholic, and any heathen pagan was better than an Irish Papist. Irish prisoners were commonly sentenced to a term of service, so theoretically they would eventually be free. In practice, many of the slavers sold the Irish on the same terms as prisoners for servitude of 7 to 10 years.

The planters quickly began breeding the comely Irish women, not just because they were attractive, but because it was profitable,,, as well as pleasurable. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, and although an Irish woman may become free, her children were not. Naturally, most Irish mothers remained with their children after earning their freedom. Planters then began to breed Irish women with African men to produce more slaves who had lighter skin and brought a higher price. The practice became 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.” This legislation was not the result of any moral or racial consideration, but rather because the practice was interfering with the profits of the Royal African Company! It is interesting to note that from 1680 to 1688, the Royal African Company sent 249 shiploads of slaves to the Indies and American Colonies, with a cargo of 60,000 Irish and Africans. More than 14,000 died during passage.

Following the Battle of the Boyne and the defeat of King James in 1691, the Irish slave trade had an overloaded inventory, and the slavers were making great profits. The Spanish slavers were a competition nuisance, so in 1713, the Treaty of Assiento was signed in which Spain granted England exclusive rights to the slave trade, and England agreed to supply Spanish colonies 4800 slaves a year for 30 years. England shipped tens of thousands of Irish prisoners after the 1798 Irish Rebellion to be sold as slaves in the Colonies and Australia.

Curiously, of all the Irish shipped out as slaves, not one is known to have returned to Ireland to tell their tales. Many, if not most, died on the ships transporting them or from overwork and abusive treatment on the plantations. The Irish that did obtain their freedom, frequently emigrated on to the American mainland, while others moved to adjoining islands. On Montserrat, seven of every 10 whites were Irish. Comparable 1678 census figures for the other Leeward Islands were: 26 per cent Irish on Antigua; 22 per cent on Nevis; and 10 per cent on St Christopher. Although 21,700 Irish slaves were purchased by Barbados planters from 1641 to 1649, there never seemed to have been more than about 8 to 10 thousand surviving at any one time. What happened to them? Well, the pages of the telephone directories on the West Indies islands are filled with Irish names, but virtually none of these “black Irish” know anything about their ancestors or their history. On the other hand, many West Indies natives spoke Gaelic right up until recent years. They know they are strong survivors who descended from black white slaves, but only in the last few years have any of them taken an interest in their heritage

The hidden Scots victims of the slave trade

By Elizabeth McQuillan

We tend to be very proud of Scotland’s role in abolishing the slave trade, with parliament passing the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 1807, but Scotland also played an integral role in the development of slavery in the 250 years leading up to this.

Standing as testament to the wealth generated by that association, rows of opulent Georgian townhouses that were once owned by the wealthy plantation merchants, tobacco lords and slave-traders can still be seen in Scotland’s major cities. Street names such as Jamaica Street (Glasgow) also nod to our associated heritage.

There were an extraordinarily high proportion of Scottish plantation owners in St Kitts and Jamaica, as well as Virginia in the American colonies. Scottish merchants and investors fuelled the trade in slavery. Scottish slave traders such as Richard Oswald organised large scale ventures to capture, transport and sell slaves, with voyages leaving from all the main UK ports.

Voyages such as these transported 3.4 million (of the 10 million) African slaves to slavery in the colonies in America and the Caribbean. Shocking as this is, these statistics are a reasonably well-known and documented part of our history.

What is perhaps less well known are the large numbers of Scottish people, perhaps as many as 100 000, that were rounded up and transported to the colonies to be sold into slavery.

According to the Egerton manuscript (held by the British Museum):

“It may be lawful for two or more justices of the peace within any county, citty or towne, corporate belonging to the commonwealth to from tyme to tyme by warrant cause to be apprehended, seized on and detained all and every person or persons that shall be found begging and vagrant. in any towne, parish or place to be conveyed into the Port of London, or unto any other port from where such person or persons may be shipped into a forraign collonie or plantation.”

Affluent and powerful local government officials, who likely had a stake in the plantations, slave trade and the associated benefits, were happy to oblige. The poor, homeless and irksome Scottish people were rounded up – or simply kidnapped – to be sold for a great profit on arrival at their destination. Children were no exception:

Political prisoners were routinely sold into slavery, and The Act of Proscription (1746) stated that anyone wearing tartan or Highland dress was subject to transportation. Conditions on the ships were appalling, and many would not survive the long, gruelling sea crossing and the cruel treatment meted out.

Merchants were known to put in special requests to the city council to fulfil specific wants and requirements for the procurement of slaves. Young women were often on the wish list, and it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to guess at the awful indecencies and treatment that these women endured to amuse the sailors during the long voyages.

As early as the 1600’s, ships from Leith and Port Glasgow in Scotland sailed off to the colonies laden with Scottish people that had been rounded up to be sold at the block to line the pocket of their compatriots. The numbers taken as slaves must have been huge as, according to the Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, America and West Indies of 1701, we read of there being there being an estimated 25,000 slaves in Barbados, of whom 21,700 were white. The fair-skinned slaves were known as Redlegs or Redshanks by the locals because of their sunburned flesh.

It was upon the sweat and tears of these unfortunate people that the British economy was driven forward and thrived.

Descendants of the Scots forced into slavery are now beginning to realise that it a part of our history that has been quietly swept under the carpet, and are understandably feeling very angry. Pressure groups are looking for an official apology, and there is even a Scottish Slave Facebook page that is an “open group to all who believe they are descendents of the Scottish slaves, and all who support the recognition that this happened and demand an apology from the government”.

It is certain that a good few Scottish individuals were appalled by the slave trade and were ultimately integral in the abolition of the slave trade. Scotland, however, was not an innocent bystander and did play a very active role in the procurement, transportation and selling of slaves.

The Slave’s Lament

By Robert Burns (1792)

It was in sweet Senegal
That my foes did me enthrall
For the lands of Virginia, -ginia, O!

Torn from that lovely shore,
And must never see it more,
And alas! I am weary, weary, O!

All on that charming coast
Is no bitter snow and frost,
Like the lands of Virginia, -ginia, O!
There streams for ever flow,
And the flowers for ever blow,
And alas! I am weary, weary, O!

The burden I must bear,
While the cruel scourge I fear,
In the lands of Virginia, -ginia, O!
And I think on friends most dear
With the bitter, bitter tear,
And alas! I am weary, weary, O!

Scotland and the Slave Trade

After the Act of Union in 1707, Scottish merchants were allowed access to the England's trade routes and began to trade with the new colonies. Glasgow prospered and became known as 'the second city of the Empire'.

Scots travelled to the colonies from all parts of Scotland, some transported by force, others seeking opportunity and adventure. Merchants arrived followed by administrators, doctors, and missionaries. Some were employed to help manage the estates, others built new plantations themselves.

Many prospered. In 1796, Scots owned nearly 30% of the estates in Jamaica. In 1817 they owned 32% of the slaves.

The profits from the slave trade established Glasgow as a major port, and made the 'Tobacco Lords' of Glasgow wealthy. Many of those who had established estates in the colonies using slave labour returned to Scotland with their wealth, building large mansions.

Some of this wealth was invested in Scotland's developing industries. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Scotland became one of the most advanced industrial economies of the world.

 

The Scottish connection

The Scots and English began to own land in the West Indies and the east coast of America in

the 1600s. The land was cleared for tobacco and sugar plantations, and native people and

indentured servants (with few rights) worked on them. Some Scots owned tobacco plantations.

Following the 1707 Act of Union between Scotland and England, Scottish merchants joined the

English trade routes including ‘the triangular trade’. In the 1700s, the sugar and tobacco

industries grew, along with the slave trade.

The triangular trade turned people into commodities. This is how it worked:

Goods such as cloth, copper and guns were shipped from Britain to West Africa to be sold or

exchanged. There, captive Africans were bought …

… and taken to the West Indies or America and sold as slaves.

The enslaved people worked on the plantations, producing raw materials such as sugar, rum,

tobacco and cotton,                    

This is what the National Trust of Scotland is teaching………..(www.nts.org.uk)

The detailed history of the transatlantic slave trade is unfamiliar to the majority of the Scottish public. It was a period that lasted for nearly 250 years, affecting generations of people, but a period that is often dismissed. Although most people are appalled by the thought of slavery, there is also the attitude that it happened so long ago, that it was an 'American thing' and that very few British people had anything to do with it. The truth is it is only 200 years since the trade ended and even less since slavery was abolished in the British Empire. British ships carried just over 3.4 million Africans to slavery in the Caribbean and America.

www.scotland.gov.uk   (The Scottish Government official web page)

Jackie Kay 

The Guardian, Saturday 24 March 2007

We're perhaps over-fond of dates, of going round in circles of a hundred years to mark the birth of, or the death of, trying to grasp, as we all get older, what time means. Anniversaries give us the perfect excuse to try and catch up on what we already should have caught up on. Anniversaries afford us a big noisy opportunity to try and remember what we should not have forgotten.

Slavery is one of those subjects we all think we know about. Men were shipped, packed like sardines, as in that famous drawing by Thomas Clarkson, the abolitionist. The Africans sold their own people - this gets mentioned so often, as if the reiteration of African complicity diminishes responsibility. But what spirit, eh, the African people? Mind you, there's always been slavery, the ancient Romans were at it, etc etc. We are closed to any more detail; we don't want to know. We don't want to imagine how slavery would affect each of the five senses. Too much information fills ordinary people, black and white, with revulsion, distaste, or worse, induces boredom. We think we've heard it all before.

When the producer Pam Fraser Solomon first asked me to write something to mark the 200th anniversary of abolition, I replied that I thought enough had been written about slavery, and that I didn't want to be pigeonholed as a black writer. Black writers are often expected to write about slavery and race. I also thought I knew a lot about the period, and had written the odd poem.

Months later, having immersed myself in original accounts and research, I realise how ignorant I was. My play, The Lamplighter, emerged out of these shocking original testimonies, focussing on the lives of three women - Black Harriot, Constance Mary and the Lamplighter - during hundreds of years of enslavement. I felt as if I was writing a love letter to my ancestors. I've emerged from the experience wondering how I'm going to write about anything else.

Most British people think of slavery as something that happened in America and perhaps the Caribbean. They know vaguely about boats, Bristol, Liverpool, and something about sugar maybe, but not that Britain was the main slave trader. Nor that two days before a slave ship docked, it could be smelt, the putrescence of blood, faeces, vomit and rotting bodies carried downwind into the port.

Being African and Scottish, I'd taken comfort in the notion that Scotland was not nearly as implicated in the horrors of the slave trade as England. Scotland's self image is one of a hard-done-to wee nation, yet bonny and blithe. I once heard a Scottish woman proudly say: "We don't have racism up here, that's an English thing, that's down south." Scotland is a canny nation when it comes to remembering and forgetting. The plantation owner is never wearing a kilt.

It's a not so delicious irony that the anniversary of the bicentenary is also the bicentenary of the union between Scotland and England, which allowed Scotland to profit from the slave trade in a big way, and changed the face of Glasgow in particular. When Bishop Pococke visited Glasgow in 1760, he remarked that "the city has above all others felt the advantages of the union in the West Indian trade which is very great, especially in tobacco, indigoes and sugar".

I belong to Glasgow, dear old Glasgow town, but, alas, there is something the matter with Glasgow that's going round and round. Glasgow does not readily admit its history in the way that other cities in the United Kingdom have done - Bristol, Liverpool, London. Other cities are holding major events to commemorate the abolition. What's happening in Glasgow? - in the Gallery of Modern Art, for instance, which was originally Cunninghame Mansion, built in 1778, the splendid townhouse of William Cunningham, a tobacco baron? Or in Buchanan Street, the great shopping street, named after Andrew Buchanan, another tobacco lord, or in Jamaica Street, Tobago Street, the Kingston Bridge?

At school, I was taught about the industrial revolution, but not about the slave trade which financed and powered it. I was taught about the suffragettes, but not about the women abolitionists who came before them, and who went on to become them. Jane Smeal set up the Glasgow Ladies Emancipation Society in the 1830s. And as early as 1792, 13,000 Glasgow residents put their name to a petition to abolish slavery. I never learnt, for instance, that the movement to end slavery in the British Empire in the 18th century is probably the first human rights campaign in history.

What else? I was taught about James Watt's steam engine. In Balmuildy Primary School, I was in the house group Watt (we had four house groups: Baird, Carnegie, Fleming and Watt). I was proud of Watt's steam engine, but I was not taught that money from a slave trader financed his invention. I was taught my times tables the old-fashioned way by rote, but was not taught about the triangular slave trade.

At school, I learnt that Glasgow was a great merchant city. I learnt about the shipping industry, but not about the slave ship Neptune that arrived in Carlisle Bay, Barbados, on May 22 1731, after leaving Port Glasgow months earlier, carrying 144 enslaved Africans, half of whom were children. When they arrived they were "polished" - meaning a layer of skin was removed with fierce scrubbing - and a wadding rammed up the rectum of those who had dysentery, and then put up for sale.

I learnt about the French revolution, the Russian revolution, but not about the Demerara rebellions, the St Kitts uprising. I learnt about clans and clan names and kilts and the differing tartans and the Highland clearances, but not that in Jamaica in 1770 there were 100 African people called MacDonald, or that a quarter of the island's people were Scottish. There was a network of Argyll Campbells at least 100 strong in Jamaica too, concentrated on the west of the island, where the place names were nostalgic: Argyle, Glen Islay.

Yet Scotland never acknowledges the Scottish plantation owner who was often as cruel as his English or American counterpart. It almost seems anti-Scottish to imagine all those MacDonalds out there in Jamaica stuffing their faces on mutton broth, roast mutton, stewed mudfish, roast goose and paw-paw, stewed giblets, fine lettuce, crabs, cheese, mush melon. Or knocking back punch, porter, ale, cider, Madeira wine and brandy - this from a true account of a plantation owner's meal in 1775 - while the enslaved Africans got whipped for sucking a sugar cane.

Remember Roots? I remember running home from school, excited, on the night it was on television. Remember the characters - Chicken George, Kunta Kinte, Cassie? It was the first time that I remember seeing black people, a whole lot of black people, on television. Before Roots, I had to make do with a nurse in Angels and Trevor McDonald. And, perhaps, during Wimbledon, Yvonne Goolagong.

The other day, I went to Manchester's Cornerhouse to watch BBC Black Archives footage of early interviews with Sir Learie Constantine the cricketer, in 1966. It struck me how unusual it still is to see black people, even from that near-past, caught on screen. Constantine was talking about how black people have been taught to forget Africa, how black people are uncomfortable remembering. Then there was a beautiful black woman in 1958 smoking a cigarette and talking very articulately about independence in Barbados. It made me wonder where she'd been, why I hadn't seen more of her face. I missed her.

Marking the abolition is also marking the missing faces: the people buried at sea, the deaths in the tobacco and sugar fields. It's a common misperception that March 25 2007, is "celebrating" the abolition of slavery. It isn't. It is marking the abolition of the slave trade. Slavery itself wasn't abolished by this country until 1838.

Imagine waiting a further 31 years, after most decent people had decided that the slave trade was intolerable. Here's Pitt's speech to the house, way back on April 2 1792: "We may now consider that this trade as having received its condemnation; that its sentence is sealed; that this curse of mankind is seen by the House in its true light; and that the greatest stigma on our national character which ever yet existed is about to be removed."

If someone asks me to write something to mark the abolition of slavery in 2038, I'll be 76. Imagine the frustration of being an enslaved African in 1807, knowing the trade was supposed to have stopped because people in Britain had decided it was evil, and still being subjected to endless beatings and whippings, and still not getting a sniff of free air for another 31 years.

It's time that Scotland included the history of the plantations alongside the history of the Highland clearances. A people being cleared off their land, and taken from the Slave Coast, the Ivory Coast, the Guinea Coast to a new land. Forced to board a ship and taken on a nightmare journey from Hell.

One third of African people did not survive the journey on the ship where they were packed more tightly than in a coffin. One African woman in three did not survive the first three years in her new country. The death toll is inconceivable, the great black missing population thrown to the sharks at sea. They said the sharks followed the slave ships for the pickings. John Newton, a slave ship captain, better known for writing "Amazing Grace", wrote a log of the deaths: "Captain's Log, 23 May 1709: Buryed a man slave No 84, Wednesday 29 May. Buryed a boy slave No 86 of a flux. Buryed a woman slave no 47 ..."

We don't like to think about that, or the children who were sold in British pubs and inns and coffee houses, in London, Bristol, Liverpool. Or the church's complicity: on a Sabbath day, at the door of every church and chapel, the proclamation was put up by the parish clerk or reader of the church requiring all runaway slaves to surrender themselves immediately after divine worship. In Liverpool, 1756, there was an auction at Merchants' Coffee House for: 83 pairs of shackles, 11 slave collars, 22 pairs of handcuffs, four long chains, 34 rings and two travelling chains. Travelling chains?

After we had finished recording The Lamplighter, we sat around talking about the complex business of what we remember and what we forget. Pam Fraser Solomon said that her great grandmother, whose mother had been born enslaved, often had an enigmatic expression on her face. She'd say: "I'm just listening to where the breeze is coming from." I thought of all the silences - the silences from African people who do not want their children to hear about slavery, and from white people who do not want to discuss the family tree with its roots in a plantation in the Caribbean.

The history of the slave trade is not "black history" to be shoved into a ghetto and forgotten, or to be brought out every 100 years for a brief airing, then put back in the cupboard. It is the history of the world. It concerns each and every one of us. Here's Pitt to Parliament, again in 1792: "And Sir, I trust we are now likely to be delivered from the greatest practical evil that has ever afflicted the human race, from the severest and most extensive calamity recorded in the history of the world

 

Slavery in Scotland?

(unknownscottishhistory.com)

April 1666 City fathers of Edinburgh were exporting beggars and vagabonds because they were “not fit to stay in the kingdom”. A ship named “Phoenix” which was captained by James Gibson would sail from Leith loaded with the unfit and poor to be sold in Virginia. These people were seen as a commodity in Virginia to be bought and sold like tobacco or firewood.

In February 1659 merchants in Barbados requested a ship load of “shiftless people and vagabonds” to be sold on the block. The Burgh Council was happy to comply, this would clear some of the streets of Edinburgh of the unwanted and unfit.

Many men and women were slaves in Scotland working in the coal mines until 1799. Their status as slaves was hereditary being passed on to their children.

Ships sailing to Virginia needed a cargo. A good example was the ship “Charles” sailing from Leith in 1669. The syndicate that owned her was granted “saleable cargo of any loose beggars or gypsies plus any poor, or unfit they could find on the streets of Edinburgh, Canongate or Leith. Some of these were termed “indentured labor ” a polite term.

In 1681 a ship’s captain who sailed from Port Glasgow told the government he was ready to sail to Virginia, if they had a cargo of “sorners, lusty beggars or gypsies”

It is said many Edinburgh ships in 1690 would top off their ships with mugged and kidnapped people before sailing to the colonies. In 1694 a merchant from Glasgow one James Montgomerie Jr. requested to the Edinburgh Council “collect dissolute women” for shipment to the colonies.

There is a manuscript in the British museum which states that any two judges in any city, towne of the commonwealth can from time to time issue warrants for the arrest of any beggar or vagrant. The said beggars or vagrants to be shipped to the colonies as cargo. The judges in Edinburgh from 1662-1665 ordered the enslavement and shipment to the colonies of any rouges, beggars or any other persons of low class who are a plague on society.

The calendar of state papers, colonial series 1701 records 25,000 slaves in Barbados, of the 25,000 slaves it is noted 21,700 were white slaves.

The term Redlegs or Redshanks in Barbados was used to describe Scots slaves whose fair skin legs would burn in the tropical sun.

 

 

Little Scotland, Barbados

 

Extracts from

The Forgotten Slaves: Whites in Servitude in Early America and Industrial Britain

Michael A. Hoffman II

When White servitude is acknowledged as having existed in America, it is almost always termed as temporary "indentured servitude" or part of the convict trade, which, after the Revolution of 1776, centered on Australia instead of America. The "convicts" transported to America under the 1723 Waltham Act, perhaps numbered 100,000.

The indentured servants who served a tidy little period of 4 to 7 years polishing the master's silver and china and then taking their place in colonial high society, were a minuscule fraction of the great unsung hundreds of thousands of White slaves who were worked to death in this country from the early l7th century onward.

Up to one-half of all the arrivals in the American colonies were Whites slaves and they were America's first slaves. These Whites were slaves for life, long before Blacks ever were. This slavery was even hereditary. White children born to White slaves were enslaved too.

Whites were auctioned on the block with children sold and separated from their parents and wives sold and separated from their husbands. Free Black property owners strutted the streets of northern and southern American cities while White slaves were worked to death in the sugar mills of Barbados and Jamaica and the plantations of Virginia.

The Establishment has created the misnomer of "indentured servitude" to explain away and minimize the fact of White slavery. But bound Whites in early America called themselves slaves. Nine-tenths of the White slavery in America was conducted without indentures of any kind but according to the so-called "custom of the country," as it was known, which was lifetime slavery administered by the White slave merchants themselves.

In George Sandys laws for Virginia, Whites were enslaved "forever." The service of Whites bound to Berkeley's Hundred was deemed "perpetual." These accounts have been policed out of the much touted "standard reference works" such as Abbott Emerson Smith's laughable whitewash, Colonists in Bondage.

I challenge any researcher to study 17th century colonial America, sifting the documents, the jargon and the statutes on both sides of the Atlantic and one will discover that White slavery was a far more extensive operation than Black enslavement. It is when we come to the 18th century that one begins to encounter more "servitude" on the basis of a contract of indenture. But even in that period there was kidnapping of Anglo-Saxons into slavery as well as convict slavery.

Before British slavers traveled to Africa's western coast to buy Black slaves from African chieftains, they sold their own White working class kindred ("the surplus poor" as they were known) from the streets and towns of England, into slavery. Tens of thousands of these White slaves were kidnapped children. In fact the very origin of the word kidnapped is kid-nabbed, the stealing of White children for enslavement.

According to the English Dictionary of the Underworld, under the heading kidnapper is the following definition: "A stealer of human beings, esp. of children; originally for exportation to the plantations of North America."

The center of the trade in child-slaves was in the port cities of Britain and Scotland:

"Press gangs in the hire of local merchants roamed the streets, seizing 'by force such boys as seemed proper subjects for the slave trade.' Children were driven in flocks through the town and confined for shipment in barns...So flagrant was the practice that people in the countryside about Aberdeen avoided bringing children into the city for fear they might be stolen; and so widespread was the collusion of merchants, shippers, suppliers and even magistrates that the man who exposed it was forced to recant and run out of town." (Van der Zee, Bound Over, p. 210).

White slaves transported to the colonies suffered a staggering loss of life in the 17th and 18th century. During the voyage to America it was customary to keep the White slaves below deck for the entire nine to twelve week journey. A White slave would be confined to a hole not more than sixteen feet long, chained with 50 other men to a board, with padlocked collars around their necks. The weeks of confinement below deck in the ship's stifling hold often resulted in outbreaks of contagious disease which would sweep through the "cargo" of White "freight" chained in the bowels of the ship.

Ships carrying White slaves to America often lost half their slaves to death. According to historian Sharon V. Salinger, "Scattered data reveal that the mortality for [White] servants at certain times equaled that for [Black] slaves in the 'middle passage,' and during other periods actually exceeded the death rate for [Black] slaves." Salinger reports a death rate of ten to twenty percent over the entire 18th century for Black slaves on board ships enroute to America compared with a death rate of 25% for White slaves enroute to America.

White Slavery, what the Scots already know
by Kelly d. Whittaker

 

 

 

A famous history professor stated that history was not a science but a continuing investigation into the past; a person’s conclusion is based on their own bias.  This story will offer evidence that the Alba, Scots, Irish and Pics have been the longest race held in slavery.  The reader will be responsible for their own bias pertaining to White Slavery. 

Alexander Stewart was herded off the Gildart in July of 1747, bound with chains.  Stewart was pushed onto the auction block in Wecomica, St Mary’s County, Maryland.  Doctor Stewart and his brother William were attending the auction, aware of Alexander being on that slave ship coming from Liverpool England.  Doctor Stewart and William were residents of Annapolis and brothers to David of Ballachalun in Montieth, Scotland.  The two brothers paid nine pound six shillings sterling to Mr. Benedict Callvert of Annapolis for the purchase of Alexander.  He was a slave.  Alexander tells of the other 88 Scots sold into slavery that day in “THE LYON IN MOURNING” pages 242-243.

Jeremiah Howell was a lifetime-indentured servant by his uncle in Lewis County, Virginia in the early 1700’s.  His son, Jeremiah, won his freedom by fighting in the Revolution.  There were hundreds of thousands of Scots sold into slavery during Colonial America.  White slavery to the American Colonies occurred as early as 1630 in Scotland.

According to the Egerton manuscript, British Museum, the enactment of 1652: it may be lawful for two or more  justices of the peace within any county, citty or towne, corporate belonging to the commonwealth to from tyme to tyme by warrant cause to be apprehended, seized on and detained all and every person or persons that shall be found begging and vagrant.. in any towne, parish or place to be conveyed into the Port of London, or unto any other port from where such person or persons may be shipped into a forraign collonie or plantation.

The judges of Edinburgh Scotland during the years 1662-1665 ordered the enslavement and shipment to the colonies a large number of rogues and others who made life unpleasant for the British upper class.  (Register for the Privy Council of Scotland, third series, vol. 1, p 181, vol. 2, p 101).

The above accounting sounds horrific but slavery was what the Scots have survived for a thousand years.  The early ancestors of the Scots, Alba and Pics were enslaved as early as the first century BC.  Varro, a Roman philosopher stated in his agricultural manuscripts that white slaves were only things with a voice or instrumenti vocali.  Julius Caesar enslaves as many as one million whites from Gaul.  (William D Phillips, Jr.  SLAVERY FROM ROMAN TIMES TO EARLY TRANSATLANTIC TRADE, p. 18).

Pope Gregory in the sixth century first witnessed blonde hair, blue eyed boys awaiting sale in a Roman slave market.  The Romans enslaved thousands of white inhabitants of Great Britain, who were also known as Angles.  Pope Gregory was very interested in the looks of these boys therefore asking their origin.  He was told they were Angles from Briton.  Gregory stated, “Non Angli, sed Angeli.”  (Not Angles but Angels).

The eighth to the eleventh centuries proved to be very profitable for Rouen France.  Rouen was the transfer point of Irish and Flemish slaves to the Arabian nations.  The early centuries AD the Scottish were known as Irish. William Phillips on page 63 states that the major component of slave trade in the eleventh century were the Vikings.  They spirited many ‘Irish’ to Spain, Scandinavia and Russia.  Legends have it; some ‘Irish’ may have been taken as far as Constantinople.

Ruth Mazo Karras wrote in her book, “SLAVERY AND SOCIETY IN MEDEIVEL SCANDINAVIA” pg. 49; Norwegian Vikings made slave raids not only against the Irish and Scots (who were often called Irish in Norse sources) but also against Norse settlers in Ireland or Scottish Isles or even in Norway itself…slave trading was a major commercial activity of the Viking Age.  The children of the White slaves in Iceland were routinely murdered en masse. (Karras pg 52)

According to these resources as well as many more, the Scots-Irish have been enslaved longer than any other race in the world’s history.  Most governments do not teach White Slavery in their World History classes. Children of modern times are only taught about the African slave trade.  The Scots do not need to be taught because they are very aware of the atrocities upon an enslaved race.  Most importantly, we have survived to become one to the largest races on Earth!!! 

White Slavery in America 

The topic of this story is a sensitive one yet one of great importance.  White slavery in America was real. There are many documents that verify the bondage, kidnapping and transporting of Brits to the Colonies as slaves.  The importance of this story will help those who cannot find a ship passenger list on their ancestor.  This story may not pertain to all who came to America that are not listed on ship passenger lists.

The Journal of Negro History #52 pp.251-273 states, “The sources of racial thought in Colonial America pertaining to slave trade worked both directions with white merchandise as well as black.”

Thomas Burton recorded in his Parliament Diary 1656-1659 vol. 4 pp. 253-274 a debate in the English Parliament focusing on the selling of British whites into slavery in the New World.  The debate refers to whites as slaves ‘whose enslavement threatened the liberties of all Englishmen.’

The British government had realized as early as the 1640’s how beneficial white slave labor was to the profiting colonial plantations.  Slavery was instituted as early as 1627 in the British West Indies.  The Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series of 1701 records 25000 slaves in Barbados in which 21700 were white slaves.

George Downing wrote a letter to the honorable John Winthrop Colonial Governor of Massachusetts in 1645, “planters who want to make a fortune in the West Indies must procure white slave labor out of England if they wanted to succeed.”  Lewis Cecil Gray’s History of Agriculture in the Southern United States to 1860 vol.1 pp 316, 318 records Sir George Sandys’ 1618 plan for Virginia, referring to bound whites assigned to the treasurer’s office. “To belong to said office forever.  The service of whites bound to Berkeley Hundred was deemed perpetual.”

The Quoke Walker case in Massachusetts 1773 ruled that; slavery contrary to the state Constitution was applied equally to Blacks and Whites in Massachusetts.

Statutes at Large of Virginia, vol. 1 pp. 174, 198, 200, 243 & 306 did not discriminate Negroes in bondage from Whites in Bondage.

Marcellus Rivers and Oxenbridge Foyle, England’s Slaves 1659 consists of a statement smuggled out of the New World and published in London referring to whites in bondage who did not think of themselves as indentured servants but as “England’s Slaves” and “England’s merchandise.”

Colonial Office, Public Records Office, London 1667, no. 170 records that “even Blacks referred to the White forced laborers in the colonies as “white slaves.”  Pages 343 through 346 of Historical Sketch of the Persecutions Suffered by the Catholics of Ireland by; Patrick F. Moran refers to the transportation of the Irish to the colonies as the “slave-trade.”

Ulrich B. Phillips, Life and Labor in the Old South explain that white enslavement was crucial to the development of the Negro slave system.  The system set up for the white slaves governed, organized and controlled the system for the black slaves.  Black slaves were “late comers fitted into a system already developed.”  Pp 25-26.  John Pory declared in 1619, “white slaves are our principle wealth.”

The above quotations from various authors are just the tip of the iceberg on the white slave trade of the Americas.  People from the British Isles were kidnapped, put in chains and crammed into ships that transported hundreds of them at a time.  Their destination was Virginia Boston, New York, Barbados and the West Indies.  The white slaves were treated the same or worse than the black slave.  The white slave did not fetch a good price at the auction blocks.  Bridenbaugh wrote in his accounting on page 118, having paid a bigger price for the Negro, the planters treated the black better than they did their “Christian” white servant.  Even the Negroes recognized this and did not hesitate to show their contempt for those white men who, they could see, were worse off than themselves.

Governments have allowed this part of American and British history to be swallowed up.  The contemptible black slavery has taken a grip on people associated with American History.  Yet, no one will tell of these accountings that are well established on to the middle 1800’s.

Slavery is not something to be proud of but it is a fact that happened to every country, kingdom and empire that has been on this earth.  Each of us needs to search our hearts and find the answer to stop racial hatred.  One place to begin; realize that the black race was not the only race in the last 400 years that was in bondage

White Slavery Re: Slaves of Scotland

(www.africaresource.com)

There were hundreds of thousands of Scots sold into slavery during Colonial America. White slavery to the American Colonies occurred as early as 1630 in Scotland.

According to the Egerton manuscript, British Museum, the enactment of 1652: it may be lawful for two or more justices of peace within any county, citty or towne, corporate belonging to the commonwealth to from tyme to tyme by warrant cause to be apprehended, seized on and detained all and every person or persons that shall be found begging and vagrant.. in any towne, parish or place to be conveyed into the Port of London, or unto any other port from where such person or persons may be shipped into a forraign collonie or plantation.

The judges of Edinburgh Scotland during the years 1662-1665 ordered the enslavement and shipment to the colonies a large number of rogues and others who made life unpleasant for the British upper class. (Register for the Privy Council of Scotland, third series, vol. 1, p 181, vol. 2, p 101).

The above accounting sounds horrific but slavery was what the Scots have survived for a thousand years. The early ancestors of the Scots, Alba and Pics were enslaved as early as the first century BC. Varro, a Roman philosopher stated in his agricultural manuscripts that white slaves were only things with a voice or instrumenti vocali. Julius Caesar enslaves as many as one million whites from Gaul. (William D Phillips, Jr. SLAVERY FROM ROMAN TIMES TO EARLY TRANSATLANTIC TRADE, p. 18).

Pope Gregory in the sixth century first witnessed blonde hair, blue eyed boys awaiting sale in a Roman slave market. The Romans enslaved thousands of white inhabitants of Great Britain, who were also known as Angles. Pope Gregory was very interested in the looks of these boys therefore asking their origin. He was told they were Angles from Briton. Gregory stated, “Non Angli, sed Angeli.” (Not Angles but Angels).

The eighth to the eleventh centuries proved to be very profitable for Rouen France. Rouen was the transfer point of Irish and Flemish slaves to the Arabian nations. The early centuries AD the Scottish were known as Irish. William Phillips on page 63 states that the major component of slave trade in the eleventh century were the Vikings. They spirited many ‘Irish’ to Spain, Scandinavia and Russia. Legends have it; some ‘Irish’ may have been taken as far as Constantinople.
Ruth Mazo Karras wrote in her book, “SLAVERY AND SOCIETY IN MEDEIVEL SCANDINAVIA” pg. 49; Norwegian Vikings made slave raids not only against the Irish and Scots (who were often called Irish in Norse sources) but also against Norse settlers in Ireland or Scottish Isles or even in Norway itself…slave trading was a major commercial activity of the Viking Age. The children of the White slaves in Iceland were routinely murdered en masse. (Karras pg 52)

According to these resources as well as many more, the Scots-Irish have been enslaved longer than any other race in the world’s history. Most governments do not teach White Slavery in their World History classes. Children of modern times are only taught about the African slave trade