Read White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America by Don Jordan Michael Walsh Online


White Cargo is the forgotten story of the thousands of Britons who lived and died in bondage in Britain s American colonies.In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, more than 300,000 white people were shipped to America as slaves. Urchins were swept up from London s streets to labor in the tobacco fields, where life expectancy was no more than two years. Brothels wereWhite Cargo is the forgotten story of the thousands of Britons who lived and died in bondage in Britain s American colonies.In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, more than 300,000 white people were shipped to America as slaves. Urchins were swept up from London s streets to labor in the tobacco fields, where life expectancy was no more than two years. Brothels were raided to provide breeders for Virginia. Hopeful migrants were duped into signing as indentured servants, unaware they would become personal property who could be bought, sold, and even gambled away. Transported convicts were paraded for sale like livestock.Drawing on letters crying for help, diaries, and court and government archives, Don Jordan and Michael Walsh demonstrate that the brutalities usually associated with black slavery alone were perpetrated on whites throughout British rule. The trade ended with American independence, but the British still tried to sell convicts in their former colonies, which prompted one of the most audacious plots in Anglo-American history.This is a saga of exploration and cruelty spanning 170 years that has been submerged under the overwhelming memory of black slavery. White Cargo brings the brutal, uncomfortable story to the surface."...

Title : White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America
Author :
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ISBN : 9780814742969
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America Reviews

  • Bill
    2019-02-12 12:27

    Every time I think I have a fairly reasonable understanding of American history, a book like this comes along and makes me feel gloriously ignorant. This is a fantastically detailed history of white indentured servitude in the early colonial period. Needless to say, it wasn't at all like we were taught in school and astonishingly brutal. I don't want to give away the ending, but I do want to say that I cannot recommend this book strongly enough.

  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    2019-02-03 14:44

    During the early centuries of the British colonies hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children were shipped from England and Ireland to serve as forced labor, many of them enslaved. Some of the children were mere toddlers, the parents hoping for a better life for them. The adults were either convicts, vagrants, or Catholics. Many of them were kidnapped. Ir is thought that " black slavery emerged out of white servitude," the only difference being that those white servants who survived the brutality of their servitude may see freedom many years later. Cheap bodies to people the new colonies and toil in the fields were drastically needed, but no one volunteered. The majority of them died within months of landing. Food was scarce. Brutal punishment was prevalent. It wasn't until the suppression of Bacon's Rebellion that white supremacy was engendered. Their "daily condition was little different from that of Africans", but whites were now taught that they were superior and were segregated, but brutality was equal. Importation of white servants into America did not stop until about 1785. Our first president, George Washington, was a prosperous slave owner. For more on this read Not Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar. It's naive to believe that our country was solely founded on the backs of free men. We need to recognize the slave labor that built, toiled, and tilled this great land. 2017 Lenten nonfiction Buddy Reading Challenge book #34

  • Robert Owen
    2019-01-28 08:33

    “White Cargo” is the history of pre-Revolutionary white indentured servitude in North America. It is a story that is as unloved and it is, unlovely; yet Jordan and Walsh bring the institution, its victims and its compelling consequences to life in this fascinating, layman-friendly read. Beginning with the story of Jamestown’s founding in 1607, the authors recount how, over a century and a half, wave after wave of various cohorts of people were transported as a cheap, convenient labor source to tame the Brittan’s New World colonies. Under the system, those who were deemed unworthy or those who were either desperate or naïve were seconded to America and made to serve out mulit-year periods of servitude. The indentured were essentially landless, right-less slaves who worked under unimaginably brutal and dehumanizing conditions The abuse and cruel exploitation inherent in the game of convict labor and debt peonage played by pre-Revolutionary land holders will be familiar to anyone who has read Blackmon’s “Slavery by Anther Name”. Predating slightly the first African slaves sold in America, among the first brought over as “servants” were British orphans and homeless children between the ages of 8 and 16. English cities were full of untended urchins, and America became seen as a place to offload these surplus and unwanted children. Most of them died within a year or so. Over successive generations, to the ranks of these children were added Irish and Scottish peasants displaced by Cromwell’s army, religious dissenters, Royalists, convicts, German émigrés, kidnap victims who happened to live near port cities and the so-called free-willers….those who voluntarily signed up to be slaves in order to be able to make new lives for themselves in the New World paradise. In total, it is estimated that approximately 300,000 white indentured servants were brought to America prior to the revolution. By contrast, the number of African slaves totaled somewhere between 500,000 and 600,000. However, during the first century of the British settlement of North America, the number of white servants outnumbered black slaves by a huge margin. Understanding the societal dynamic that evolved over the 150 year history of white servitude in America is critical to anyone interested in understanding racial oppression in America today. The early colonists were equal opportunity oppressors who were completely unconcerned about race. “Unimportants” , be they the “poor scum of Europe” or kidnapped Africans, were all beings unworthy of dignity and available to be exploited without fear of moral consequence. The slow but inexorable migration from white indentured servitude to African slavery is an important part of America’s story….and one that, unless it is recognized and acknowledged, one unlikely to be understood, embraced and learned from. The book is written in a light, easy-to-read style that is free of the turgid prose common in more “academic” histories. As such, it was both an “interesting read” and a “good read”.

  • BarbaraNathalie
    2019-02-03 11:37

    I remember learning about indentured servants while in high school, never thinking beyond the assistance given to people who wanted to reach America in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds. So they paid for their passage by working off their seven years to their sponsers. So what, young Barbara Nathalie probably thought. They were lucky to get here, avoiding starvation and the lack of opportunity in the British Isles. After all, they weren't like the blacks who could never even hope for anything better.This book ripped off those blinders that were covering my eyes.In reality, I should have thought further about slavery, even as a teenager; I had read about the slaves in Rome, Greece, Egypt, Macedonia, Babylon by then. I knew that the color of a person's skin did not prohibit the possibility of their loss of rights, of human dignity. Yet it never occured to me that white folks in the days of the great sailing ships could be deposited into the depths of despair in the cargo holds, heading to the Americas, the free new world. Yet arrive here in chains they did and most spent the rest of their lives tied to mounting costs for their keep, never able to pay off their debt, delivering newborns, year after year, into the same plight they found themselves. An interesting point that I discovered in this treatise on white slaverey: Britain planned to make Ireland into a huge plantation site. It's rich soil and availability of potential slaves was an investment they were anxious to make. They weren't quite successful, so the demoralizing annexing of Ireland was not totally satisfying to the Brits. This book also explains the cruelty delivered to white slaves. They were cheaper than black slaves, so the white slaves were more frequently injured, less cared for, and killed. They were less of an investment than the slaves from Africa. They were less valued; more potentially a burden. And like all slaves, they never had the possibility to explore their potential in a life made by themselves.

  • Kathleen Riley-Daniels
    2019-01-27 09:32

    White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America was a good resource for my research into the connection between Britain and Barbados. I'm currently piecing together the story of my 8th great-grandfather and his journey from Lord of the Manor to slave on a sugar plantation in Barbados to land owner in the USA. It was quite an adventure, and I am reading lots of books about the white slave trade. As a child, I recall learning about slaves being kidnapped from their native lands, shipped in disease ridden cargo holds, traded and sold like animals, and then forced with brutality and whipping to work on plantations. It never crossed my mind that one of my ancestors would have the same fate and arrive at it from Great Britain. (Time for a learning moment: What is the difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain, and England? )This book will help you understand the many layers of slavery and will likely surprise you -- for example, the slave trade was made to look good, and when more labor was needed, it expanded to include all kinds of people being shipped off. My ancestor would have been one of those, and he was one of the 25 people that lived through the cargo hold passage and when he emerged in Barbados was sold on the docks for sugar. The slave trade was a huge money maker. Some of the "bad guys" include founders like George Washington, and they don't come out well in their portrayals, on the other side of the ocean, Sir John Popham and Oliver Cromwell come off worse. I was happy to see that Benjamin Franklin is one of the few good guys. For my purposes there are lots of sources and footnotes that helped me find even more materials to use in my research. I liked the book, and appreciate the research the authors put into writing it. For some it may be a bit like eating sand -- dry. For history buffs and those with a passion for genealogy, it is full of helpful tidbits.

  • Simon Wood
    2019-02-11 13:20

    WHITE BONDAGE Two journalists, Don Jordan and Michael Walsh, have written an account of what they call "The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America". "Forgotten" is over-stating the case somewhat as a number of books on Colonial-era America and indeed on Slavery have previously covered this subject. Indeed the lengthy and decent bibliography at the end of the book is testament to this, including such books as Edmund Morgan's "American Slavery, American Freedom" and Peter Kolchin's "American Slavery". What is perhaps novel about Jordan and Walsh's book is that its audience is the general reader, and it covers this issue, as far as possible, separately from the issue of African slavery in the Americas.At heart, the reasons for slavery, in it's purest form (African slavery) and in the form it took with regard to white Britons (Bondage, indentured servitude) was the requirement of those who plundered the land from it's Natives for labour. Without a source of labour the landlords of the New World would have been unable to turn a profit, and in the initial stages of colonization this labour was generally that of white Britons. "Recruitment" came in a manner of forms, labourers were persuaded to indenture them-selves for a period to pay for their voyage, children were kidnapped, and prisoners were offered transportation to the colonies in lieu of the hangman's noose. Another source was Ireland, Cromwell in particular loosened up the new world labour market with infusions of Irishmen and woman during his bloody conquest of that ill-starred Isle. An interesting point that the authors touch on tangentially is the fact that those Britons who were put into bondage in the New World were viewed by the elites of the time as an almost separate race, a feeling that went furthest in the case of the catholic Irish peasants. Their inferior nature is made crystal clear by the rhetoric ("Scum" "Dregs" etc) applied to them.The book focuses primarily on the experience of Virginia and Barbados, though not to the exclusion of other parts of the new world. Unsurprisingly given that the book is written by journalists, there is ample anecdotal material, but not to the exclusion of more general observations and historical background. The experience of those dislocated was horrific: the voyage from Britain was generally a grotesque ordeal. Beatings, abuse and murder were not unusual, their labour was extracted in the most brutal conditions. Those who had indentured themselves for a period of years were often cheated out of their freedom when their "contracts" expired, and almost certainly out of whatever their dues should have been in terms of land and money. It wasn't until the later 17th century that their position began to improve with the exception of those transported for "crimes". Slavery and bondage at that point became to be strongly associated with race and Africa the chief source of it's supply.I had a few doubts about this book before I read it, but there is no attempt on the author's behalf to minimize the plight of African slaves who after all probably out numbered the variety of Britons in bondage by a ratio of about 50 to 1, had far less chance of becoming free and carried the burden of slavery well beyond the point when they were formally freed in 1863. In short, a more than competent but less than comprehensive history, that touches upon many issues regarding coerced white labour in the Britain's North American Colonies in the context of a general account of that era.

  • H Wesselius
    2019-02-09 12:41

    The indentured servant trade of colonial America is often overlooked and Jordan's White Cargo does an excellent of correcting this oversight. In this well detailed recounting of this barely mentioned past, the nature and origin of American slavery can be seen beyond the color line. Within all the detail, the legal framework which allowed indentured service to become near slavery is shown to provide the foundation when the African slaves first arrived. Two things are missing -- a better exploration of what separated the indentured whites and blacks apart despite their early class solidarity. Jordan mentioned the aftermath of the Bacon's rebellion as a turning point but doesn't pursued the point in detail. The other missing element is focus. He spends a chapter on Barbados and there is the occasional foray to New England. A strict focus on the Chesapeake Bay area -- the early center of servitude -- would have been better for the reader.

  • Ed Hillenbrand
    2019-01-28 13:44

    Some people talk of hating all people equally, the English of the 17th and 18th century lived it. They kidnapped and sold into slavery their own children! The “Powers That Be” at this time were mean spirited, miserable wretches that in fact did enslave many from the British Isles. This book gives some frightening statistics and the method of operandi of those who committed these heinous crimes, from Cromwell to the meanest street thug. A must read for anyone going to teach about colonial America or slavery. And now the teaser: the first recorded slave for life in the colonies was registered by an African., himself a former “indentured servant”.

  • Marta
    2019-01-22 08:20

    I thought one of his quotations was odd, so I flipped to the back to check the source, and was ... confused.... because he seems to have based most of his work on 19th century secondary sources and Howard Zinn. And at one point, the "Penguin History of the United States of America." I'm going to find another book about this subject.

  • Tracey
    2019-01-30 14:43

    This book is about the falsities of indentured servitude. I remember learning that many whites who could not afford passage to the New World were brought to America through indentured servitude. An employer would pay their way and, in return, the indentured servant would work for their new employer for seven years learning a trade for free. Then, they would be free to go work on their own for a salary. Sounds nice, doesn't it?The reality, vagrants, homeless teens, unwanted children, and poor women (and prostitutes) were kidnapped or sent to the New World to clean up the streets of England. Most of these people didn't survive their seven years. Those that did, would find they owed more time for various reasons. If they did get free, the land they were given was worthless and the didn't have the finances to maintain it. Some poorer families would place their children and toddlers into indentured servitude hoping they would have a better life. They didn't realize they were giving their children a death sentence. Indentured servitude was for whites or blacks, most died in indentured servitude, they could be sold to other masters. Very few had a good life. What another tragic part of our history that most do not know about!

  • Mary Catelli
    2019-02-06 09:34

    A history of colonial America's indenture servitude.In which the "servants" were bought and sold as chattel, and their time limit was often nominal, because they would die first (often owing to their masters' neglect), because they would have years tacked on as punishment for this or that, or because their masters simply refused to free them, and either they could not appeal to the courts or the courts backed their masters on specious grounds -- or even didn't pretend they had grounds.Covers the first colonies, where the law allowed rigid control of all the workers. Followed by the various kinds -- the abducted children, the convicts, the (often deceived) free-willers, the victims of the "spirits" who, even if caught, were less severely punished than horse thieves, the Irish and the Scots, the big German influx (lured by a hoax "Queen Anne's Golden Book"). . .And the horrific conditions they faced, both crossing the sea and once they land. In Barbados, where there was a large population of black slaves, all observers agreed that the slaves were treated considerably worse than the indentured servants. Even if they survived to freedom, they often ended up paupers. Not to mention the crime ensuing from the convicts. And Parliament kept preventing the colonies from passing laws against it.. One American suggested sending rattlesnakes back in return, even though it wasn't fair trade, since the snakes would warn before they struck.The American Revolution ended the import, but as soon as the treaty was signed, there were British plans to resume sending convicts. It actually took some years to forbid it by law, which hardly mattered, given the reception they gave the ships. Only seven were sent, and only two managed to land their cargo.The free-willers trade trailed off for other economic reasons over the next years.Not light reading.

  • Jael
    2019-01-25 13:28

    Another book I'm reading for my US history paper that I'm writing about Colonial America use of convicts as indentured servants or white slavery. The previous two books I've read on the subject was Emigrants in Chains and Bound for America. I found this book to repeat some of the same things brought up in the other ones, but I would prefer this one over the others in that the depth in which he does to explaining situations. For example, in Bound for America Ekirch stated a case where a convict had murdered his master and the masters wife, nothing else. Jordan not only delves into what caused the man to murder to them, but also accounts the convicts trial and the ripple effect that occurred because of this. White Cargo does not specifically deal with Britain's convicts being sent to Colonial America. He also goes into, the Irish, Scottish convicts being sent, political prisoners, street children, people who were kidnapped and sent to the "new world". Not only that he deals with how England was leading up to transportation and the people who were involved in creating it (you'd be surprised). He delves into the corruption that was prevalent in England at the time and their laws which protected property but not people. Jordan provided much valuable information that I could use for my paper and it was an engaging and thrilling (sometimes horrifying) read.

  • Paul Brandel
    2019-01-22 09:23

    This was an eye-opening history book,about white slavery in America.I learned alot about the so-called endentured servants.Make no mistake they were slaves.They were treated miserably and many died before their 4-7 years of bondage were up.How the British authories were so damn cold harded to the poor not only in Ireland and Scotland,but to their fellow women,men and children. Loved the writers accounts on Peter Williamson,a 13 deceived to go on an exciting adventure.He nearly lost his life because the ship he was on was destroyed.The crew didn't if Peter and the other 68 children survived or not!While in America he was treated well,unlike the others in bondage .In America he was sold for 7 years,but lady luck was smiling on young Peter,because a Scot named Hugh Wilson was the man who bought him.In his memoir,Peter writes that Wilson was a kind,worthy and an honest man.He was sent to school and Wilson willed his best horse.But shortly later he was attacked by Indians who overpowered him,but spared his life.But not his home,nor property.He became a prisoner of the Indians,but he escapes to join the British army in what was to be called the French and Indian War. Peter makes it back to Scotland and writes about his at times tragic,but as adventures life.

  • Terry Lloyd
    2019-02-14 09:45

    White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves is a thorough detailed account of the misery and depth of inhumanity metered out to the poor and vulnerable white citizens of Great Britain in the past. It should be noted that slavery in various forms is still present in the UK and throughout the World. Colour should not be a debating point as to which slaves suffer the most. I was once berated by a coloured gentleman that my forefathers had made his slaves. This book does show a more balanced view of the situation. Slavery is not just cruel but a thriving business and people of the same colour and race profit from enslaving their own kind. I found the book informative although the subject matter depressing. If you have an interest in white slave history this is a good book to read.

  • Whitney Hassell
    2019-01-25 10:28

    This book should be required reading in schools. This book gives and easy-to-follow, accurate, balanced account of indentured servitude and slavery, both black and white, started in 16th century Britain and played out in the American colonies. I learned a great deal from this book (white slaves arrived in America months before African slaves did, and the first person to enslave another for life was a black man enslaving another black man), and I believe everyone should give it a read. It's a little back story-heavy on the front end, but all the details come into play throughout the text. Well worth the read.

  • DeadWeight
    2019-02-06 12:40

    Book is dogged by a degree of dangerous white apologism (as should be imagined from the title alone) and some of what the book posits as historical fact is highly contested / sometimes outright false. Still - milled from its inaccuracies and its politics, a shocking depiction of the history of indentured servitude, and thus the roots of modern capitalism.

  • Caribbean Lgbt
    2019-01-23 14:20

    American chattel slavery did not begin with a racial hierarchy, it was about financial opportunity - all people were enslaved during the colonial era - whites without means were slaves like any other cargo!

  • Teresa
    2019-01-25 12:39

    Interesting information about the slavery euphemistically known as indentured servitude but dry... Better for research than for reading;-)

  • Meave
    2019-01-26 09:41

    Good information; kept falling asleep while reading it. Partially my fault though.

  • Sara G
    2019-01-19 16:40

    This is an eye opening look at "indentured servants" in the American colonies, those people who are briefly touched upon in history class but not really discussed. The author makes a pretty solid argument that the indentured servitude program was the precursor to the full on African slave trade, and these white servants were treated almost exactly like the black slaves. Lots of great primary source materials are used to substantiate these claims, like letters, court documents, and newspaper ads for the return of escapees. The author doesn't go this far, but I was left wondering if the reason the African slave trade became so prevalent for so many decades was actually America's freedom? Once British criminals or political prisoners could no longer be sold as indentured servants into America, they had to make up for the dearth of laborers somewhere. It's not an easy read but honestly I think it's an important story.

  • David
    2019-01-31 10:20

    White Cargo presents an interesting but little known history of early colonial America...that White slaves from parts of Great Britain and especially Ireland were used before the trade in Black slaves started. Initially it was an economic decision as it cost more to bring black slaves from Africa than whites from Britain. Also, it was a convenient way for Britain to rid itself of criminals, the poor, and Irish who were technically indentured for seven to fourteen years or even life. But most died before finishing their time. Later, because black slaves were for life and cost more, they were treated marginally better. Trade in white slaves dried up after the American Revolution and because of was then cheaper to buy and own black slaves.This book is loaded with fascinating personal stories because of historical records that still exist. This makes for interesting as well as educational read!

  • Deborah
    2019-01-23 16:34

    This book explores the white slavery in the early years of America. White slaves continued up until about 1820. This is something you never hear about in history class. The authors present the beginnings of slavery and the attitudes that became part of the American attitudes.A very enlightening book.

  • Kathy Ammel-dunham
    2019-01-20 09:40

    A great resource to learn about some forgotten or buried history. I found it somewhat repetitive in places and it painted a bleak picture of life in pre-colonial & colonial America but it presented some interesting facts backed up by excerpts from historical documents. A great book for history enthusiasts.

  • Mel Foster
    2019-02-06 13:33

    I live a short distance from the Glenn Curtiss Museum. Every American can tell you what the Wright Brothers did. But few know of Glenn Curtiss. He didn't make the "narrative" being sold in textbooks, though he deserved to. We tend to learn history in abstractions, often mythologized and viewed through rose-colored glasses, or rather the green glasses required by order of the man behind the curtain. Mr. Jordan and Mr. Walsh would like us to take off our glasses with respect to slavery and servitude in colonial America. One key argument of the book is that, especially in the first century of American colonization, there was little substantive difference between black slavery and indentured servitude. They cite the fact that the first slaves in Jamestown were treated as indentures, and that one of them, Anthony Johnson, himself became a plantation owner (he named it Angola) and holder of both white and black servants. They also show on the negative side the comparable treatment and attitude of society towards white and black servitude through law, wills, treatment such as floggings and iron collars, and runaway advertisements. The petty offenses that led to a transport to America and an indenture are appalling. Stealing a seat cushion, a mug, or leftovers in a restaurant are just some of the offenses that led to a seven years' labor sentence. Or, one might just be a child captured on the street. The traffic in children deserves a book all its own. It was truly a time of stranger danger, when even the youngest children could be kidnapped off the streets and sold into servitude an ocean away. Of the first 300 children ages 8-16 shipped to Virginia as indentures from 1619 to 1622, only 12 remained alive in 1624. While the colonies were notorious for high mortality rates, that is pretty bad. The authors suggest that Bacon's rebellion in 1676 was a key turning point in what we might anachronistically call "race relations." The planters, the authors suggest, wanted to separate the Africans from the white indentures socially so as to disrupt any future cooperation in an uprising. "In the space of 20 years, non-whites lost their judicial rights, property rights, electoral rights, and family rights." (p212) Bacon's fight for the rights of the little man and the little planter being a symbol of black and white unity is deeply ironic in that one of Nathaniel Bacon's key planks was annihilation of the Native American, man, woman, and child. Related to this main theme is a second theme, that African slavery grew naturally from the indentured system and its class stratification, particularly the colonization that had been happening for centuries already in Ireland. Not only do the authors de-emphasize the significance of the 1619 Dutch slave ship in Jamestown, they also debunk the story that it was Dutch, showing that it was an English privateer ship flying the Dutch flag. (They could also have debunked the name and date of the "Good Friday Massacre" which actually happened about a month from Good Friday. But they missed that one. )I have seen some hot discussion about the citation and documentation of the authors. There is a good deal of citation, but in my opinion there should be more. Let me be clear: in my opinion, there is plenty of evidence as to their main premises. However, there were a number of times when I wondered the source of their information and it was not identified. To pick a page a random, see the closing page of Chapter 12. A 1684 census is cited. Where might this be found? The authors say that "the Irish had become so rebellious and mistrusted by the authorities [in Barbados] that African slaves were recruited into the very militia that had the task of putting down slave rebellions." Where did they get this information--what document proves it? There are many other pieces of early colonial history that come into play in this book.I had never heard the story of Dr. John Potts and his poisoning and killing 200 Natives at a "parley." This act approaches the racist perfidy of Jeffrey Amherst and his smallpox-tainted gifts of blankets in Pennsylvania. You will also hear of Thomas Morton and Ma-re Mount, the early House of Burgesses, and the tug-of-war between the local colonial legislatures and Parliament and the Crown. Perhaps most timeless of all, we see government policies which are are deceptively marketed to accomplish something entirely different than what they purport. Repeatedly legislation presented forced deportation and labor as an act of mercy, when often it was a death sentence. The authors directly challenge the idea that the colonies were places of freedom. Governor Thomas Dale of Virginia's code brings that home exquisitely:"No manner of person whatsoever, contrary to the word of God, shall detract, slander, calumniate, murmur, mutiny, resist, disobey, or neglect the commandments either of the Lord Governor and Captain General, the Lieutenant Governor, the Martial, the Council, or any authorized captain". . . :First offense--thirty lashes and beg for forgiveness Second offense--galley for three years Third offense--deathA similar fate awaited any who didn't attend church. Altogether a sobering and provocative book, that should cause any of us who enjoy freedom to be thankful.

  • Chad Montabon
    2019-01-29 13:43

    The stars are meant to indicate how enjoyable the book is, not its merit. As this is intended to be a book of history it would have been more enjoyable if some of the obvious questions had been addressed (like Australian convict transport and similarities or differences).

  • Relstuart
    2019-02-09 08:21

    Before 1776 three classes of people were sent into slavery in the colonies that now make up the USA. First, the children, some dispatched by poverty stricken parents hoping by sending their children to be servants in the New World they might end up having a better life. "In fact, they were sold to planters to work in the fields and half of them died within a year." Shipments of children from England and Ireland continued for decades. It was not rare for the children to be very young, even toddlers. Extant documents from the age feature some complaints about how young some of them were. Second, forced migrants were sent over. Convicts, vagrants, and petty criminals that England wanted to get rid of. Australia was populated by convicts but before American independence it was easier and cheaper to ship those sorts of folks to the colonies and make a profit by selling them into servitude. Third, the Irish were rounded up over many years and their nation purposefully depopulated in an effort to subdue the,. Hundreds of thousands were killed or sold into slavery. Records that would give us exact numbers do not exist, but we know in one period the nation was reduced from about 1.5 million to .6 million. A decent portion of those people were sold into slavery to colonies and elsewhere. One estimate is that 60,000 were sent to be slaves on sugar plantations in Barbados. Another significant number of slaves sold themselves into slavery to get to the New World many times based on lies about the easy life they would have. Another significant way slaves were sent to the colonies were via people who kidnapped children or young adults. There are some heartbreaking stories of people whose children went missing and some were found again but many were not. There are records of some of the kidnappers who made their living by kidnapping people and selling them into slavery being tried and sentenced in court. People (Americans) often forget that for most of the history of the world slavery was a world-wide phenomena. Europeans were enslaved for thousands of years and slavery of Europeans was part of the landscape of the American colonies for a few hundred years. There are records of free black men owning white slaves and even court records of black master's law suits over white slaves. For a long period it was cheaper to buy white slaves than black slaves to work the fields in America. "When we look with unclouded vision on the bloody shadows of the American past, we will recognize for the first time that the Afro-American, who was so often second in freedom, was also second in slavery." - Historian Lerone Bennett Jr.

  • Donnell
    2019-01-17 12:29

    A bit too academic--could not get past the, sometimes repetitious, recitation of facts to get a feeling of the people, the pain, the emotions involved. Good background, though, on how slavery arose in North America. It begins in a lawless world about the time of Jamestown, and fills a need back in England to get rid of its human refuse--poor children running through the streets, post-war soldiers whose energy and exuberance tended to overfill the jails. Also forget that pass you want to give to masters holding indentured servants--but they get to work off their time in seven or so years, right? and then they are free, right? Well, first off many are worked so hard they don't survive their span of years. And extra years can be added for small infractions. Then, if they do survive the indenture, they are free but with nothing; such a situation that leads to death or more years of servitude as sharecroppers or something similar. Once the black slaves begin to arrive the white and black are treated pretty equally, until the planters realize they need a buffer class. In the West Indies, apparently, a Yeoman Class is created by having the masters sire children with slaves and servants. In the future United States, this buffer class is created via fostering racism, telling the white servants they are superior to the blacks, for example. One of the most poignant set of facts: Kidnappers, called spirits, made a lucrative living kidnapping British children to send to the New World. The "story" was that these poor orphans were being sent to a better life and authorities tended to issue minor fines even when non-orphans were taken. If a parent was able to find their child in a kidnappers holding pen, however, it was NOT a time to rejoice and go home together. The parent was required to pay for the child's "room and board" while he'd been held captive and most parents were too poor to pay this amount. The need to rid a country of excess people, particularly convicts and dependent children--that urge remains with us today, it seems. Also, similar feelings against such people are most likely at the bottom of the fears generated by those in countries now (2015) being invaded by migrants. Oh yes and while Thomas Jefferson and George Washington wrote about freedom and fought for liberty, they were slave holders--Washington had both white and black slaves--as well.

  • Kenneth
    2019-02-17 14:49

    It's ironic that the original sin of "the land of the free" should be slavery. It has radically deformed American society from the first colonies to the latest police shooting. DA Blackmon's SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME shows how vagrancy laws and the like were designed to feed Black men, in particular, into a prison-industrial complex based on the slave labor of convicts. Nowadays, onerous court fees routinely turn minor traffic infractions into life sentences for the poor. In a very literal sense, slavery in this country has never ended.Thaddeus Russell's A RENEGADE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES makes the provocative point that Nineteenth Century Whites actually envied some aspects of the Black slaves' life-- not because slavery was benign, but because the lives of White wage slaves were themselves so hard. Indeed, it's difficult for a modern middle-class person to grasp the unremitting labor demanded of our recent ancestors, working long hours at dangerous jobs, six or seven days a week, from childhood, on scant wages and almost non-existent benefits, limited medical care, and no pensions for old age or disability. By comparison, Black slavery was just another form of exploitation, with the added dimension that a human being was a piece of property, with whatever that might imply about the owners' rights and responsibilities.This is to set the context for WHITE CARGO, which shows how slavery was foundational to British colonization long before the first Africans were brought over. "Indentured servitude" sounds like a reasonably decent institution, but an examination of its details reveals a system of slavery, largely based on Irish labor but also including British convicts, poor immigrants, and kidnapped children by the thousands-- a system rife with criminality, fraud, perjury, abuse, and astonishing physical cruelty, which continued for centuries. Indeed, it wasn't until inequality of wealth left the 1% of those times feeling the lack of a middle-class buffer against uprisings of the poor that White slaves began to be treated a little better than Black slaves, in order to divide and conquer the oppressed, initiating the ideology of racism that still plagues us today...

  • Tom Johnson
    2019-02-02 14:41

    notable hidden history - given the historical brutality of both the English and our own elite it is small wonder that we have developed a criminal "justice" system that leads the world in incarcerating such a high percentage of our people - the same motive down through the years, profit, bloody profit - the attitudes of civic leaders of the colonial times varies little with those of today - poverty = moral turpitude, the poor never had it so good, and worse - 1620 through 1820 (1820s before white indentured & transported convicts finally disappeared from US ports) - 1% of England' population enslaved which translates into a higher percentage of Americans - well, maybe in as much as most all slaves had a short life span - the absolute worst, then as now, the attitude that the wealthy should pay "no taxes" - then (17th & 18th century), in Virginia, the ruling elite were made exempt from taxes (the book did not spell out which taxes, a flaw, wish it had) - nowadays money made by money is taxed less than money made by honest labor, for no good reason other than the wealthy can buy congress to make it so - there's more, much more to help explain our institutionalized racism - all in all a most worthy book - note: inter-racial breeding was encouraged in order to produce a yeomanry to protect the grandees - so much rationalizing to put a noble spin on their debauchery and brutality

  • Trevor McGuire
    2019-02-03 12:24

    While informative in general, two things stick out to me about this book. First, the authors assume that the reader has a rather substantial knowledge of European history and specifically British royalty. While it doesn't necessarily take away from the book, it would help to know what Earls, Dukes, etc are, and how they stack up.The second thing I noticed is based on the fact that is taught to every American child that black slavery was prominent and horrible during the European settlement of North America. The authors' tackle the politically sensitive issue of white slavery during the same era. The issue is that a lot of people will automatically assume that white slavery somehow compares to black slavery. To this end, the authors are continuously, and obviously, making distinct apologies to this end. These apologies take on desperate tones at times, and takes away from the book, unfortunately.After reading this book, though, I am interested in reading more about the subject; the vast detailed bibliography will make this an easy task.