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Obviously your ancestors were the "lucky" ones...


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 White 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.



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.


http://torontonews.wordpress.com/2007/01/15/white-slaves/
by oldfrog on Sat Mar 17th, 2007 at 06:30:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The money quote.
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.


"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 17th, 2007 at 06:35:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ojo

Caveat Emptor.

This is drawn from the writings of the revisionist group that I mentioned, the one led by the Holocaust denier.  This is the problem, and this is the reason that if I'm serious I need to start digging in journal, books, and records.  The story should be told, but the wheat from the chaff, that's a fight.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Mar 17th, 2007 at 06:48:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's go then to the Library of Congress:
Before the Civil War, slaves and indentured servants were considered personal property, and they or their descendants could be sold or inherited like any other personalty. Like other property, human chattel was governed largely by laws of individual states. Generally, these laws concerning indentured servants and slaves did not differentiate between the sexes. Some, however, addressed only women. Regardless of their country of origin, many early immigrants were indentured servants, people who sold their labor in exchange for passage to the New World and housing on their arrival. Initially, most laws passed concerned indentured servants, but around the middle of the seventeenth century, colonial laws began to reflect differences between indentured servants and slaves. More important, the laws began to differentiate between races: the association of "servitude for natural life" with people of African descent became common. Re Negro John Punch (1640) was one of the early cases that made a racial distinction among indentured servants.
The page emphasizes the racist distinction between black and white servants.

Also, under a marketista narrative, "people who sold their labor in exchange for passage to the New World and housing on their arrival" is just a form of 'labour market', isn't it? In a discussion with my sister a few months ago, she emphasised that modern understanding is that human rights cannot be renounced, that is, indentured servitude contracts in which one agrees to become someone else's slave in exchange for some good or service would be unenforceable. But I'm sure one can find libertarian theorists who would argue that they should be.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 17th, 2007 at 07:01:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a Heinlein book (that I can not remember the title of) that starts with the discussion of two rich upper-class guys - one leftie and one rigthie - who can not agree on wheter the long-term contracts of the Venus laborers are fair or not. The discussion ends with them getting drunk and waking up the next morning on the way to Venus as contract-laborers...

Dum de di dum...

Made some good points about contracts and slavery, as well as empire and labor market.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Mar 17th, 2007 at 08:49:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Logic of Empire is a science fiction novella by Robert A. Heinlein. Part of his Future History series, it originally appeared in Astounding Science Fiction (March 1941), and was collected in The Green Hills of Earth (and subsequently The Past Through Tomorrow).

Ostensibly a tale about a man in the wrong place at the wrong time, and his struggle to free himself from the oppressive circumstances in which he is plunged, this story also serves to explain how slavery develops in a new colony.

Two well-off Earth men are arguing about whether there is slavery on Venus, and one of them gets shanghaied there. Upon his arrival, he finds his contract sold to a farmer. His discovery that it will take him years to work off his debt is compounded by his realization that he cannot get to sleep at night without rhira, an expensive local narcotic.



"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 03:51:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the one!

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 07:31:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You were just helped by an omniqærent utopian.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 07:38:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think there was some stuff at the beginning of the People's history of the United States about how white and black labor wasn't much divided in the seventeenth century, and how they were subsequently segregated with regards to create a racism and keep african-americans in much worse conditions

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sat Mar 17th, 2007 at 09:02:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, they called themselves slaves.  If you remember in Frederick Douglass's autobiography, he mentions two Irishmen he met while working on the docks in Baltimore who asked him what kind of slave he was, bound for life or a term.  Douglass was Black (mixed race, actually) and a slave, but those Irish dockworkers pretty much saw themselves as his peers.   I believe in a book called The Wages of Whiteness, the author talks about the interchangeability of the terms slave and servant in the (British American) Colonial era, which is the reason the free American servant class starts to prefer the word "Hand" to describe what they were doing for a living.  You see this apparently in the "Help Wanted" ads of the day, as employers started to use the new preferred term to attract workers.  The term servant became unappealing to "free" Americans because of its association with slavery, which was becoming ever more associated with color, as well as the need to undergird the economic growth of the USA in the early-mid 19th century just before the Civil War.  Don't forget, also the term wage-slave, which is not just meant to be ironic.
by jjellin on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 08:03:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the interchangeability of the terms slave and servant

In classical Latin, slave is servus. Sclavus is medieval Latin.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 08:08:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
interesting--I wish I had studied Latin
by jjellin on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 06:23:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't forget, also the term wage-slave, which is not just meant to be ironic.

This thread has made me realise that.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 08:09:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have lost my access to the UCR library subscription to the Oxford English Dictionary online, but MfM is on a university campus...

I suggest looking at the attested instances of "indentured servant", and the etymology of "kidnap" in the OED.

Wikipedia has

Kidnapping, a word derived from kid = 'child' and nap (nab) = 'snatch', recorded since 1673, was originally used as a term for the practice of stealing children for use as servants or laborers in the American colonies


"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 17th, 2007 at 06:41:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More wikipedia:
Indentured servitude was a method of increasing the number of colonists, especially in the British colonies. Convict labour only provided so many people, and since the journey across the Atlantic was dangerous, other means of encouraging settlement were necessary. Contract-labourers became an important a group of people and so numerous that they were mentioned in the United States Constitution:
"Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons".


"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 17th, 2007 at 06:48:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All our ancestors were the "lucky" ones -- history is pretty bloody.

I appreciate that you're trying to research this, but the quote is troubling:

Whites were slaves for life, long before Blacks ever were.

This slavery was even hereditary

Free Black property owners strutted the streets

Before British slavers traveled to Africa's western coast to buy Black slaves from African chieftains

This is all language of denial, one-upping, and minimising.  While much in the quote may be factual (and I'm certainly not vouching for all of it), the tone is racist.  When I looked at the source, it is not a Toronto news source, but a blogger in Toronto who seems to be obsessed with immigration and minorities.

This was my concern with the topic and what I was warning MfM about -- it has and is used commonly among hate groups.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 17th, 2007 at 07:01:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This would be from the same revisionist history group I was talking about.  This ultimate source is a holocaust denier.  This is what's frustrating, it did happen, but it's the use of it that makes it so explosive to touch.

Waxing philosophical, the black death and the renaiscance saw the end of feudalism in western Europe, but the emergance of nonvoluntary economic relationship not bound by social norms (for better or worse serfs had certain protections provided by law, slaves do not) in Europe as the continent began to explore and colonize did occur.

Returning to my daily line about social embeddedness, the English possessions were unique in the extent to which responsibilities where one sided.  While the Spanish practiced slavery it seems to me that it existed in a regulating social context far greater than the English. I could be wrong. Slaves had no station in public life, but did have social protection from the worst sorts of abuses.  In the English possessions, where the economic incentives were the greatest (on the sugar plantations in the Caribbean) conditions for slaves were the most horrific.

While slaves in the current US where allowed (with notable exceptions) to have families, and have a family life, instilling control by cooption rather than coercion.  In the Carribbean it was common to treat slaves as little more than livestock with breeding being conducted as such.  No small wonder then that slave rebellions were more common in the Carribean than North America.....

I appear to have started something.

St. Patrick is on my mind, and I'm going to take my leave, before I become incoherent.

Let me say this.  This history needs to be rescued from those who would use it to justify racism.  By ignoring it's existence, when it did happen, it only lends credence to those who use it for nefarious purposes.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Mar 17th, 2007 at 07:43:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wiki has an interesting entry on the writer, Michael A. Hoffman, who, as you say, they describe as a Holocaust denier and conspiracy theorist.  The latter evidently refers to this:

Another of Hoffman's subjects of study is indentured servitude and slavery in America; he contends that a widespread history of white slavery has been overlooked by most historians. In his book They Were White and They Were Slaves, Hoffman attempts to demonstrate a social structure situating poor whites as holding the lowest post in colonial and post-colonial America


Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 17th, 2007 at 07:54:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note to self: Read Thread then post.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Mar 17th, 2007 at 10:11:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All our ancestors were the "lucky" ones -- history is pretty bloody.

Obviously...because they survived long enough to procreate...ha-ha.
I remember someone said as a joke, back in Serbia: "We are all descendants of the deserters from the Kosovo battle", ha-ha. Cause a lot of the Serbian men had been killed there in 1389...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Mar 18th, 2007 at 08:10:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Free Black property owners strutted the streets of northern and southern American cities while White slaves were worked to death...

Excuse me but what the heck is that all about?  

And this:

These Whites were slaves for life, long before Blacks ever were...

Is flat-out wrong.  

This has the stench of racism.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Mar 17th, 2007 at 10:09:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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