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Thread: The Slaves That Time Forgot

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    The Slaves That Time Forgot

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

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

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

    King James II and Charles I led a continued effort to enslave the Irish. Britain’s famed Oliver Cromwell furthered this practice of dehumanizing one’s next door neighbor.

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

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

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

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

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

    African slaves were very expensive during the late 1600s (50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than 5 Sterling). If a planter whipped or branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African.

    The English masters quickly began breeding the Irish women for both their own personal pleasure and for greater profit. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, which increased the size of the master’s free workforce. Even if an Irish woman somehow obtained her freedom, her kids would remain slaves of her master. Thus, Irish moms, even with this new found emancipation, would seldom abandon their kids and would remain in servitude.

    In time, the English thought of a better way to use these women (in many cases, girls as young as 12) to increase their market share: The settlers began to breed Irish women and girls with African men to produce slaves with a distinct complexion. These new “mulatto” slaves brought a higher price than Irish livestock and, likewise, enabled the settlers to save money rather than purchase new African slaves.

    This practice of interbreeding Irish females with African men went on for several decades and was so widespread that, in 1681, legislation was passed “forbidding the practice of mating Irish slave women to African slave men for the purpose of producing slaves for sale.” In short, it was stopped only because it interfered with the profits of a large slave transport company.

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

    There is little question that the Irish experienced the horrors of slavery as much (if not more in the 17th Century) as the Africans did. There is, also, very little question that those brown, tanned faces you witness in your travels to the West Indies are very likely a combination of African and Irish ancestry.

    In 1839, Britain finally decided on it’s own to end it’s participation in Satan’s highway to hell and stopped transporting slaves. While their decision did not stop pirates from doing what they desired, the new law slowly concluded THIS chapter of nightmarish Irish misery.

    But, if anyone, black or white, believes that slavery was only an African experience, then they’ve got it completely wrong. Irish slavery is a subject worth remembering, not erasing from our memories. But, where are our public (and PRIVATE) schools???? Where are the history books? Why is it so seldom discussed?

    Do the memories of hundreds of thousands of Irish victims merit more than a mention from an unknown writer? Or is their story to be one that their English pirates intended: To (unlike the African book) have the Irish story utterly and completely disappear as if it never happened.

    None of the Irish victims ever made it back to their homeland to describe their ordeal. These are the lost slaves; the ones that time and biased history books conveniently forgot.


    Source: http://afgen.com/forgotten_slaves.html

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    There were White slaves. And Indentured servents. But the above post deals mainly with Irish slavery & I think at least some of it is Irish Nationalist propaganda.
    From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.
    I'm not sure the English had the capacity to transport 300,000 Irish slaves to the New World in a decade or that there was a market for that many. And the landlords of Ireland needed laborers for their estates - it doesn't make sense for that many to be transported. As for 500,00 killed - the only part of Ireland that ended up with a Protetstant majority was Ulster & that is declining. Most of Ireland always had an over whelming Catholic majority, even if they weren't suppose to exist legally. If the English had depopulated Ireland to that extent, then Ireland would today be predominately Anglo-Saxon & Protestant.
    The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.
    The author must mean King James I(VI). James II didn't reign until 1685-1688.

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    The English did enslave some Irish, but I have no idea how many. As far as massacres go, those happened as well, but the numbers are roughly 1,500 - 2,000 per massacre. Drogheda is maybe the most famous.

    At the siege of Drogheda in September 1649, Cromwell's troops massacred nearly 3,500 people after the town's capture—comprising around 2,700 Royalist soldiers and all the men in the town carrying arms, including some civilians, prisoners, and Roman Catholic priests.[33] At the Siege of Wexford in October, another massacre took place under confused circumstances. While Cromwell himself was trying to negotiate surrender terms, some of his soldiers broke into the town, killed 2,000 Irish troops and up to 1,500 civilians, and burned much of the town.[34]
    The extent of Cromwell's brutality[39][40] in Ireland has been strongly debated. Cromwell never accepted that he was responsible for the killing of civilians in Ireland, claiming that he had acted harshly, but only against those "in arms".[41] In September 1649, he justified his sack of Drogheda as revenge for the massacres of Protestant settlers in Ulster in 1641, calling the massacre "the righteous judgement of God on these barbarous wretches, who have imbued their hands with so much innocent blood."[33] However, Drogheda had never been held by the rebels in 1641—many of its garrison were in fact English royalists. On the other hand, the worst atrocities committed in Ireland, such as mass evictions, killings and deportation for slave labour to Bermuda and Barbados, were carried out under the command of other generals after Cromwell had left for England.[42]

    EDIT: That's lower than what I thought actually. I recall being told by a historian of Britain that the number of Irish killed during the Cromwellian War was 15 - 20% of the total Irish population. (I checked and that's indeed what the notes say.) I don't know what the size of the Irish population was in 1649/50, maybe someone can find out.

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    And to think that this happened before the horrible time of the Potato Famine.

    I am not Irish, but boy, are they a resilient group of people to have survived all the British threw at them.
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    I have a hard time believing this story. Sure enough a lot of Irishman were indentured servants. But the idea of British masters rapeing Irish girls to ''increase their slave population'' is laughable at best. It was always cheaper to purchase a slave than to breed one for 10+ years.

    Likewise with forcing Irish girls to breed with Africans. I mean really? What about the African women? Or the Slaves in Africa?



    Were are the biblographical sources?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatest View Post
    I have a hard time believing this story. Sure enough a lot of Irishman were indentured servants. But the idea of British masters rapeing Irish girls to ''increase their slave population'' is laughable at best. It was always cheaper to purchase a slave than to breed one for 10+ years.

    Likewise with forcing Irish girls to breed with Africans. I mean really? What about the African women? Or the Slaves in Africa?



    Were are the biblographical sources?

    It's not laughable. I have no sources to throw out (didn't look) but it's common knowledge to anyone who's ever looked at slavery that it would be cheaper to either breed the slaves together or even impregnate the slaves yourself than to buy slaves. This is what they did with Africans and I'm sure they did the same with the Irish. Slaves were expensive, why not just knock one up and get another slave that way?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soten View Post
    It's not laughable. I have no sources to throw out (didn't look) but it's common knowledge to anyone who's ever looked at slavery that it would be cheaper to either breed the slaves together or even impregnate the slaves yourself than to buy slaves. This is what they did with Africans and I'm sure they did the same with the Irish. Slaves were expensive, why not just knock one up and get another slave that way?
    This is true. Judging from the records I've found of slave purchases in my family, it was cheaper to buy land than it was to buy slaves to work it. Adjusted for inflation, a slave purchased for $1,100 in 1820 would cost about $16,000 nowadays.

    Source for inflation calculator
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    I don't think "slave breeding" became profitable until the 19th century. In the 17th & 18th centuries, slaves were cheaper to import from African then to breed them in the New World. It was laws prohibiting the importation of slaves that drove up their value & made slave breeding the primary source of new slaves.

    The average life of a slave after arriving in the New World was less then the 16-18 years it would have taken to raise a male slave to adulthood. Not to mention childhood mortality. Pre-1800, importation of adult slaves, mostly male, was typical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatest
    My Grandfather bought himself 160 acres for $20 ($400 USD 2008) in 1880.
    Your grandfather? The men in your family must have children very late in life. None of my grandfathers were even born yet in 1880. Come to think of it, none of my great-grandfathers was born yet either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychonaut View Post
    This is true. Judging from the records I've found of slave purchases in my family, it was cheaper to buy land than it was to buy slaves to work it. Adjusted for inflation, a slave purchased for $1,100 in 1820 would cost about $16,000 nowadays.

    Source for inflation calculator
    My Grandfather bought himself 160 acres for $20 ($400 USD 2008) in 1870. I can't imagine it being any cheaper in the past but I bet it was.
    Almost winning the lottery. Becase back in Europe it was rare for a young man to have more than 10 acres, and the land was already cleared.


    $20 for 160 Acres of black soil and timber, which was used to create a cabin and a barn. He was working as a farmhand on other farms in return for animals and tools, sometimes even to learn like an apprentice. When the tractors started to come around, he bought around 1200 acres and farmed all of it on his own.
    And he didn't need Irish slaves to do it. He did what most continentals did and found a woman with good hips.


    In my opinion life was better back then.


    You could order guns through the mail
    You didn't need a driver's license
    Income tax was unconstitutional
    You could buy cocaine at the pharmacy
    No sales tax
    Farmland was available to those who could farm
    Farmer Unions were common



    Since the Great Depression, we've seen nothing but incremental slavery.

    How many people own houses? That are not rented or mortgaged? most people can't even afford the down payment to start a mortgage.

    How many people can afford a single acre of farmland, let alone 120? And sometimes the land is not even zoned for farming...

    We need a license to drive and that can take years. Most people buy used cars or rent them.

    Guns? Forget about it. Unless you live in Idaho, getting a gun is difficult and don't expect more than a bolt rifle. In theory had the gun laws not changed, people would be able to purchase fully automatic weapons and even anti-tank launchers.

    And there are no such thing as Unions for farmers and in the work place. And even if there are unions, some are so corrupt. There is a local Union boss who lives in a 10 million dollar mansion and no one askes questions.

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