White Slaves, African Slave Traders, and the Hidden History of Slavery



The White slave trade of the Arabs


Whilst the Arabs have been acknowledged as a prime force in the early usage of slaves from Africa, very little has been written about their usage of White slaves, whether they were part of the Russian slave trade or those kidnapped by Arab pirates. However, in recent years, the research of some authors has been bringing this issue to light.[51]

David Brion Davis, in The New York Review of Books, explains that

    "The origins of African slavery in the New World cannot be understood without some knowledge of the millennium of warfare between Christians and Muslims that took place in the Mediterranean and Atlantic and the piracy and kidnapping that went along with it. In 1627 pirates from the Barbary Coast of North Africa raided distant Iceland and enslaved nearly four hundred astonished residents. In 1617 Muslim pirates, having long enslaved Christians along the coasts of Spain, France, Italy, and even Ireland, captured 1,200 men and women in Portuguese Madeira. Down to the 1640s, there were many more English slaves in Muslim North Africa than African slaves under English control in the Caribbean. Indeed, a 1624 parliamentary proclamation estimated that the Barbary states held at least 1,500 English slaves, mostly sailors captured in the Mediterranean or Atlantic."[52]

Professor Robert Davis, in his book Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800, estimated that 1 million to 1.25 million White people were enslaved by North African pirates between 1530 and 1780. North African pirates abducted and enslaved more Europeans from coastal villages and towns. Italy, Spain, Portugal and France were hardest hit but the raiders also seized people in Britain, Ireland and Iceland. They even captured 130 American seamen from ships that they boarded in the Atlantic and Mediterranean between 1785 and 1793.[53]


Arab pirates and White Slaves

Interest in the Arab slaving of Europeans was rekindled in the 1990s by the discovery of the site of a Barbary Coast shipwreck at Moor Sands on the South Devon coast in England. Icon Films produced a documentary on the subject, and published some of their findings.

    "For England after 1625 there were great periods, particularly in Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, even around Bristol, where ships couldn't leave port. The first of the Muslims showed up in 1625 it caused enormous panic. It was the suddenness. It was a surprise, the fact that there was so many of them and the fact that the English had a coastline which was virtually unprotected." [54]

    "After looking at some dozens of population estimates from a number of different kinds of sources we have an average, year in year out, especially between the years 1580 and 1680 of about 35,000, 34,000 slaves at any given time. Well, knowing this it then becomes a question of estimating simply how many slaves it would be necessary to be taken every year to keep that number. I've have estimated overall that between 1530 and 1780, that is about two and a half centuries, something of the order of a million to a million and quarter white Europeans were enslaved and taken to Barbary." [55]

    "Arab pirates plagued the south west coast of England and Ireland throughout the seventeenth century, but the height of this activity was around the 1630s, when England's navy was at its weakest. While anything of value was fair game, their main quarry was slaves.

    In the beginning they targeted the crews of West Country fishing boats, but as the pirates grew bolder they came ashore to find victims, such as the entire congregation of a village church in Cornwall and most of the inhabitants of Baltimore in Southern Ireland. A successfully ransomed sailor reported "If the hands be smooth, they was ransomed, but if the hands be rough, they was sold as slaves". He told that a slave would fetch 40, a ransomnable captive 80 and a fair maiden up to 300.

    By 1629 west country merchants were losing so many ships that James 1st was forced to send a fleet to North Africa to demand the return of the captives. It failed completely, but Admiral Mansell stated on his return that he believed there were between 25 and 30,000 Christian slaves in captivity."
    [56]


White Slaves, African Masters

Reviews have praised White Slaves, African Masters: An Anthology of American Barbary Captivity Narratives, a book that has revealed the slavery of North American colonists by Barbary privateers.

    "Some of the most popular stories in nineteenth-century America were sensational tales of whites captured and enslaved in North Africa. White Slaves, African Masters for the first time gathers together a selection of these Barbary captivity narratives, which significantly influenced early American attitudes toward race, slavery, and nationalism.

    Though Barbary privateers began to seize North American colonists as early as 1625, Barbary captivity narratives did not begin to flourish until after the American Revolution. During these years, stories of Barbary captivity forced the U.S. government to pay humiliating tributes to African rulers, stimulated the drive to create the U.S. Navy, and brought on America's first post-revolutionary war. These tales also were used both to justify and to vilify slavery."
    [57]


Slavery Under Islam

Books such as Islam's Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora by Ronald Segal and Race and Slavery in the Middle East: A Historical Enquiry by Bernard Lewis have made available a wider knowledge on Arab slavery.

    "The author [Bernard Lewis], a venerable authority on the Near and Middle East, using many Arab and Persian sources in the original languages, traces the connexion between slavery and status, both in theory and practice, in the Islamic world from the 7th century to the present. Until quite late in the 19th Century, when the Russians closed the Caucasus route, white slaves were imported; after this, black slaves became preponderant. On the whole Lewis demolishes the somewhat idealised (and guilt-generated) Western perception of Islamic slavery as being more benign that its Western counterpart and its culture non-racist. He demonstrates that freed blacks rarely rose to high positions and quotes anti-black opinions about it when they did."[58]

Arab rulers even had white eunuchs (slaves with their testicles cut off). In Islam's Black Slaves, Ronald Segal reveals that the Caliph in Baghdad at the beginning of the tenth century had seven thousand black eunuchs and four thousand white ones in his palace. Ibn Hawqal, writing in the 970s, remarked that "among the most famous exports [from al-Andalus to other Muslim lands] are comely slaves, both male and female from Frankish and Galician regions" and that "all Slavic eunuchs on earth come from al-Andalus, because they are castrated in that region".[59]

These are just a few examples of information available on the Arab trade in White slaves; however, this information rarely comes to light in biased Multiculturalist education systems, as they prefer to concentrate on the issue of Black slavery to the exclusion of all other types of slavery. In pushing a guilt complex upon white children, as part of their ideological fight to promote Multiculturalism and attack "White racism", activist teachers would be aware that telling the truth about widespread White slavery would not be helpful in their promotion of Multiculturalist propaganda.





White Slaves, African Slave Traders, and the Hidden History of Slavery