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

White slavery in White countries

The usage of White slaves in Europe has received little attention by the media or in academia, even though it was a widespread practise.

Juliet Gardiner and Neil Wenborn have given a broad background to the institution of slavery in Britain.

    "Slavery has had an important position in the society and economy of the British Isles and of Britain's imperial possessions from time imme­morial until the relatively recent past. It was an integral institution in Roman society. It played a large part in Celtic societies, and was impor­tant in Irish society until the 12th century. The Irish were particularly assiduous slave traders, while prisoners taken in battle were frequently enslaved; there was also a flourishing trade in slaves between Bristol and Dublin against which Wulfstan of Worcester preached. Slavery had been an important institution for the Anglo-Saxons in England; slaves could be bought and sold, and slavery was an inherited condition or could be imposed as a legal punish­ment. Ten per cent of the population recorded in Domesday Book [1086] were slaves. The disappearance of slavery in England in the early 12th century remains a mysterious process."[60]

In Britain, as in many other countries, prisoners of war and criminals could be sold into slavery; however, the trade in slaves also included the kidnapping of unsuspecting poor people. Snippets in history resources sometimes mention in passing this slave trade in White people. For example, in a history of the City of Bristol and its links with the Transatlantic Slave Trade, we find the following snippet of information:

    "By the 12th century some Bristol traders were routinely selling English children to Ireland (especially young girls)".[61]

It was said of Malcolm III, King of Scotland, that when he invaded England in 1070 and ravaged Durham, that his forces carried off so many prisoners that for years after English slaves were found in every hamlet of Scotland.[62]

When James II took the British throne in 1685, the Duke of Monmouth, bastard son of Charles II, raised a rebellion to claim the throne for himself. When his forces were crushed at Sedgemoor, the Duke was executed with 320 of his followers. However, hundreds more of the rebels were sentenced to slavery instead.

    "over 800 rebels, as well as young girls who had embroidered Monmouth's standards at Taunton, were given over to persons who enjoyed favour of court to be sold into slavery in the plantations of the West Indies, there to be treated, in Samuel Pepys's words, 'according to their deserts'."[63]

Extracts from "The Truth About Slavery" are revealing of the nature of White slavery.

    "According to Thomas Burton's Parliamentary Diary 1656-1659, in 1659 the English parliament debated the practice of selling British Whites into slavery in the New World. In the debate, these Whites were referred to not as "indentured servants" but as "slaves."

    In the Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, America and West Indies of 1701, we read of a protest over the "encouragement to the spiriting away of Englishmen without their consent and selling them for slaves, which hath been a practice very frequent and known by the name of kidnapping." In the British West Indies, plantation slavery was instituted as early as 1627. In Barbados by the 1640s there were an estimated 25,000 slaves, of whom 21,700 were White.

    ...Lay historian Col. A. B. Ellis, writing in the British Newspaper Argosy for May 6, 1893, said: "Few, but readers of old colonial state papers and records, are aware that between the years 1649 to 1690 a lively trade was carried on between England and the plantations, as the colonies were then called, [a trade] in political prisoners... they were sold at auction... for various terms of years, sometimes for life, as slaves."

    Sir George Sandys' 1618 plan for Virginia referred to bound Whites assigned to the treasurer's office to "belong to said office forever." The service of Whites bound to Berkeley's Hundred was deemed "perpetual." "

David M. Kennedy, Lizabeth Cohen, and Thomas A. Bailey, in The American Pageant, have noted the high numbers of "indentured servants" in Virginia and Maryland.

    "Because of the massive amounts of tobacco crops planted by families, "indentured servants" were brought in from England to work on the farms.  In exchange for working, they received transatlantic passage and eventual "freedom dues", including a few barrels of corn, a suit of clothes, and possibly a small piece of land.

    Virginia and Maryland employed the "headright" system to encourage the importation of servant workers. Under its terms, whoever paid the passage of a laborer received the right to acquire 50 acres of land.

    Chesapeake planters brought some 100,000 indentured servants to the region by 1700. These "white slaves" represented more than 3/4 of all European immigrants to Virginia and Maryland in the 17th Century."

An advertisement in an
American newspaper, regarding
a captured White runaway slave

Paul Heinegg, in his book, Free African Americans of North Carolina and Virginia, adds to the story.

    "Most of the free African Americans of Virginia and North Carolina originated in Virginia where they became free in the 17th and 18th century before chattel slavery and racism fully developed in the United States.

    When they arrived in Virginia, Africans joined a society which was divided between master and white servant.... They joined the same households with white servants - working, eating, sleeping, getting drunk, and running away together.

    ...The replacement of white servants with African slaves, begun in earnest in 1660, continued for more than a century. African slaves had still not completely replaced white servants by 17 October 1773 when the jailer in Prince William County advertised in the Virginia Gazette that he had caught a runaway white servant man: "Committed to Prince William gaol a certain William Rawlings, who says he is the property of Francis Smith of Chesterfield. The owner is desired to pay charges, and take him away."

    And he advertised in the same edition that he had jailed a runaway white servant woman: "Committed to the gaol of Prince William a servant woman about 26 years of age, named Mary Richardson; has on a short printed cotton gown, and striped Virginia cloth petticoat." "

Michael Hoffman, in his book They Were White and They Were Slaves, confirms the large numbers of White slaves in early America.

    "From 1609 until the early 1800's, between one half and two thirds of all the White colonists who came to the New World came as slaves. Of the passengers on the Mayflower, twelve were White slaves. White slaves cleared the forests, drained the swamps, built the roads. They worked and died in greater numbers than anyone else." [67]

British people were sentenced to transportation to the American colonies for petty crimes; and, as was the case with those transported to Australia, they were used as slaves by landowners. As well as which, orphaned children and other children of poor white families, from the slums of England, were kidnapped and transported to the colonies. A review of They Were White and They Were Slaves details some of the horrors of White slavery.

    "To be 'sentenced to transportation' to the colonies was tantamount to being sentenced to slavery.

    ...The notion that transportation was a merciful alternative to imprisonment or death in Britain is an erroneous one.  In fact, a merciful judge was regarded as one who did not transport British people into slavery in America.

    ...Transportation of the white individuals from England had higher losses of life than that of the Black slaves of Africa.  It cost more to obtain Blacks from Africa and the Whites were cheaply obtained and were viewed as expendable. In the 17th and 18th century 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 that sixteen feet long, chained with 50 other men to a board, with padlocked collars around their necks.

    The death rate of white slaves to America was about 25% compared to 10% of black slaves. If a white slave was sold in advance to a Virginia planter, his well being and care was the responsibility of the Captain of the ship until they reached the halfway point of the voyage.  After that the responsibility of costs of provisions went to the planter whether or not the slave survived the trip. Captains became infamous for providing sufficient food for only the first half of the trip and virtually starving their captives until they arrived in America.

    ...Upon arrival in America, the white kidnapped and convicts were displayed on an auction block, examined, then sold by the ship's Captain. Once sold, the nightmare began. As many as 80% of a shipment of white slaves died their first year. Long hours and sun exposure were considered part of a first year 'seasoning". They would work from sunrise to sunset in the fields or lead mines and then would be put to work in a shed grinding corn until midnight.

    Some expected to serve their time and obtain land, others to apprentice to learn a trade, but in most cases they were severely treated by beatings, etc. and did not survive. As their terms of indenture came to a close, many were beaten and tortured, in hopes they would try to flee. If they did flee and were caught, their indenture was extended another seven, ten or more years.

    Also additional time would be added for the cost of their capture. They were branded on the cheek with the letter "R" and/or one or both ears were removed so they would not repeat their fleeing. One half of White "indentured servants" did not live to attain their freedom.

    Young white females in bondage were denied the right to marry. A woman having a baby, out of wedlock, was an extension of two and a half years to her term. The baby was taken from her and sold. These children's bondage was a "mere" 21 years for boys and 18 years for girls. By 1769, all children born to even free white women who were unmarried were also candidates for enslavement. Children were sold for a few pounds of tobacco to another master."

Michael Hoffman noted that White slaves in Barbados were badly treated by the plantation owners.

    "In Barbados by the 1640's there were an estimated 25,000 slaves, of whom 21,700 were White. Cromwell's conquest of Ireland in the middle of the seventeenth century made slaves as well as subjects of the Irish people. Over a hundred thousand men, women and children were seized by the English troops and shipped to the West Indies, where they were sold into slavery. In the British West Indies the torture visited upon White slaves by their masters was routine. Masters hung White slaves by their hands and set their hands 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 for them, they would have an interest in preserving their lives, which was wanting in the case of whites", many of whom, he charged, were killed by overwork and cruel treatment. Ten thousand Whites were kidnapped from England in the year 1670 alone."

Noel Scott has also researched the little-known practice of the White slavery suffered by the White working class, using sources such as W.J. Cash, Jim Goad, Michael Hoffman, Gary B. Nash, Robert J. Steinfeld, and Howard Zinn.

    "Hoffman recounts the atrocities Oliver Cromwell and his Roundheads performed against the Irish peasantry and anyone that so much as disagreed with Cromwell's despotic, puritanical reign of terror. Cromwell "Barbadosed" 100,000 of his foes. Being "Barbadosed" involved being enslaved and imported to Barbados, where the unlucky British, Scots and Irish were "seasoned" in hellish weather and malaria-conducive conditions. In the 1640s, over eighty five percent of the slaves in Barbados were white, and by 1653, fifty percent of white Barbadians were sent courtesy of Cromwell.

    ...What is often omitted from history lectures and texts is that the majority of whites did not come to the New World seeking religious freedom. The majority of whites were "kid-nabbed," drugged, knocked out or otherwise conned into coming to the Americas. "Drums" were the hired hands of wealthy businessmen that hit poor Londoners over the head and shipped them to the Americas; "crimps" and "spirits" either drugged victims or snatched them off the streets.

    Indentured servitude contracts were often forged documents, and the majority of indentured servants stolen away to the Americas were children who lacked the capacity to enter into a legal contract, notes W.J. Cash, in "The Mind of the South." Francis Trollope estimates that 200,000 British children were kidnapped and shipped to the Americas or forced into factory labor.

    In the "Early Stuart Diaries," a 1618 parliamentary bill is mentioned which allowed constables to kidnap orphans over eight years old, imprison them and then ship the orphans as slaves to colonial plantations. A 1652 commonwealth law permitted vagrants and beggars to be "schlepped in shackles to the colonies," writes Goad. And following the English's lead, the Scottish Privy Council also sought to export its poor white trash to the Americas, in 1669, notes Gary B. Nash in his book "Red, White, and Black: The Peoples of Early America." The order issued by the Scottish Privy Council made it legal to capture "strong and idle beggars, vagabonds, egyptians, common and notorious whoores, theeves, and other dissolute and lousy persons."

    Another myth Goad dispels in his taboo treatise is the bold-faced lie that "[o]nly blacks suffered through a harrowing 'middle passage' across the Atlantic." Goad shares the plight of a German Palatine, Gottlieb Mittelberger, who was duped by "newlanders" (the German equivalent of British "drums" or "spirits"). Mittelberger came willingly, in 1750, but soon realized he had been conned.

    Water and food were scarce, dead women and babies were tossed overboard and German slaves had it even worse below deck, writes Howard Zinn, in "A People's History of the United States." In 1731, one German ship set sail with one hundred fifty German Palatines and lost one hundred sixteen, writes Goad. In Roger A. Ekirch's "Bound for America," he estimates that ten to fifteen percent of all white bondsmen perished before completing the "middle passage."

    Whites, like blacks, suffered the inhumanity of being separated from their families and sold like they were non-human animals on auction blocks. One such white slave woman describes it, in "Bound for America": "We were driven through the country like cattle to a Smithfield market and exposed to sale in public fairs like so many brute beasts." In Robert J. Steinfeld's "The Invention of Free Labor," he notes that West Florida's 1766 law stated that an indentured servant was "the property of his [or her] Master." That sounds like slavery to me.

    One might wonder why black slavery ever took root if white slaves were so abundant. Goad explains that it was business as usual: whites could easily blend into the general white population if they escaped slave owners' clutches, but a black slave stood out more and was easily recaptured.

    One might also argue that after black slavery took root, former white slaves and their progeny had it made in the shade, but Goad counters this by making an astute point: Why would plantation owners pay white workers when they had a new crop of slave laborers from Africa?"

A review of Jim Goad's The Redneck Manifesto shows that an inkling of this research is starting to reach a wider audience.

    "The thesis starts out in medieval Europe, with its ruling class and serfs. It gets more trenchant and further from liberal mythology in its analysis of indentured servitude. Try this on for size: "A study of Virginia from 1623 to 1637 showed that white servants outnumbered white freemen by three to one. In Maryland at one point in the 1600s, the ration was six to one." Henry Cromwell, the Lord Protector's son, issued an edict that forcibly seizing young Irish women and shipping them to the colonies was "so much to their owne goode." Sounds just like liberals, doesn't it?

    "So even though the popular belief is that NO whites were shipped to America against their will, it's highly possible that MORE whites were bought here unwillingly than blacks." And sold to the highest bidder. And, like a rental car, abused far more than the capital goods, like the black slaves. Since, Goad argues, his ancestors were among those white slaves, why should he pay reparations to anyone?"

It is odd to note that those who call for reparations for slavery from Whites, or demand an apology for slavery from Whites, are themselves guilty of a perverse kind of racism. Robert W. Tracinski recognised this weird hypocrisy.

    "An apology for slavery on behalf of the American nation presumes that whites today, who predominantly oppose racism, and never owned slaves, and who bear no personal responsibility for slavery, still bear a collective responsibility - a guilt they bear simply by belonging to the same race as the slave-holders of the Old South. Such an apology promotes the very idea at the root of slavery: racial collectivism.

    Those who owned slaves were certainly guilty of a grave injustice. But by what standards can other whites (many of whom are not even descendants of the slave-holders) be held responsible for their ideas and actions? The only justification for such an approach is the idea that each member of the race can be blamed for the actions of every other member, that we are all just interchangeable cells of the racial collective.

    The ultimate result of this approach is not racial harmony or a color-blind society, but racial warfare. Under the premise of racial collectivism, an injustice committed against any member of your racial group entitles you to retaliate against any member of the perpetrator's racial group."

The issue of White slavery is receiving more attention nowadays, albeit only from minor researchers who are virtually ignored by the media and educational institutions. However, they have made a start in countering the decades-long Multiculturalist propaganda over Black slavery and its associated push to induce a collective feeling of guilt in the general White population. Propaganda regarding Black slavery, especially whilst ignoring White slavery, is nothing less than anti-White racism and therefore should be exposed and opposed. To counter the wrongs of Multiculturalist propaganda, it is high time that the issue of White slavery is prominently discussed in the media and in schools.

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