New Historical Marker on the Slave Trade

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
I made the correction, i.e., the Dutch Colonist generally opposed slavery. Although many owned slaves, there was never the demand for the numbers of slaves in the colonies settled by Dutch, Swiss and Danish.
Reading accounts of house holds, it was very rare to find a household owning more than a few slaves.

In only 25 years, they couldn't have had very large numbers compared with what came later. In 1664, the English took over. I still question that Dutch colonists generally opposed slavery. If they did, then wouldn't they have stopped the influx of enslaved people completely? The dissertation says there was "an active demand" for enslaved blacks, even though there was also a strong opposition. The opposition can be strong without being general throughout the Dutch colonists, and one doesn't need to own slaves to support the system.
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
I corrected that
, I meant to write The Dutch Colonist, meaning those who actually colonized the land. Slaves in New Amsterdam were not uncommon. But few other settlers could afford them and most laborers and artisans had little use for them.
I take responsibility for my mistake, the way I phrased it, it sounded like all Dutch opposed slavery.
But the fact is as I presented the Pennsylvania Assembly was the first to attempted to curb Slavery through Duties.
Your turn.

Thanks for the clarification.
 

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Did not North American slavery start in the south (this excludes Indian slavery pre European contact)? The area that became Florida was the had the first slaves in any area that became part of the 50 states. I think the first slaves were in St. Augustine over 50 year before the first slaves were sold in Virginia. Perhaps I am wrong about slaves in St. Augustine.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
There was another thread about war not being fair. The same can be said for history. As a matter of fact, if history were fair, there would be road markers everywhere for us engineers.

??? I'm completely missing something. From which part of Africa were tribes of engineers kidnapped and forced onto ships? And where did war make an appearance? Whoa, what?
 

damYankee

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 12, 2011
In only 25 years, they couldn't have had very large numbers compared with what came later. In 1664, the English took over. I still question that Dutch colonists generally opposed slavery. If they did, then wouldn't they have stopped the influx of enslaved people completely? The dissertation says there was "an active demand" for enslaved blacks, even though there was also a strong opposition. The opposition can be strong without being general throughout the Dutch colonists, and one doesn't need to own slaves to support the system.

This may help explain the difference in the way slavery was conducted in the early Dutch colonies.
http://www.newamsterdamhistorycenter.org/explore/de_gerrit_de_reus.html
 

damYankee

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 12, 2011
Because of the lack of immigration, the settlers in New Amsterdam relied on slave labor more than any other colony at the time. In fact, by 1640 about 1/3 of New Amsterdam was made up of Africans. By 1664, 20% of the city were of African descent. However, the way that the Dutch dealt with their slaves was quite different from that of the English colonists. They were allowed to learn to read, be baptized, and get married in the Dutch Reform Church. In some instances, they would allow slaves to earn wages and own property. In fact, about 1/5 of the slaves were 'free' by the time that New Amsterdam was taken by the English.
http://americanhistory.about.com/od/colonyprofiles/tp/7-Key-Facts-About-New-Amsterdam.htm
 

damYankee

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 12, 2011
Did not North American slavery start in the south (this excludes Indian slavery pre European contact)? The area that became Florida was the had the first slaves in any area that became part of the 50 states. I think the first slaves were in St. Augustine over 50 year before the first slaves were sold in Virginia. Perhaps I am wrong about slaves in St. Augustine.
The origins of the African Slave trade go back to this,
http://www.doctrineofdiscovery.org/dumdiversas.htm
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
This may help explain the difference in the way slavery was conducted in the early Dutch colonies.
http://www.newamsterdamhistorycenter.org/explore/de_gerrit_de_reus.html

Actually, in all the colonies in the early days enslaved Africans were normally freed after a time. What the Dutch did was no appreciably different from other colonies in the same time period. In southern colonies of Maryland and Virginia, there began the practice of lifetime enslavement, and then enslavement of children. This practice spread throughout the colonies, eventually.

“In rough outline, slavery’s development in the tobacco colonies seems to have undergone three stages. Africans first arrived in 1619, an event Captain John Smith referred to with the utmost unconcern: ‘ About the last of August came in a dutch man of warre that sold us twenty Negars. ‘ Africans trickled in slowly for the next half-century; one report in 1649 estimated that there were threee hundred among Virginia’s population of fifteen thousand — about 2 per cent. Long before there were more appreciable numbers, the development of slavery had, so far as we can tell, shifted gears. Prior to about 1640 there is mounting evidence that some Negroes were in fact being treated as slaves. This is to say that the twin essences of slavery — lifetime service and inherited status — first became evident during the twenty years prior to the beginning of legal formulation. After 1660 slavery was written into statute law.” [Winthrop Jordan, The White Man’s Burden: Historical Origins of Racism in the United States, page 40]

Jordan writes later on, “When the first fragmentary evidence appears about 1640 it becomes clear that some Negroes in both Virginia and Maryland were serving for life and some Negro children inheriting the same obligation. Not all blacks, certainly, for after the mid-1640s the court records show that some Negroes were incontestably free and were accumulating property of their own. At least one black freeman, Anthony Johnson, himself owned a slave. Some blacks served only terms of usual length, but others were held for terms far longer than custom and statute permitted with white servants. The first fairly clear indication that slavery was practiced in the tobacco colonies appears in 1639, when a Maryland statute declared that ‘ all the Inhabitants of this Province being Christians (Slaves excepted) Shall have and enjoy all such rights liberties immunities privileges and free customs within this Province as any natural born subject of England.’ Another Maryland law passed the same year provided that ‘all persons being Christians (Slaves excepted)’ over eighteen who were imported without indentures would serve for four years.” [Jordan, pages 41-42]
 

James B White

Captain
Honored Fallen Comrade
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
??? I'm completely missing something. From which part of Africa were tribes of engineers kidnapped and forced onto ships? And where did war make an appearance? Whoa, what?
Every morning, Michelle Obama looks out on streets originally surveyed by a black man from a slave family, but does she give him any credit? Noooo... The engineers lose out again.

From https://www.bnl.gov/bera/activities/globe/banneker.htm

Without Benjamin Banneker, our nation's capital would not exist as we know it. After a year of work, the Frenchman hired by George Washington to design the capital, L'Enfant, stormed off the job, taking all the plans. Banneker, placed on the planning committee at Thomas Jefferson's request, saved the project by reproducing from memory, in two days, a complete layout of the streets, parks, and major buildings. Thus Washington, D.C. itself can be considered a monument to the genius of this great man.

Banneker's English grandmother immigrated to the Baltimore area and married one of her slaves, named Bannaky. Later, their daughter did likewise, and gave birth to Benjamin in 1731. Since by law, free/slave status depended on the mother, Banneker, like his mother, was---technically---free.

To be fair:
https://wikipedia.org/wiki/Mythology_and_legacy_of_Benjamin_Banneker
 
Last edited:

damYankee

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 12, 2011
Actually, in all the colonies in the early days enslaved Africans were normally freed after a time. What the Dutch did was no appreciably different from other colonies in the same time period. In southern colonies of Maryland and Virginia, there began the practice of lifetime enslavement, and then enslavement of children. This practice spread throughout the colonies, eventually.

“In rough outline, slavery’s development in the tobacco colonies seems to have undergone three stages. Africans first arrived in 1619, an event Captain John Smith referred to with the utmost unconcern: ‘ About the last of August came in a dutch man of warre that sold us twenty Negars. ‘ Africans trickled in slowly for the next half-century; one report in 1649 estimated that there were threee hundred among Virginia’s population of fifteen thousand — about 2 per cent. Long before there were more appreciable numbers, the development of slavery had, so far as we can tell, shifted gears. Prior to about 1640 there is mounting evidence that some Negroes were in fact being treated as slaves. This is to say that the twin essences of slavery — lifetime service and inherited status — first became evident during the twenty years prior to the beginning of legal formulation. After 1660 slavery was written into statute law.” [Winthrop Jordan, The White Man’s Burden: Historical Origins of Racism in the United States, page 40]

Jordan writes later on, “When the first fragmentary evidence appears about 1640 it becomes clear that some Negroes in both Virginia and Maryland were serving for life and some Negro children inheriting the same obligation. Not all blacks, certainly, for after the mid-1640s the court records show that some Negroes were incontestably free and were accumulating property of their own. At least one black freeman, Anthony Johnson, himself owned a slave. Some blacks served only terms of usual length, but others were held for terms far longer than custom and statute permitted with white servants. The first fairly clear indication that slavery was practiced in the tobacco colonies appears in 1639, when a Maryland statute declared that ‘ all the Inhabitants of this Province being Christians (Slaves excepted) Shall have and enjoy all such rights liberties immunities privileges and free customs within this Province as any natural born subject of England.’ Another Maryland law passed the same year provided that ‘all persons being Christians (Slaves excepted)’ over eighteen who were imported without indentures would serve for four years.” [Jordan, pages 41-42]
Slavery was already being practiced before Smith set foot on the New World. The Spanish were way ahead of the game.
In the Dutch Colonies many slaves were not owned by the colonist, but by the Dutch Trading Company and by the Patroons who also controlled the allotments of land to those who signed up to come to the New World as indentured servants or as renters who had an obligation to pay the Patroons a yearly rent, and build homes and shops as part of their indentured contracts.
Have you ever read the passenger list of those Dutch ships? Check it out, the average age of the male and female passengers is 18. Many are 12 and are alone.
Our perceptions of them is very different than reality.
 

Allie

Captain
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
After some reflection I realize that my Southern perspective is 180 degrees out of phase with the northern perspective, i.e., Southerners are taught very early in the educational system that their ancestors were evil slave owners and that northerners abhorred slavery and put an end to it. Northerners, receiving the same instruction, grew up with the perspective that their ancestors were freedom fighters and were never taught that American slavery got its start in the north and that northern fortunes were made in the Atlantic slave trade. Therefore, its a good thing that the north is finally acknowledging their leading role in North American slavery (even thought the marker that started this thread blames the Dutch and Swedes).
I'm curious, how old are you? I'm almost fifty, and I was taught in public grade school in Memphis that kindly slave owners had a protective role towards Africans who were naturally suited to slavery, unlike Indians who pined and died when enslaved. The evil Northerners violated their rights by invading them. The book included a caricature of a "negro" and an explanation that modern negros were poor workers because of their slave mentality.

Incidentally, this bilge was taught by a black history teacher. I wonder what he thought of the book he was forced to teach out of. Our class was about half black. My best friend was black, and I remember waiting in the lunch line with her while a white student tried to convince her the book was correct.

People who were taught these things are still living. It's important to set the record straight.
 

C. Kelp

Retired User
Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Location
wherever I go there I am
Every morning, Michelle Obama looks out on streets originally surveyed by a black man from a slave family, but does she give him any credit? Noooo... The engineers lose out again.

From https://www.bnl.gov/bera/activities/globe/banneker.htm

Without Benjamin Banneker, our nation's capital would not exist as we know it. After a year of work, the Frenchman hired by George Washington to design the capital, L'Enfant, stormed off the job, taking all the plans. Banneker, placed on the planning committee at Thomas Jefferson's request, saved the project by reproducing from memory, in two days, a complete layout of the streets, parks, and major buildings. Thus Washington, D.C. itself can be considered a monument to the genius of this great man.

Banneker's English grandmother immigrated to the Baltimore area and married one of her slaves, named Bannaky. Later, their daughter did likewise, and gave birth to Benjamin in 1731. Since by law, free/slave status depended on the mother, Banneker, like his mother, was---technically---free.

To be fair:
https://wikipedia.org/wiki/Mythology_and_legacy_of_Benjamin_Banneker
man i don't get you. you post a link that supports your position , and a link that proves your position wrong. my question is , how did this get to be about michelle obama ? she gave credit to the slaves who worked on the white house.
Banneker was not an engineer nor was he from africa and was only partially african and was free. why wouldn't he try to do a good job ? it was his job and he got paid. and he quit when he wanted to. he was a surveyor, and he got credit. he is credited with placing the first survey stone, which is on display (his marker). he was not a slave.
 

James B White

Captain
Honored Fallen Comrade
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
man i don't get you. you post a link that supports your position , and a link that proves your position wrong. my question is , how did this get to be about michelle obama ? she gave credit to the slaves who worked on the white house.
Banneker was not an engineer nor was he from africa and was only partially african and was free. why wouldn't he try to do a good job ? it was his job and he got paid. and he quit when he wanted to. he was a surveyor, and he got credit. he is credited with placing the first survey stone, which is on display (his marker). he was not a slave.
Okay... sigh.... the whole explanation:

The engineer thing started in post #87 where two eyed jack wrote, "There was another thread about war not being fair. The same can be said for history. As a matter of fact, if history were fair, there would be road markers everywhere for us engineers."

I took that to be funny. Not ha ha roll on the floor laughing funny, but ironic dry humor with some painful truth. Poor fellow, he's an engineer, he builds important things like bridges, and even surveys the roads themselves (I took him to be that kind of engineer, but there are admittedly other possibilities) and his profession doesn't get any road markers. Just politicians, generals, slaves, etc. get the markers. It's not fair! (Said with mock anguish to the universe in general.)

If I read it wrong, my apologies to two eyed jack. I sometimes read dry humor where it's not intended. I took JPK Huson 1863's reply to be somewhat serious confusion about what it meant. I liked the original joke and thought I'd do my best to continue it, while sharing a bit of real information. I first looked for images of slaves doing engineering tasks, preferably in an African setting, with minimal luck.

Banneker was at least a black grandson of a slave, who had a Washington connection, if not an African connection and it's all in the news right now about the first lady acknowledging the slaves who built the white house. But the black engineer who laid out the city still doesn't get any credit. It's not fair!

I would argue that Banneker was indeed an engineer. From tbe earlier link: "internationally known polymath: farmer, engineer, surveyor, city planner, astronomer, mathematician, inventor, author, and social critic." Even today, his work surveying the city would classify him as an engineer. "Career Definition for a Survey Engineer. Survey engineers ... measurements are used to plan roadways and tunnels, build pipelines and bridges.... Many work in the field, collecting information while others are based in an office, analyzing data. They are employed by private engineering or surveying firms, government agencies and municipalities, or as independent consultants."

Sigh. I've had people accuse me of having no sense of humor, but this is what happens when I read something that really struck me as great dry humor and tried to reply in the same humorous vein. I dunno. Maybe I have too much of a sense of humor that's too quirky, and missed the fact that two eyed jack was actually dead serious. Not sure how to handle it, since all this surely wasn't worth it for a little joke.
 
Last edited:

Allie

Captain
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
man i don't get you. you post a link that supports your position , and a link that proves your position wrong. my question is , how did this get to be about michelle obama ? she gave credit to the slaves who worked on the white house.
Banneker was not an engineer nor was he from africa and was only partially african and was free. why wouldn't he try to do a good job ? it was his job and he got paid. and he quit when he wanted to. he was a surveyor, and he got credit. he is credited with placing the first survey stone, which is on display (his marker). he was not a slave.
From what I've seen of your posts so far, I believe you and James are on the same side. Being familiar with him and his sense of humor, I found his intent pretty clear. If I may make a suggestion, clicking on someone's username and reading several of their posts can help you gain an understanding of someone's perspective. Actual racists and neo confederates don't tend to stick around here long, so if you see a long term poster making an argument that you think suggests that, it's most likely a misunderstanding.
 

MattL

Guest
Joined
Aug 20, 2015
Location
SF Bay Area
White guilt?

You set the tone right here... your first post in this thread and the first response to the OP. Your initial response is only referring to a marker about slavery as white guilt? Are Union or Confederate markers Civil War guilt? Are you against those as well, or is your accusatory tone only reserved for markers dedicated to the history of slavery?

I'm also tired of people saying "White guilt" as if it's an actual argument or expression of anything. It's an intellectual cop out. It means nothing without explanation since those two words can mean something different to every person.

I also find it silly how for some reason theirs a group of Americans that use the phrase "white guilt" as an insult. As if feeling guilty your ancestors benefited either by directly owning other people or not having nearly their entire race in America be subjected to being property of other people as a bad thing. Guilt is what keeps us honest. I grew up quite humble, sometimes technically in poverty, my family at one point used food stamps. Though there are those that grew up worse, either financially or in even more broken homes than my broken and dysfunctional one. Such as people who were subjected to severe child abuse. I feel a bit guilty when relating childhoods, since though mine had issues they pale in comparison to others. It's perfectly natural to feel guilty when you benefited from something (or from not having something) that someone else had no choice in. Guilt keeps us honest, its not to be ridiculed or mocked and certainly not turned against people showing compassion for a race that was subjected to horrendous deeds by our own Nation.
 
Last edited:

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
Okay... sigh.... the whole explanation:

The engineer thing started in post #87 where two eyed jack wrote, "There was another thread about war not being fair. The same can be said for history. As a matter of fact, if history were fair, there would be road markers everywhere for us engineers."

I took that to be funny. Not ha ha roll on the floor laughing funny, but ironic dry humor with some painful truth. Poor fellow, he's an engineer, he builds important things like bridges, and even surveys the roads themselves (I took him to be that kind of engineer, but there are admittedly other possibilities) and his profession doesn't get any road markers. Just politicians, generals, slaves, etc. get the markers. It's not fair! (Said with mock anguish to the universe in general.)

To paraphrase Dan Sickles, the whole dang road is his marker. :smile coffee:
 

John Winn

Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
...

Sigh. I've had people accuse me of having no sense of humor, but this is what happens when I read something that really struck me as great dry humor and tried to reply in the same humorous vein. I dunno. Maybe I have too much of a sense of humor that's too quirky, and missed the fact that two eyed jack was actually dead serious. Not sure how to handle it, since all this surely wasn't worth it for a little joke.

Don't take it too personally James. I've found that humor - other than perhaps the slapstick kind - doesn't always go over so well here and is often misinterpreted the more subtle it is. I'm a die hard and still try to introduce a little parody now and then but it's a hard sell.
 

Bee

Captain
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Don't take it too personally James. I've found that humor - other than perhaps the slapstick kind - doesn't always go over so well here and is often misinterpreted the more subtle it is. I'm a die hard and still try to introduce a little parody now and then but it's a hard sell.

I don't even try. Imagine Hermione Granger trying to be funny (you get the picture)
 
Top