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Notes on Northern Slavery

Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by W. Richardson, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. W. Richardson

    W. Richardson Captain

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    Northern Slavery Notes
    Business & Economy
    Part I


    Connecticut had slaves as early as 1639 and by 1645 the presence of blacks was officially noted in New Hampshire.
    Source: Black Bondage in the North By Edgar J. McManus Page: 6


    Dependence on black labor drew the North into the overseas slave trade.
    Source: Black Bondage in the North By Edgar J. McManus Page: 7


    The slave trade quickly became one of the cornerstones of New England’s commercial prosperity. It was the linchpin of the triangular trade linking New England, Africa, and the West Indies in a bond of economic interdependence. Sugar, molasses, and rum from the islands were exchanged for the farm produce, lumber, and manufactured goods of New England; Africa, in return for rum from New England, furnished the slaves needed by the West Indian planters. Since it was rum that held this network together, a great distilling industry sprang up in New England to keep the trade going.
    Sources: Black Bondage in the North By Edgar J. McManus Page: 9
    The Negro in Colonial New England By Lorenzo J. Greene Page: 317
    Slave Ships and Slaving By George F. Dow Page: 268


    AlthoughMassachusetts led the rest of New England into the slave trade, by the eighteenth century Rhode Island had become the most important slave-trading colony.


    Rhode Island’s heavy traffic in Negros, together with that of Massachusetts, made New England the leading slave-trading region in America. It became the hub of New England’s economy.


    The heavy profits of the slave trade stimulated the growth of other industries. Shipbuilding, the distilleries, the molasses trade, agricultural exports to the West Indies, and large numbers of artisans, sailors, and farmers were all dependent upon the traffic in Negroes.


    By 1763 the Massachusetts slave trade employed about five thousand sailors in addition to the numerous coopers, tanners, and sailmakers who serviced the ships. About two-thirds of Rhode Island’s merchant fleet and about as many of her sailors were engaged in the traffic. Moreover, there were at least thirty distilleries in which hundreds of Rhode Islanders earned their livelihood producing rum for the trade. Without the trade, these industries would have collapsed, the capital invested in them would have been wiped out and large numbers of artisans, farmers, distillery workers, and sailors thrown out of work.

    Sources: Black Bondage in the North By Edgar J. McManus Page: 10
    Documents Illustrative of the History of the Slave Trade to America 3 Vols. By Elizabeth Donnan Vol. II Page: 405


    The slave force everywhere made a vital contribution to the Northern economy. Whether at work in the shipyards and distilleries of Massachusetts, or in the manufactories and farms of Pennsylvania, black bondsmen played an important role in determining the rate of economic growth.
    Source: Black Bondage in the North By Edgar J. McManus Page: 17




    As one can see slavery and the slave trade were vital to the Northern colonies at one time as they were to the South in the mid 1800’s. Slavery was a morally wrong then as it was in 1860, but yet there was no large outcry in the North at that time, as their economy depended on it, just as the South's economy had in the mid 1800's.

    I will post several more parts in the near future.

    Respectfully,

    William
     

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  3. NedBaldwin

    NedBaldwin Captain

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    I am not convinced by what you wrote in this sentence.
    You have pointed to a source that in the 1760s slavery was important to the Massachusetts economy. Yet within 20 years it was gone and considered to be outlawed. That sounds to me like there was outcry. The Massachusetts Body of Liberties prohibited most forms of slavery; the general court proposed laws to stop the slave trade and provide for public support of the children of slaves (though the Colonial Governor would not sign them); and some of those held as slaves sued in court and in several cases won (Caesar v. Taylor, Boston v Swain, Walker v Jennison, Bett vs. Ashley, etc). That the enslaved were allowed stadning in court and were winning over juries shows that there was some outcry.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
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  4. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Woo woo. You did it too. Neener neener. How juvenile.
     
  5. W. Richardson

    W. Richardson Captain

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    Not trying to convince you. I could state I am not convinced of your statement "That sounds to me like there was outcry.", I did not state there was no outcry, I stated there was no large outcry.

    Respectfully,

    William
     
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  6. W. Richardson

    W. Richardson Captain

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    Thank you for your input Ole. Hope you are doing well.

    Respectfully,

    William
     
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  7. NedBaldwin

    NedBaldwin Captain

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    Large is a subjective term. The outcry was enough the end slavery in Massachusetts.
     
  8. W. Richardson

    W. Richardson Captain

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    Yes it was ended, as you pointed out 20 years later, once it was no longer profitable. Large is a subjective term, but there was no large outcry.

    Respectfully,

    William
     
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  9. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

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    Sweeping statements do not a thesis make. The thing is- it's just, plain uncool to post something for the viewing pleasure of the forum and cherry-pick whose replies you'll deign to answer and whose may be a bit much for you. Those get you stock " Thank you for your input ". I thought Ole had a point, tit for tat slavery, she did it too, Mom.

    In my opinion, these notes seem to be personal opinion, I see no sources? History seen through whatever point it is you wish to make and posted to serve some purpose or other. My sister does this. She sends around emails filled with half truths, incomplete factoids and made-up stuff to a wide range of viewing public- I guess to get her point out there whether or not it's correct, at least the water is muddied and folks are distracted ( she hopes ) from the real problem- that some things require a war to finish the conversation. And she started one.
     
  10. NedBaldwin

    NedBaldwin Captain

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    20 years later than what?

    I have seen nothing demonstrating that it was no longer profitable. Seems to me you are inventing history to suit your fancy.
     
  11. ForeverFree

    ForeverFree Captain

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    As with others, I find the above statement dubious. I look forward to your future posts.

    The "outcry" was large enough that secessionists sought to dissolve the Union once the Black Republicans put a president in office. Of course, what they perceived as a large enough outcry may not have been objectively large, but it seems it didn't take too much of an outcry for them to secede and risk a civil war.

    - Alan
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
  12. W. Richardson

    W. Richardson Captain

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    First you NEED to read the POST before commenting on it. There is a source listed for each note.....................Re-Read it for the FIRST time.

    Respectfully,

    William
     
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  13. W. Richardson

    W. Richardson Captain

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    Seems to me you have an issue with the truth and facts. Unless I am Edgar J. McManus I did not invent anything to suit my fancy. It appears, as usual you wish to reject anything that does not suit your fancy.

    Respectfully,

    William
     
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  14. NedBaldwin

    NedBaldwin Captain

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    No fact has been presented that it was unprofitable in 1780. You did not cite Edgar J McManus when you alleged that it was unprofitable, so it looked to me that you just came up with that yourself.

    I have no issue with the facts. The facts are that there was an outcry against slavery culminating in the state supreme court ruling that "whatever sentiments have formerly prevailed in this particular or slid in upon us by the example of others, a different idea has taken place with the people of America, more favorable to the natural rights of mankind, and to that natural, innate desire of Liberty, with which Heaven (without regard to color, complexion, or shape of noses-features) has inspired all the human race. And upon this ground our Constitution of Government, by which the people of this Commonwealth have solemnly bound themselves, sets out with declaring that all men are born free and equal -- and that every subject is entitled to liberty, and to have it guarded by the laws, as well as life and property -- and in short is totally repugnant to the idea of being born slaves."
     
  15. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Your point is what?
    A list of dry uninteresting and commonly known facts?
    Or is it an invite to someone to note that while the North voluntary gave up slavery in a democratic manner, someone else was forced to give it up at the point of a bayonet with the cost of many of their sons?
     
  16. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    This borders on a personal attack, if you cannot simply address posts without attacking posters, I have a solution.
     
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  17. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

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    It is important to remember the role of slavery in fostering the growth of the American economy. It helped finance the creation of the American merchant marine and furnished the cotton for the first factory system of the Industrial Revolution. It is not true that there was not agitation against it, however. My village, Westbury on Long Island, abolished slavery in 1776 and became a refuge for freed blacks. Later it became a stop on the underground railroad. The village was dominated by Quakers, including the strongly abolitionist Hicks family. The New York Manumission Society was founded in 1785 to agitate against slavery and in 1799 the first gradual emancipation law was passed in the state. Full emancipation did not come until 1827.
     
  18. 1SGDan

    1SGDan Captain

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    Fact:
    The Civil War did not start in 1639 or 1645.

    Fact:
    Two hundred and fifteen years later attitudes about slavery in one part of the country had changed.

    Fact:
    In 1861 the South plunged the country into a deadly conflict over the difference of opinion regarding this issue.
     
  19. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Attitudes changed in the early nineteenth century South about slavery. It went from a necessary evil to a social good worth fighting for.
     
  20. wilber6150

    wilber6150 Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    And yet in a few years after gaining their independence from England most of those above states had laws on their books which led to the end of slavery within their borders...
     
  21. CW3O

    CW3O Sergeant

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    Despite all the benefits claimed by these authors, New Englanders and others peacefully did away with the practice of slavery precisely because it was "morally wrong." The history of the peaceful, democratic and grass roots led abolishment of slavery in these areas disproves the assertion that that there was no "outcry" against the practice of slavery.

    You have read one side of the story, now try reading the other.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
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