Notes on Northern Slavery

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W. Richardson

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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 Southern slavery content edited. 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, Southern slavery content edited

I will post several more parts in the near future.

Respectfully,

William
 
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