Restricted Debate Notes on Northern Slavery

W. Richardson

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In Dark Work, Christy Clark-Pujara tells the story of one state in particular whose role was outsized: Rhode Island.

Historians have written expansively about the slave economy and its vital role in early American economic life. Like their northern neighbors, Rhode Islanders bought and sold slaves and supplies that sustained plantations throughout the Americas; however, nowhere else was this business so important. During the colonial period trade with West Indian planters provided Rhode Islanders with molasses, the key ingredient for their number one export: rum. More than 60 percent of all the slave ships that left North America left from Rhode Island. During the antebellum period Rhode Islanders were the leading producers of “negro cloth,” a coarse wool-cotton material made especially for enslaved blacks in the American South.

Clark-Pujara draws on the documents of the state, the business, organizational, and personal records of their enslavers, and the few first-hand accounts left by enslaved and free black Rhode Islanders to reconstruct their lived experiences. The business of slavery encouraged slaveholding, slowed emancipation and led to circumscribed black freedom. Enslaved and free black people pushed back against their bondage and the restrictions placed on their freedom. It is convenient, especially for northerners, to think of slavery as southern institution. The erasure or marginalization of the northern black experience and the centrality of the business of slavery to the northern economy allows for a dangerous fiction―that North has no history of racism to overcome. But we cannot afford such a delusion if we are to truly reconcile with our past.

Respectfully,
William

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In Dark Work, Christy Clark-Pujara tells the story of one state in particular whose role was outsized: Rhode Island.

Historians have written expansively about the slave economy and its vital role in early American economic life. Like their northern neighbors, Rhode Islanders bought and sold slaves and supplies that sustained plantations throughout the Americas; however, nowhere else was this business so important. During the colonial period trade with West Indian planters provided Rhode Islanders with molasses, the key ingredient for their number one export: rum. More than 60 percent of all the slave ships that left North America left from Rhode Island. During the antebellum period Rhode Islanders were the leading producers of “negro cloth,” a coarse wool-cotton material made especially for enslaved blacks in the American South.

Clark-Pujara draws on the documents of the state, the business, organizational, and personal records of their enslavers, and the few first-hand accounts left by enslaved and free black Rhode Islanders to reconstruct their lived experiences. The business of slavery encouraged slaveholding, slowed emancipation and led to circumscribed black freedom. Enslaved and free black people pushed back against their bondage and the restrictions placed on their freedom. It is convenient, especially for northerners, to think of slavery as southern institution. The erasure or marginalization of the northern black experience and the centrality of the business of slavery to the northern economy allows for a dangerous fiction―that North has no history of racism to overcome. But we cannot afford such a delusion if we are to truly reconcile with our past.

Respectfully,
William

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View attachment 318749
" It is convenient, especially for northerners, to think of slavery as southern institution. The erasure or marginalization of the northern black experience and the centrality of the business of slavery to the northern economy allows for a dangerous fiction―that North has no history of racism to overcome. But we cannot afford such a delusion if we are to truly reconcile with our past."
1. Which Northerners think of slavery as a Southern institution?
2. Who says that the North has no history of racism to overcome?
3. What evidence proves that we are not reconciled with our past?
 

lurid

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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
Edited

Using linear progression from the inception of slavery to emancipation the stages clearly show that the starting point is only equal, whereas the stage to stage points clearly show the north downsized slavery through the years and then the final point clearly shows the north ended slavery.

These are the dates that the northern states implemented gradual emancipation, according to the Oxford Atlas of the Civil War: the linear progression to end slavery in the north.

o PA 1780
o NH 1783
o CT 1784
o RI 1784
o NW Territory 1787
o NY 1799
o NJ 1804 (had 18 slaves when the Civil War began).

I think Delaware had 1,500 slaves by 1860, but that's microcosm compared to the south's slave empire of over 4 million.

The north made economic preparations to end slavery:

I.e.. Industrial Revolution, Transportation advancements, technology improvements, and of course 93% of the important inventions, innovations and patents came out of the free states from 1776-1860.


The linear progression on how the south expanded slavery:

In 1810, when 99% of slaves in the north were free, there were 1,375,000. By 1830 there were 2,350,000 slaves and in 1860 there were 4,450,000 slaves, which the linear progression shows that slavery increased in the south from the starting point to every stage until it expanded and culminated by 300% at the end point.

You argument starts and remains and ends at the starting point, and that's very disingenuous. My data clearly shows that north progressed in increments to downsize slavery and then eventually ended it. Conversely, my data clearly shows that the south expanded slavery in increments and eventually ballooned the median slave holding to a whopping 300%. Now how in the world can you or anyone else on this board anywhere else in the world equate blame? At the starting point of slavery blame is equal, but in progressed stages and to the end the blame shifts solely to the south.

As for the textiles in New England argument, you all need to study hard the difference between micro and macroeconomics so you all can distinguish them. The textile industry was one microeconomic chip in macroeconomic society that consisted of many pie slices on the pie chart. Your argument starts and ends at the beginning, but the north's economy progressively transmogrified and morphed into a rather large economy that consisted of many microeconomic chips from the inception of slavery to every stage leading to the end point of slavery. The textile industry might have been vital at first but linear progression shows that stage to stage it was a slice of the pie chart in multi-facet economy.

Southern slavery content edited. The north and the Midwest produced more farms that produced foodstuff than just a cash crop. The north combined with the Midwest had an industrial and agrarian society that synergized to comprehensively create a vast economy.

Your argument holds no weight in relation to linear progression that the north and south should share the blame for slavery, that's absurd. The evidence is clear how the north downsized and the south expanded during the antebellum era, its obvious that contraction and expansion run parallel.

As far as I'm concerned, this discredits your perennial moral argument as well, because it is obvious the north showed repentance via downsizing and then emancipation, and the Confederacy justified it via bogus secession reasons and then the subsequent CW which was very costly...





Jeremy, David J. Transatlantic Industrial Revolution: The Diffusion of Textile Technologies between Britain and America, 1790-1830s. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1981.

Hounshell, David A. From the American System to Mass Production, 1800-1932: The Development of Manufacturing Technology in the United States. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984.

Bodenhorn, Howard. A History of Banking in Antebellum America: Financial Markets and Economic Development in an Era of Nation-Building. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Atack, Jeremy, and Fred Bateman. To Their Own Soil: Agriculture in the Antebellum North. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press, 1987.

Roger Burlingame, March of the Iron Men: A Social History of Union Through Invention (New York, 1938).

All 1810-1860 census figures from U.S. Secretary of State, Abstract of the Returns of the Fifth Census, Showing the Number of Free People, the Number of Slaves, the Federal or Representative Number; and the Aggregate of Each County of Each State of the United States, 22nd Cong, 1st Sess, House Document 263 (Washington, D.C. 1832), http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/1830.htm.

Berwanger, Eugene H. The Frontier Against Slavery: Western Anti-Negro Prejudice and the Slavery Extension Controversy. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1967.


Baker, Andrew H., and Holly V. Izard. “New England Farmers and the Marketplace, 1780-1865: A Case Study.” Agricultural History 65 (1991): 29-200.
 
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major bill

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The Northern area of Michigan seen some slavery due to the Ojibwa raiding the Native American on the plains to get slaves to sell to Europeans. The Pawnee were the usual slaves but other plains groups were raided as well. Females were most often the slaves taken. Some slaves were retained by the Ojibwa and other groups. Frenchmen who bought slave wives often did not consider the children from their slave wife as slaves, this was even true after the British took over and probably even after the Americans took over. The law that the children of a slave mother and free father were slaves and their children wold be slaves as well was often ignored. Same can be said for the children of a "free" Native American male and an enslaved woman.
 

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Another interesting book on the subject of Northern Slavery..............

The Logbooks: Connecticut’s Slave Ships and Human Memory

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Review
“A powerful story, heartbreaking, revealing, and redemptive. The Logbooks invites us to join a voyage of discovery into the ‘triangles’ of the trans-Atlantic slave trade—a deeply personal and empathetic exploration of history, memory, and identity. To lose our grasp on the past, Farrow reminds us, is to become unmoored from our selves.”—John Wood Sweet, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“Anne Farrow has been on a remarkable journey over the past several years, and this book is a record of that sojourn. In a sense, it is itself a logbook. Farrow’s strong and passionate voice, her deep, even fierce empathy, comes through powerfully as she leads the reader along the path that she took toward a personal engagement with Connecticut’s involvement with slavery—and the slave ‘trade’—challenging the reader to really see this aspect of our history as ‘not a chapter but the book itself.’”—Robert P. Forbes, author of The Missouri Compromise and Its Aftermath: Slavery and the Meaning of America

“Anne Farrow’s book is courageous, captivating, and necessary. Once again, Farrow has demonstrated that she is a masterful historian, educator, and storyteller, guiding readers through yesterday’s hard truths and making connections to today.”—Olivia S. White, executive director, The Amistad Center for Art & Culture at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

“Like the insect that no linger exists anywhere on Earth but is frozen in a fragment of amber, the 80 handwritten pages of Dudley Saltonstall’s logbooks offer a painful glimpse of a vanished past. They are an emissary from that time, proof of something that really happened. They are a powerful form of evidence.”—Anne Farrow, Hartford Courant

“Farrow adds a profoundly emotional dimension to the historical record by providing this documentary evidence of callous indifference. This feature of her book is one of its finest contributions, encouraging readers to understand history in human terms, far beyond the numbing facts and statistics of conventional historical texts.” —Paul Von Blum, Truthdig

“What [Farrow] discovered, long hidden away in the library’s archives, was documented evidence of Connecticut’s deep ties to the profitable slave trade.”—Randall Beach, The New Haven Register

“The story in The Logbooks is essential and relevant to people today.”—Mystic Seaport Magazine

“In this rich, rewarding, and ultimately redemptive book, Anne Farrow invites us to explore the connections between the past and the present, who we are and what we remember. Perhaps no historian has done more to unearth the profound, often forgotten ways in which slavery shaped New England’s history.”—John Wood Sweet, Connecticut History Review
About the Author

ANNE FARROW is coauthor of the bestseller Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged and Profited from Slavery. She lives in Haddam, Connecticut.



Respectfully,
William

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byron ed

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Another interesting book on the subject of Northern Slavery...The Logbooks: Connecticut’s Slave Ships and Human Memory...ANNE FARROW is coauthor
The author acknowledging slaves were very rare in the NE soon after the American Revolution, decades before slavery in the lower states became a major issue leading to the Civil War. Slavery had been well purged from the Northern States, the South failing to accomplish that.
 
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W. Richardson

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The author acknowledging slaves were very rare in the NE soon after the American Revolution, decades before slavery in the lower states became a major issue leading to the Civil War. Slavery had been well purged from the Northern States, the South failing to accomplish that.
Thank you, and you are correct, the North had pretty much purged slavery from their states by 1800. While racism and Black laws remained for many years after. The abolition of slavery in the North was one of the greatest things conducted by Northern states.
I hope that your post was not all that you gleamed from the book.

Respectfully,
William

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byron ed

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Thank you, and you are correct, the North had pretty much purged slavery from their states by 1800. While racism and Black laws remained for many years after. The abolition of slavery in the North was one of the greatest things conducted by Northern states...I hope that your post was not all that you gleamed from the book.
Oh, I've only read a transcript of the author interviewed. It's a book I need to get, it seems a well-researched enlightenment on the full context of slavery in the U.S.
 

byron ed

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When did the North stop using Cotton, Sugar and other Slave Produced Commodities? They didn’t, so, they didn’t have Slaves. But they participated in Slavery. Shipped them, financed them. Everything but posses them.
Not much of a revelation. After slavery the North continued to use cotton, sugar and other Southern-produced commodities. What everybody knows and nobody contests is that the North for the most part was morally complacent about slavery in the Antebellum, and were racist besides. Nobody's been surreptitiously hiding that, it's just been nothing to brag about.

Also not hidden is that the North had voluntarily banished the owning of slaves decades before the South was forced to do it. The North had developed extensive active anti-slavery societies, some of those specifically focused on not using slave-produced commodities. And dozens of Northerners were assisting slaves to escape, risking arrest themselves under the Fugitive Slave Laws.

While we recognize the attempt to equate the culpability of North and South for slavery, for the purpose of ameliorating the blame of the South, but it doesn't quite work.
 

uaskme

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Not much of a revelation. After slavery the North continued to use cotton, sugar and other Southern-produced commodities. What everybody knows and nobody contests is that the North for the most part was morally complacent about slavery in the Antebellum, and were racist besides. Nobody's been surreptitiously hiding that, it's just been nothing to brag about.

Also not hidden is that the North had voluntarily banished the owning of slaves decades before the South was forced to do it. The North had developed extensive active anti-slavery societies, some of those specifically focused on not using slave-produced commodities. And dozens of Northerners were assisting slaves to escape, risking arrest themselves under the Fugitive Slave Laws.

While we recognize the attempt to equate the culpability of North and South for slavery, for the purpose of ameliorating the blame of the South, but it doesn't quite work.
Morally Complacent, giggle fit.

Abandoning Slavery was a Economic reality. They Lost Nothing. Still got their Cotton and Sugar. Wanted a homogeneous Society, got that. Like good Plucky Puritans Of prior generations, benefited from the Investment in Slavery, without having to get their hands dirty. Had a Population Of Starving White mud sills to Labor at starvation wages. Simply, it was cheaper. After the Yankees Abolitionist plans were developed, they continued to Traffic Slaves. Had no problem, sending them, somewhere else. Just not into White Yankeedom. Shipped Slaves and Slave Produced Commodities all over the world. Nothing Morally wrong with that.

Plenty of Southerners detested Slavery. The South had Quakers and underground Railroads. Some masters freed their Slaves, legal or not. How. Many Northerners gave up their Slaves with no compensation? Few. They made money on the process.
 

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Not much of a revelation. After slavery the North continued to use cotton, sugar and other Southern-produced commodities. What everybody knows and nobody contests is that the North for the most part was morally complacent about slavery in the Antebellum, and were racist besides. Nobody's been surreptitiously hiding that, it's just been nothing to brag about.

Also not hidden is that the North had voluntarily banished the owning of slaves decades before the South was forced to do it. The North had developed extensive active anti-slavery societies, some of those specifically focused on not using slave-produced commodities. And dozens of Northerners were assisting slaves to escape, risking arrest themselves under the Fugitive Slave Laws.

While we recognize the attempt to equate the culpability of North and South for slavery, for the purpose of ameliorating the blame of the South, but it doesn't quite work.
Yet too many are loathed to recognize those enterprising New Englanders who plied their trade to the bitter end.

“As many Africans were probably introduced into the United States in the last twenty years of the eighteenth and the first eight years of the nineteenth century as in the entire era since the 1620s.”

Hugh Thomas, The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade: 1440-1870, p. 546.
 

unionblue

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Yet too many are loathed to recognize those enterprising New Englanders who plied their trade to the bitter end.

“As many Africans were probably introduced into the United States in the last twenty years of the eighteenth and the first eight years of the nineteenth century as in the entire era since the 1620s.”

Hugh Thomas, The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade: 1440-1870, p. 546.
You supply 'em or buy 'em, you're just as wrong.
 

byron ed

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Morally Complacent, giggle fit...good Plucky Puritans Of prior generations, benefited from the Investment in Slavery, without having to get their hands dirty. Had a Population Of Starving White mud sills to Labor at starvation wages...Yankees Abolitionist plans were developed, they continued to Traffic Slaves. Had no problem, sending them, somewhere else. Just not into White Yankeedom. Shipped Slaves and Slave Produced Commodities all over the world...Plenty of Southerners detested Slavery. ...Many Northerners gave up their Slaves with no compensation? Few. They made money on the process...
From this one could think you actually feel as though this is a Northerner vs Southerner thing, as if we could even allow you to claim to know what a period Northerner or a period Southerner did as an entire group. You don't get that and we won't buy that. The rest of us are so far beyond what "Northerners" were and what "Southerners" were that to return that kind of simplistic 1980s/90s CW discussion mode is kind of an insult.

The best you get is to represent what a heritage white Southerner - if that's your claimed heritage - may have experienced and thought.

Better yet let's just skip the agenda. Slavery was a condition endemic to the Unites States in various periods, sections and modes. Secessionists, especially Confederates, were the only ones to literally found themselves on Chattel slavery and attempt to expand it -- no one else in U.S. history had. So there's a bit more blame there, nothing to get excited about (there's no Confederates today). And nobody challenges that many in the North were morally complacent about slavery and continued to reap the benefits of it. For that matter no one has challenged that there was criminal activity in both North and South, meh.

Bottom line: Enough of this "what Northerners did" or "what Southerners did." And enough of "What Southerners had to put up with" while excluding more that 40% of the Southern population from that representation (we know what those Southerners had to put up with).
 
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byron ed

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...Yet too many are loathed to recognize those enterprising New Englanders who plied their trade to the bitter end...“As many Africans were probably introduced into the United States in the last twenty years of the eighteenth and the first eight years of the nineteenth century...
Meaning that the New England trade had ditched chattel slavery decades before the slave South went to war to protect it. Is there something that we're missing here?
 


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