Slavery..How did it get it's start in North America?

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
My point was more about what historians refer to as Great Britain's "informal empire" versus the pink-shaded portions of the old Atlas of the "formal Empire" on which the sun never set...

All of post-independence Latin America and imperial Brazil formed key portions of the "informal empire." A good deal of Southern planters also hewed toward England in the antebellum...
I am very familiar with Jose Antonio Sucre & the Bolivarian Revolution. I am not aware of an informal empire engaging in slave trading along the Pacific coast.
 

FedericoFCavada

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Location
San Antonio, Texas
I am very familiar with Jose Antonio Sucre & the Bolivarian Revolution. I am not aware of an informal empire engaging in slave trading along the Pacific coast.
The slave trade by Great Britain was over by then. It persisted in Cuba and Brazil--in the face of "treaties signed for the English to see..." Unfreedom in Peru was alive and well in the 1840s, however, when the first of very many "boom and bust" cycles took place in guano... Centuries of bird droppings, even millennia of bird droppings, remained where they were in the most arid portions of the globe, like the Atacama desert. Rich in nitrates, it was shortly rediscovered (it had been known by the Inca civilization long before, apparently) that it could be used as fertilizer to revive exhausted farm land...

The fumes and dust was so overwhelming, that sailors often went up into the high-tops of the ships to escape them during loading. The digging and loading was done by Chinese coolies. These emanated from Guangdong/Canton. They were frequently chained, subject to extreme invigilation and corporal punishment much like chattel slaves were. They were not slaves though. Oh no. These hapless men put a mark on an indenture contract they could not read. The contract was then bought and sold, and the coolies went with the owner of the paper. China's problems and historic development are even further outside the scope of the thread, namely, how did slavery get its start in North America? but believe you me, British imperial policy, the Opium Wars and other issues bear scrutiny.

Meanwhile, the ships bearing guano could sail faster than ever before... And in many cases, and growing numbers of cases, they could use steam power to maneuver in ports without completely relying on sail. Unfortunately, these ships were so swift, that a terrible water mold organism P. infestans was able to survive the trip. This organism caused potato blight. This potato blight first broke out in Belgium and Alsace-Lorraine. It was not long, however, before it came to Ireland, where it caused the horrific "Potato famine." Crop failures were an ongoing, frequent issue through all human history in which people were reliant on sedentism and farming... But famine is typically political in nature. In the sad case of the Emerland Isle, crofters began growing a genetically-identical potato or "pratie" in a very small plot to feed a large family. The monoculture potato was called, variously, the "Lumber" or the "Irish potato." With no diverse additional strains of potatoes, the Irish had a weak link subject to disease. Crofters used to cultivate potatoes in an odd system nick-named by the English the "lazy bed" method. Science writer Charles Mann, in his 1493 draws on studies that show this method was very similar to the highland Peruvian and Bolivian "wacho" method... Turns out, what with 20/20 hindsight being our prerogative in a scientific age, that this method inhibited fungus infection of the plant... But it was largely eradicated by Great Britain in light of the ever more industrial agriculture practiced in its Irish colony. I'll refrain from rehearsing all of the indifferent and even cruel responses of the Irish system and British colonialism to the crisis, suffice to say that a great many of the resultant Irish Diaspora traveled to the United States and elsewhere aboard so-called "coffin ships." Just after the Civil War ended, by 1867, a mostly Chinese and Irish workforce completed the transcontinental railway in the United States.

As for Great Britain's role in the slave trade before abolition of it in the early 19th century, with gradual emancipation and replacement by South and East Asian indentured labor in the remaining Caribbean colonies, it was great. So great, in fact, that the lion's share of kidnapped Africans who traveled west across the Atlantic versus those--longer duration, ultimately even more--who went East to the Islamic world, was by British "guineamen." At various times in the Spanish New World empire, the "asiento de negros" was held by Portuguese, French, British, and Spanish slave traders. By 1750, the British relinquished their asiento in exchange for 100k pounds paid by Spain. Famously, during the Seven Years' War/ "French and Indian War" the British captured Havana after a siege and controlled it for about a year. During this period, free trade in products and slaves too underwrote a burgeoning plantation and slavery economy there, with approximately 4,000 slaves brought in by the English until Spain ceded Florida in exchange for Cuba. (Spain retook Florida during their co-belligerency with the Continental Army very late in the American Revolution... Later ceding it to the United States by 1819 and the Adams-Onís Treaty, the negotiation of which was shaped by Andrew Jackson's attacks on Seminoles and so-called "black Seminoles" or African-descended maroons, the execution of some British merchants, and sending the Spanish governor packing... Spain had to be concerned that the United States could back the rebels like Bolívar and Sucre and cause them big trouble after all...

As you said earlier/ previously in this thread, slavery is a vast subject with a very rich and convoluted history, and very many dirty and bloodstained hands, even if delimited to the system in the United States--blamed by slaveholder Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence on the British--whereby some 5% of the total number of African arrivals became by 1860 fully 4 million American-born people held in bondage. One of the largest--if not the largest slave system in history. Obviously, there are parts of the world, like Korea for instance, where technically a large number of people were technically "slaves" in social-status and other considerations, but in terms of the U.S. slave system, it truly took on a life of its own, thanks in large part as you note, to the development of the cotton cash crop economy of the 19th century.
 

LetUsHavePeace

Volunteer
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
There are two aspects of the political economic history of the United States that are truly distinctive: (1) its banking system and (2) its capitalization of human beings as property. The banking system developed without a central bank, and the U.S. was, as FFC notes, the one part of the world slave system that developed actual capital markets where slaves as property could be financially optioned, hedged and traded.
What is fascinating to me is how thoroughly "history" has erased all records of these two uniquely American developments in finance. Thomas Willing, the inventor of American banking, is a completely obscure figure, and all records of his rule over the United States' financial system from 1791 to 1812 literally went up in smoke when the records of the Bank of the United States were destroyed by fires at the offices of the U.S. Treasury in 1814 and 1833. While cotton brokers' histories are well-researched and the failures of particular houses are pointed to as causes for national financial panics, the documentation of the finances of the human property market's participants is almost non-existent. All the elaborate theses about the South's wealth in slaves come down to crude index calculations that take the Census numbers for the number of slaves in the country and multiply them by a modeled common price. "What everybody knows" about the economics of slavery is based on not knowing anything specific at all.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
"When it comes to slavery, the story that New England has long told itself goes like this: Slavery happened in the South, and it ended thanks to the North. Maybe
we had a little slavery, early on. But it wasn’t real slavery. We never had many slaves, and the ones we did have were practically family. We let them marry, we taught them to read, and soon enough, we freed them. New England is the home of abolitionists and underground railroads. In the story of slavery — and by extension, the story of race and racism in modern-day America — we’re the heroes. Aren’t we?"


http://archive.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/09/26/new_englands_hidden_history/

Does any of the bolded part sound familiar?

Let me answer the question, "How did it get its start in North America?"

New Englanders embraced the slave trade and peddled their wares to the South, that's how.
You are correct sir according to A Different Story by
"When it comes to slavery, the story that New England has long told itself goes like this: Slavery happened in the South, and it ended thanks to the North. Maybe
we had a little slavery, early on. But it wasn’t real slavery. We never had many slaves, and the ones we did have were practically family. We let them marry, we taught them to read, and soon enough, we freed them. New England is the home of abolitionists and underground railroads. In the story of slavery — and by extension, the story of race and racism in modern-day America — we’re the heroes. Aren’t we?"


http://archive.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/09/26/new_englands_hidden_history/

Does any of the bolded part sound familiar?

Let me answer the question, "How did it get its start in North America?"

New Englanders embraced the slave trade and peddled their wares to the South, that's how.
you sir are correct with your New England analysis (especially Rhode Island) as documented in the work of Ruth Coder Fitzgerald’s “A Different Story”(its been out of print for several years and difficult to find). I accidentally found a copy several weeks ago at a local library. It changed my entire outlook on why and how it began.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2014
Location
The South
How many slaves were there in New Jersey in 1846?
Total U.S. Slave Population, 1790-1860, by State
(United States Census Bureau)​





All States​
694,207887,6121,130,7811,529,0121,987,4282,482,7983,200,6003,950,546
Census
Year
17901800181018201830184018501860
Alabama​
---47,449117,549253,532342,844435,080
Arkansas​
----4,57619,93547,100111,115
California​
--------
Connecticut​
2,648951310972554--
Delaware​
8,8876,1534,1774,5093,2922,6052,2901,798
Florida​
-----25,71739,31061,745
Georgia​
29,26459,699105,218149,656217,531280,944381,682462,198
Illinois​
---917747331--
Indiana​
---19033--
Iowa​
-----16--
Kansas​
-------2
Kentucky​
12,43040,34380,561126,732165,213182,258210,981225,483
Louisiana​
---69,064109,588168,452244,809331,726
Maine​
----2---
Maryland​
103,036105,635111,502107,398102,99489,73790,36887,189
Massachusetts​
----1---
Michigan​
----32---
Minnesota​
--------
Mississippi​
---32,81465,659195,211309,878436,631
Missouri​
---10,22225,09658,24087,422114,931
Nebraska​
-------15
Nevada​
--------
New Hampshire​
1578--31--
New Jersey​
11,42312,42210,8517,5572,25467423618
New York​
21,19320,61315,01710,088754--
100,783133,296168,824205,017245,601245,817288,548331,059
Ohio​
----63--
Oregon​
--------
Pennsylvania​
3,7071,70679521140364--
Rhode Island​
95838010848175--
South Carolina​
107,094146,151196,365251,783315,401327,038384,984402,406
Tennessee​
-13,58444,53580,107141,603183,059239,459275,719
Texas​
------58,161182,566
Vermont​
--------
Virginia​
292,627346,671392,518425,153469,757449,087472,528490,865
Wisconsin​
-----114-
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Total U.S. Slave Population, 1790-1860, by State
(United States Census Bureau)​





Census
Year
17901800181018201830184018501860
All States​
694,207887,6121,130,7811,529,0121,987,4282,482,7983,200,6003,950,546
Alabama​
---47,449117,549253,532342,844435,080
Arkansas​
----4,57619,93547,100111,115
California​
--------
Connecticut​
2,648951310972554--
Delaware​
8,8876,1534,1774,5093,2922,6052,2901,798
Florida​
-----25,71739,31061,745
Georgia​
29,26459,699105,218149,656217,531280,944381,682462,198
Illinois​
---917747331--
Indiana​
---19033--
Iowa​
-----16--
Kansas​
-------2
Kentucky​
12,43040,34380,561126,732165,213182,258210,981225,483
Louisiana​
---69,064109,588168,452244,809331,726
Maine​
----2---
Maryland​
103,036105,635111,502107,398102,99489,73790,36887,189
Massachusetts​
----1---
Michigan​
----32---
Minnesota​
--------
Mississippi​
---32,81465,659195,211309,878436,631
Missouri​
---10,22225,09658,24087,422114,931
Nebraska​
-------15
Nevada​
--------
New Hampshire​
1578--31--
New Jersey​
11,42312,42210,8517,5572,25467423618
New York​
21,19320,61315,01710,088754--
100,783133,296168,824205,017245,601245,817288,548331,059
Ohio​
----63--
Oregon​
--------
Pennsylvania​
3,7071,70679521140364--
Rhode Island​
95838010848175--
South Carolina​
107,094146,151196,365251,783315,401327,038384,984402,406
Tennessee​
-13,58444,53580,107141,603183,059239,459275,719
Texas​
------58,161182,566
Vermont​
--------
Virginia​
292,627346,671392,518425,153469,757449,087472,528490,865
Wisconsin​
-----114-
@ButternutCaptain ,

Thank you for the above chart.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
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