The Beginning of American Slavery?

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In The New York Times’ The 1619 Project it is proclaimed that slavery started in America, presumably the part of North America that became the United States, in 1619.  Like most things about this series that is a lie.  Most Indian tribes practiced slavery, usually involving war captives or men who had sold themselves into slavery.  The Spanish practiced slavery and began to colonize Florida in the Sixteenth Century.  The Spanish began the colonization of what is now New Mexico in 1598 and brought the institution of slavery with them.  The English colonists were Johnny-come-latelies when it came to the institution of slavery in what would become the US.

The date of 1619 is also misleading for another reason.  Until the 1660s most Africans imported to Virginia had the status of being indentured servants, not very different from white indentured servants, a common institution of the time.  An indentured servant was freed after his period of indenture.  The perpetual slavery of blacks was a later development in Virginia and took time to be codified in law, with the first Virginia slave code being enacted in 1705.

Slavery as an institution is as old as Man and it persists in the contemporary world under other names.  It deserves serious scholarly study and not the shoddy ideological point scoring of The 1619 Project.

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17 Comments

  1. Nonsense. There’s an election to be won and Mueller mania’s worn thin.

    So there will be shoddy ideological point scoring and you will like it!

    Unless you’re some kind of hatey white supremacist Trump-nut clinging bitterly to your guns and your religion.

  2. “Slavery as an institution is as old as Man and it persists in the contemporary world under other names. It deserves serious scholarly study and not the shoddy ideological point scoring of The 1619 Project.”

    Yes it does deserve serious study but who will teach that to the students in school other than the Gospel according to the NYT?

  3. “Yes it does deserve serious study but who will teach that to the students in school other than the Gospel according to the NYT?”

    Sites like this on the internet help, and I have noted that a fair number of historians I admire do fairly well in sales on Amazon. As for this tripe by The New York Times, considering it is behind a Pay Wall, few people are reading it yet.

  4. It’s important to be honest about these things…the truth may hurt but the truth also heals and sets free. I don’t know how or why most people have forgotten the “triangle trade”–New England ships, crewed by black and white sailor (it was the best paying ‘blue collar’ job in the colonies) financed & stocked by New England merchants, filled with New England Rum, crossed the Atlantic to the ‘slave coast’ where they traded that rum for black slaves brought from Muslim traders or the stronger black tribes who took them captives in war (almost never by kidnapping–“Roots” by Alex Haley was a fairy tale). These slavers brought the survivors MOSTLY to the Caribbean islands or Brazil, where they died in droves, but the plantation owners there made so much money from sugar, they could afford to replace them. The luckiest (yes, my ancestors–I’m so grateful) made it here, to America. Life was harsh, but not nearly as harsh as in South America or Africa. Only 488,000 of the between 12 to 20 million slaves taken from Africa in the 300 years of the trade made it to the US. Because they did NOT die like flies, as in South America, by the time of the American Civil war, that number increased 10 fold.
    It wasn’t Africans who stopped the international slave trade–it was Christian Europeans and Americans. Actually, representatives of the bigger, stronger, African tribes who took captives and sold slaves when to England to try to convince the English parliament that ending the trade would be a hardship to their “communities”. And after the slave trade ended, the carnage begin. Google “mfecane”…..
    Like Muhammad Ali, I say “”Thank God my granddaddy got on that boat!”

    I also pity people, like the writers of the 1619 project who only see the bad, and not the good that this nation has done to black people. I just came back from Normandy…thinking of what the Nazis and Japanese military did to racial minorities make me very grateful for this country, warts and all.

  5. “It is in the interest of tyrants to reduce people to ignorance and vice.” Samuel Adams.

    In November 2020, we will learn how many “Americans live [and vote] in a fantasy land, predicated on fear and gossip, and entirely unrelated to reality.” Bookworm Room Blog

    The Times is late to the game.

    For 50+ years, public schools have been run by leftists indoctrinating, not educating, children. Public schools are government-sponsored Child Abuse and spew unadulterated, unleavened bunkum.

    Luckily many pupils weren’t listening.

    “For decades they only taught Marxist catch-phrases, irrelevant political tirades, liberal gibberish, and propaganda that America is all and only evil, not real culture or History. No wonder we have the youth we have: illiterate, miseducated, misinformed, and socialist. They won’t or can’t read, or cannot deductively reason and understand documents like the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Word of God, the things that our nation is structured upon and founded upon; and in that way, then, the elite can do what they want with the useful idiots.”

  6. And what shall we call the millions in China’s concentration camps and elsewhere there who make that low-priced shirt we wear?

  7. “The Captivity of the Oatman Girls,” an autobiographical account of the capture and 5-year enslavement of Olive and Mary Oatman of the ill-fated Oatman party, which was ambushed and kidnapped by the Yavapai near Ft Yuma Arizona in 1851.

    It is an amazing story and a testimony to the determination of Olive Oatman to endure and survive unbelievably brutal conditions for the two young girls at the hands of their captors, and subsequently the Mojave Indians (who bought the surviving Oatman girl from the Yavapai).

    Lorenzo Oatman, the brother and only other survivor of the Oatman party, recovered from his near-fatal injuries in the attack, after being left for dead and spent five years looking for his sisters and finally found Olive and returned her to freedom (Mary had died).

    I am always amazed how this firsthand undeniable autobiographical account is unknown in our US history courses. Suppressed history.

  8. I think about one-half the population of the Roman Empire were slaves one kind or another. Alan Keyes said that slavery is the default status of mankind. So beware.

  9. Donald:
    On the other hand, Roman slavery was a legal and not a racial issue. Manumission was easy and the freedmen of citizens could obtain citizenship in due course (read Juvenal’s grumblings on the matter). Some rose to high positions in society and administration, a few emperors preferring freedmen to “born” citizens. Many soldier-emperors of later centuries decended from slaves, which may have bothered some senators but meant little to the army.

  10. True Tom, although like American slavery there were very bad slots for slaves. Field hands on Roman estates led a rather hard life. Slaves in mines had short, brutal existences, rather like slaves who labored on sugar plantations in the Caribbean. If a master was killed by a slave, the customary punishment was to execute all the slaves in the household. Roman life had a casual brutality about it that most moderns would find horrifying.

  11. I wonder if the NYT’s political game of Project 1619 will include the many Black registered slave owners in the Colonies? At one point, Connecticut had six black slave owners/masters registered.

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