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Northern Slavery and Slave Traders



Video retrieved from CamCoHistory

NORTHERN PROFITS from SLAVERY

A list of the leading slave merchants is almost identical with a list of the region’s [New England] prominent families: the Fanueils, Royalls, and Cabots of Massachusetts; the Wantons, Browns, and Champlins of Rhode Island; the Whipples of New Hampshire; the Eastons of Connecticut; Willing & Morris of Philadelphia. To this day, it’s difficult to find an old North institution of any antiquity that isn’t tainted by slavery. Ezra Stiles imported slaves while president of Yale. Six slave merchants served as mayor of Philadelphia. Even a liberal bastion like Brown University has the shameful blot on its escutcheon. It is named for the Brown brothers, Nicholas, John, Joseph, and Moses, manufacturers and traders who shipped salt, lumber, meat — and slaves. And like many business families of the time, the Browns had indirect connections to slavery via rum distilling. John Brown, who paid half the cost of the college’s first library, became the first Rhode Islander prosecuted under the federal Slave Trade Act of 1794 and had to forfeit his slave ship. Historical evidence also indicates that slaves were used at the family’s candle factory in Providence, its ironworks in Scituate, and to build Brown’s University Hall.[4]

Even after slavery was outlawed in the North, ships out of New England continued to carry thousands of Africans to the American South. Some 156,000 slaves were brought to the United States in the period 1801-08, almost all of them on ships that sailed from New England ports that had recently outlawed slavery. Rhode Island slavers alone imported an average of 6,400 Africans annually into the U.S. in the years 1805 and 1806. The financial base of New England’s antebellum manufacturing boom was money it had made in shipping. And that shipping money was largely acquired directly or indirectly from slavery, whether by importing Africans to the Americas, transporting slave-grown cotton to England, or hauling Pennsylvania wheat and Rhode Island rum to the slave-labor colonies of the Caribbean.

Northerners profited from slavery in many ways, right up to the eve of the Civil War. The decline of slavery in the upper South is well documented, as is the sale of slaves from Virginia and Maryland to the cotton plantations of the Deep South. But someone had to get them there, and the U.S. coastal trade was firmly in Northern hands. William Lloyd Garrison made his first mark as an anti-slavery man by printing attacks on New England merchants who shipped slaves from Baltimore to New Orleans.

Long after the U.S. slave trade officially ended, the more extensive movement of Africans to Brazil and Cuba continued. The U.S. Navy never was assiduous in hunting down slave traders. The much larger British Navy was more aggressive, and it attempted a blockade of the slave coast of Africa, but the U.S. was one of the few nations that did not permit British patrols to search its vessels, so slave traders continuing to bring human cargo to Brazil and Cuba generally did so under the U.S. flag. They also did so in ships built for the purpose by Northern shipyards, in ventures financed by Northern manufacturers.

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Facts About Slavery And The War For Southern Independence

1) The slave trade prospered in West Africa 40 years before Columbus even discovered America. African tribes actually conducted raids on their neighbors for the express purpose of enslaving them. Tragically, slavery is practiced to this very day in places like the Sudan, Zaire and Nigeria.

2) Five European powers (Spain, Portugal, France, Holland and Britain) competing for New World influence all employed slavery, with Brazil (Portugal’s crown jewel) topping the list at 5.5 million slaves, half of the total brought to the New World. By 1860, their numbers had dwindled to a little over 2 million.

3) Only 6% of Africans reached our shores (about 600,000). By 1860 their numbers had increased (without new importations) to almost 4 million, the only slave population in recorded history to increase in captivity. Indigent Anglo-Celts filled the need for slaves (as indentured servants) in our early history by selling themselves into slavery because they could not afford the cost of passage. Most white Southerners are descendants of these early bondsmen.

4) Slavery was practiced in all thirteen colonies and NY was second to SC in 1776 as the colony with the highest percentage of slaves. Sojourner Truth was born Harriet Van Wagner, a slave in New York.

5) The liberal guilt, which today besets the North, has at its roots the profits from its vast slave trading which did nothing less than finance the Industrial Revolution. At the Constitutional Convention a continuation of the slave trade was a concession wrung by the Northern delegations from the South which allowed the North to continue the international trade another 20 years, until 1808.

6) New England slave ships continued plying the waters in defiance of the ban thereafter providing millions of slaves to French and Spanish sugar plantations in the Caribbean and South America.

7) The 1860 census reveals 95% of America’s slaves were owned by just 5% of the population while 85% of Southerners owned the land and structures they lived upon. This clearly establishes a large, independent non slave-holding class of yeoman farmers who later became the rank and file as well as the heart and soul of the Confederate army. To state their motive for fighting was the preservation of slavery is pure nonsense.


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