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‘When Did Slavery Start In America?’
And What Was It Like?: The Only True History of Early American Slavery Ever Published
James, I came across an article about you in Takimag, in which the author stated that you theorized that the world is still based on slavery. I am interested in your views on that, and would ask one question. When did slavery start in America?
Best Regards, Grant
The First Slaves in America
For brevity and clarity I’m going to stick with the continental U.S.
Building Dirt Mountain for the Maize Priest Who Bought Me from My Enemy, 1150
The first concrete—earthen actually—evidence of slavery is found near Collinsville, Illinois at the Cahokia Mounds Historic Site, which dates from 1150 A.D. The nerds excavating and studying it will disagree that Native Americans would enslave each other, but they did from Peru to Canada, and an artificial mountain does not get built without forced labor. Generally Native American societies in the future U.S. did not have the food surpluses to feed slaves, so murdered enemy captives and adopted only as many people into the tribe as required to replace losses. The adoptee would typically undergo a period of enslavement and then be admitted as a member of the tribe. This was the fate of many a white colonist. The Mississippian culture had the resources to feed slaves, so, until Soto bulldozed them with war dogs and war horses, slavery thrived in their zone of maize cultivation. Their displaced post-apocalyptic descendents the Cherokee, Cree, and other ‘Civilized tribes’ took to slavery like Hebrews to Manhattan; not quite a promised land but the next best thing.
Surviving the Navarez Cruise, 1528-36
The first pre-owned slave of African ancestry was marooned in Florida with De Vaca, and, over an eight year period, walked with three white companions to Central Mexico, serving as a faith healer and full partner to his European companions. He was promptly re-enslaved and sold in Mexico—“Sorry bro, thanks for saving my ass from the Nachez, but your are worth a hundred pieces of silver again!”
My Armored CEO Who Killed 1,000 Inca Senators in an Hour,1539-43
Soto brought wagon loads of chains to enslave hostages, sex-slaves, translators and guides during his annihilation of the Native Americans of Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma—“Give me gold, blow me, die, get the fuck out of my way, or join the chain gang Tonto!”
The First Grand Canyon Tourist, 1540-42
Made of fluffier stuff than his competitor Soto, rich boy Coronado still managed to enslave some Indians after failing to find the Seven Cities of Gold. The prissiest of conquistadors established Spanish colonies across the Southwest which enslaved Indian children for the next 300 years, although they never managed to ride far from town without getting butchered by the Indians. In 1848 Whitey would put an end to this stalemate by screwing over everyone, brown, black and red.
Poor Boy Island, 1584
Some rich English dudes with body odor issues bought up some debtors, orphans, and children of the poor and shipped them to Roanoke Island to form a colony. When the resupply ships came these bright fellows had moved off to live with the Croatoan Indians, who actually bathed and did not believe in beating children and slaves.
Shakespeare Digging A Ditch in a Swamp, 1607
Jamestown was founded with slave labor, which included victims of government sanctioned kidnapping [the same way the British Navy manned its warships] and indentured servants. Terms of indenture amounted to total enslavement for the term, with the term ranging from 3 [actual child slave life expectancy] to 30 [theoretical slave life expectancy] years, with additional time added for such crimes as eating an apple, not taking your master’s dick in the ass, and yelping while being whipped.
Jamestown—and later the Plymouth Colony founded by the sainted Pilgrims—relied on slave child labor, with kidnapped children from London, Scotland and Ireland, being sold as “duty boys” and worked to death before age 20 in the colonies.
There were some drawbacks to owning slaves captured in the British Isles:
1. Since these slaves were all the children of free English, Scottish and Irish poor, who believed themselves to be free and who hated the rich, as soon as these brats hit manhood, they would start running away and forming hillbilly communities in the interior, sometimes even joining the savages.
2. As malnourished children most of the slaves died in the middle passage or soon after arrival, few surviving their first winter sleeping in the barn with the cattle.
3. In 1634, 1647, and most notoriously in 1676 in Nathaniel Bacon’s slave rebellion, uprisings of Virginia slaves became so ferocious that British troops had to be called in, requiring full strength regiments to put the white trash back in line.
4. Since the Spanish, French, Dutch and Portuguese where already dealing with well established black slave kingdoms in Africa, who had tens of thousands of born agricultural and domestic slaves and prisoners of war for sale, it was decided that more expensive African slaves would be desirable as they were healthy adults used to agricultural labor—rather than starving city kids—were born and raised in a slave-based society, and some were actually captured warriors who could be armed and used to hunt down the escaped white slaves.
5. Certain Christians had noticed that the enslavement of white children was accompanied by more savage treatment than the Romans had meted out to the Jews and Christians, or that the English had used in exterminating the more passive natives, and called for the enslavement of blacks on two grounds: that being more expensive they would be treated better; and that they where ‘sons of Ham’ [a reviled biblical villain who had moved to Africa], and were therefore damned anyhow.
And that Grant, is the short version of how the United States became a land of black and white, where everyone gets screwed by the plantation master in his big white house, and then blames each other instead of him. It’s a very old system.
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