They came as slaves; vast human cargo transported on tall British ships bound for the Americas. They were shipped by the hundreds of thousands and included men, women, and even the youngest of children.
Whenever they rebelled or even disobeyed an order, they were punished in the harshest ways. Slave owners would hang their human property by their hands and set their hands or feet on fire as one form of punishment. They were burned alive and had their heads placed on pikes in the marketplace as a warning to other captives.
Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.
From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.
During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.
But, if anyone, black or white, believes that slavery was only an African experience, then they’ve got it completely wrong.
Ernst Zundel interviews Michael Hoffman about his book on White slaves.
They Were White and
They Were Slaves
Does this sound familiar?
U.S. Constitution - Amendment 13
Amendment 13 - Slavery Abolished
1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
UNICOR - FEDERAL PRISON INDUSTRIES
CONSTITUTION OF MICHIGAN OF 1963
§ 9 Slavery and involuntary servitude.
Neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude unless for the punishment of crime, shall ever be tolerated in this state.
2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.