Scottish Review of Books: White Cargo
The horror of the slave trade, its abolition commemorated last year, had a precedent: the seventeenth and eighteenth century enslavement of white British people, mainly orphan or abandoned children, petty criminals, and migrants eager for a new way of life. The authors argue that the overshadowing of this white slave trade has meant a blurring of the real sources of what would happen later “if governments hadn’t found it quite so easy to transport and enslave their own people, would they have taken it a step further and kidnapped black indigenous peoples and transported them across the seas for enslavement? The ease of it all is astonishing; ‘vagabond’ children were causing problems for sixteenth- century London, so the solution, to send them to the New World, was approved by many. Children would be caught up in the street; poverty-stricken rural folk would be swindled out of the last pennies they had. Naturally, it’s the rich and the powerful who spot a chance for easy money – even babies in their cots were shipped abroad, sold into indentured labour, making them, to all intents and purposes, slaves.
- Add to BasketWhite Cargo: The Forgotten History Of Britain's White Slaves In America - - Paperback
The history of the thousands of Britons who lived & died in bondage in Britain's American colonies. Drawing on letters crying for help, diaries, court & government archives, this work demonstrates that the brutalities usually associated with black slavery alone were perpetrated on white convicts, bonded servants & kidnapped children.