Published on November 5, 2007
Slavery Source Book 26 Sources of Evidence about Slavery, from Ancient Times to the 21st Century www.learnhistory.org.uk
25:44 As for your male and female slaves who may belong to you, • SOURCE A you may buy male and female slaves from the nations all around Book of Leviticus, Old Testament you. 25:45 Also you may buy slaves from the children of the foreigners • Word list who reside* with you, and from their families that are with you, reside = live whom they have fathered in your land, they may become your inheritance = what is passed from parents to children when they die property. possess = own 25:46 You may give them as inheritance* to your children after you • enslave = make into slaves to possess* as property. You may enslave* them perpetually*. perpetually = forever However, as for your brothers the Israelites*, no man may rule Israelites = Jews over his brother harshly. SOURCE B Wooden tablet found buried in London in 2003. The 5.5in by 4.5in tablet, found at a City building site, shows that Fortunata cost 600 Transcript: dinarii, two years' salary for a Roman ‘Vegetus, assistant slave of Montanus soldier. The girl was bought by Vegetus, an the slave of the August Emperor, has assistant slave owned by Montanus, who in bought the girl Fortunata, by turn was owned by the emperor. They were nationality a Diablintian (from near both officials in London. As a slave, Vegetus Jublains in France), for 600 denarii. could not technically own property, but in She is warranted healthy and not practice Fortunata would have been liable to run away ...’ regarded as one of his personal possessions, possibly a concubine (prostitute) 2
A wealthy Roman would buy a slave in a market place. Young males with a trade could fetch quite a sum of money simply because they had a trade and their age meant that they could last for quite a number of years and, as such, represented value for money. SOURCE C Someone who was a cook by trade could be very expensive. From a schools history website. 2000-2007 historylearningsite.co.uk Once bought, a slave was a slave for life. A slave could only get their freedom if they Chris Trueman BA (Hons), MA taught were given it by their owner or if they bought their freedom. To buy your freedom, History and Politics at a major secondary you had to raise the same sum of money that your master had paid for you – a school in England for the last 26 years. Chris virtually impossible task. graduated with a BA (Honours) in History from Aberystwyth University, Wales in 1979 If a slave married and had children, the children would automatically become slaves. Young children were sometimes killed by their parents rather than let them become slaves. As he gazed around the slave camp, Patrick realized that thousands of Britons had SOURCE D been captured and brought to Ireland. Eventually, the slaves were organized and Christian History Institute marched off to the primitive homes of their new owners. Putting one weary foot in Patrick; The Making of a Missionary © front of the other, Patrick numbly walked the path his captors had forced upon him. 2007 – The story of Saint Patrick What lay ahead for him, he did not know. Most of the island is flat and overgrown with forests, although many of its districts are hilly. It bears grain, cattle, gold, silver, and iron. These things, accordingly, are exported from the island, as also hides, and slaves, and dogs that are by nature suited to the purposes of the chase; the Celti, however, use both these and the native dogs SOURCE E for the purposes of war too. The men of Britain are taller than the Celti, and not so From ‘Geographica’ by Strabo, a Greek yellow-haired, although their bodies are of looser build. The following is an indication historian and geographer, who lived of their size: I myself, in Rome, saw mere lads towering as much as half a foot above between 64BC and AD24. Strabo’s book is a the tallest people in the city, although they were bandy-legged and presented no fair descriptive history of the peoples of the lines anywhere else in their figure. Their habits are in part like those of the Celti, but world. in part more simple and barbaric— so much so that, on account of their inexperience, some of them, although well supplied with milk, make no cheese; and they have no experience in gardening or other agricultural pursuits. 3
These invaders drove the Britons to the north and west. The Saxons called SOURCE F the native Britons, 'wealas', which meant foreigner or slave, and from this Anglo-Saxon England by Kim Woods term came the modern words Wales and Welsh. The Vikings were notorious for their slave-raiding and trading practices, which were SOURCE G largely incited* by the demand for slaves in the Muslim east and southwest. The Kathy Lavezzo – ‘Angels on the Edge of the Islamic demand for cheap labour in Baghdad, Samarra, Cairo and Cordoba created a World - Geography, Literature, and English need for slaves that the Vikings and other traders met. Anglo-Saxons were sold in Community, 1000-1534’ 2006 Dublin and transported east and southwest, and on arrival in Islam they worked in incited = encouraged bondage* alongside Turks, Slavs and Africans. bondage = captivity There is a maritime* town, called Bristol, which is on the direct route to Ireland, and so suitable for trade with that barbarian* land. The inhabitants of Bristol took men SOURCE H whom they had purchased from all over England and they carried off to Ireland; but The Life of St. Wulfstan, 1066 first they got the women with child and sent them pregnant to market. You would have seen queues of the wretches* of both sexes shackled* together and you would maritime = seaside have pitied them; those who were beautiful and those who were in the flower of barbarian = uncivilised youth were daily prostituted and sold amidst much wailing to the barbarians. Oh wretches = lowly persons execrable crime, wretched* dishonour, men who remind us of beasts, to sell into shackled = chained slavery their nearest relative because of their necessities. execrable = disgusting 41. Also we forbid any one to sell a Christian into a foreign land and especially to SOURCE I heathens*. For let great care be taken lest their souls for which Christ gave His life be Laws of King William I, 1080. Despite these sold into damnation. laws banning the sale of English slaves to 15. And we prohibit* any one to sell a man out of the country. foreigners, Giraldus Cambrensis reported that the trade was still thriving one hundred years later. heathens = non-Christians prohibit = ban Moreover, although it has been decreed by the Lateran Council* that Jews should not SOURCE J be allowed to have Christian slaves in their houses, either under pretext of nursing Pope Innocent III: their children, or as servants, or for any other reason whatsoever The Keeping of Slaves by the Jews, 1204, a letter from the Pope to King Philip Augustus of France. Lateran Council = Catholic Church leaders 4
quot;FORTY SHILLINGS Reward. SOURCE K RUN away from the subscriber*, living in Salisbury township, Lancaster county, an The Pennsylvania Gazette July 23, 1772 English servant man, named THOMAS WILLIAMS; he is about 20 years of age, 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, of a fair complexion*, has a good countenance*, smooth face, is very subscriber = person who placed the advert bashful*, has small legs, with little calf, wears his own hair; had on, when he went complexion = face away, a very dark brown coloured broadcloth coat. He was bred on the borders of countenance = facial expression Wales, and has something of the Welsh accent in speaking; he has been in Ireland, bashful = shy from which place he sailed for America; has been a year and 8 months in the country. apprehends = captures Whoever apprehends* the said servant, and secures him, so that his master may have him again, shall have Twenty Shillings reward, if taken in the county, if out of the Twenty Shillings(One Pound) is worth county Forty Shillings, and reasonable charges, paid by about £90 today July 14, 1772.WILLIAM FULLERTON.” Forty shillings about £180 FIVE POUNDS Reward. SOURCE L RUN away on the second day of January, 1772, from the subscriber, living near February 6, 1772 Winchester, in Virginia, a servant lad, named JOHN ROBINSON, 18 years of age, he is a The Pennsylvania Gazette short well set lad; had on a wool hat, two old cloth coloured jackets, a great coat, of the same colour, leather breeches*, blue cloth leggings, and blue stockings; he came breeches = trousers from Ireland; has lived in Philadelphia, Chester, and Cumberland county; he had on an iron collar. Took with him a brown waggon HORSE, branded on the near buttock with Five Pounds is worth about £450 today. G.B. and a leather saddle. Whoever secures the lad, shall receive Three Pounds reward, and Forty Shillings for the horse, if not found with the lad, and reasonable charges, paid by me DAVID DAVIS. “Was taken up, on suspicion of being a run away, and now confined in the gaol* of SOURCE M Chester county, Pennsylvania, a Black Man, who calls himself SHADRACK MACKLIN, 1809, West Chester, Pennsylvania Appears to be about 21 or 22 years of age; about 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high; full face; thick lips; a small scar under his right eye, says he was brought up with Sampson gaol = jail Davis, a colored* man, and a house carpenter, near Milford, Sussex County, state of colored = mixed-race Delaware, and set free by him March 1809 but has no credentials* to show this was credentials = proof the case. Any person owning said black man, is desired to come forward, prove his property, pay charges and take him away before the 17th of December next, otherwise he will be discharged from prison.” 5
In South Carolina the largest group of colored slave masters in the city of Charleston SOURCE N worked in the clothing business. Many business owners found that slavery provided Black Slaveowners: Free Black Slave them with the labor needed to fully exploit the market for clothing. By their own Masters in South Carolina, 1790-1860 industry, colored women acquired the capital to purchase slaves. In 1847, Caroline by Larry Koger, 1995 Lubet, a mulatto* businesswoman of Charleston City, bought a 26-year-old woman named Elizabeth for $425. In 1850 she was reported to be the owner of two black mulatto = mixed-race women and an 18-year-old mulatto girl. Her ownership of slaves lasted until 1865 emancipate = free when she was forced to emancipate* her slaves. SOURCE O This is an Ostarbeiter file for a Russian girl named Anna Asarowa. She was 19 years old at the time she was conscripted. The Ostarbeiter program brought conscripted labor from the occupied east to the Reich. These young people were essentially prisoners, slave laborers -- restricted to their place of residence (in some cases labor camps) and forbidden to fraternize with Germans. Most Ostarbeiters were Polish or Russian. Such workers were required to wear an identification patch with quot;Ost.quot; Because they were regarded as subhuman, they were ordered to be separated from the Germans. Those who tried to escape were hanged where other workers could see their bodies. Many Ostarbeiters perished in Germany because the German authorities ordered that quot;they should be worked to death.quot; Others who were working in German factories were killed in Allied bombing raids. 6
SOURCE P The notorious Burma-Siam railway, built by British, Australian, Dutch and American prisoners of war, was a Japanese project inspired by the need for improved communications to maintain the large Japanese army in Burma. During its construction more than 16,000 prisoners of war died-mainly of sickness, malnutrition and exhaustion - and were buried along the railway. Burmese and Malay slave labourers too died in their thousands-exactly how many will never be known. The Japanese kept no records and it was impossible for anyone else to do so, nor were the graves marked, but between 80,000 and 100,000 The Japanese considered these men fit for work. The man on the right can't do his perished. shorts up because his stomach is swollen with beriberi. Ossie Jackson (centre) has wet beriberi in his legs, which are virtually the same diameter from his ankle up to his thighs. Benjamin Pearce (left) is also suffering malnutrition and beriberi. Photograph and text by Australian George Aspinal, who was sent to work on the Burma-Siam Railway in 1943. North African pirates abducted and enslaved more than 1 million Europeans between SOURCE Q 1530 and 1780 in a series of raids which depopulated coastal towns from Sicily to Rory Carroll, Africa correspondent Cornwall, according to new research. Thursday March 11, 2004 The Guardian Thousands of white Christians were seized every year to work as galley slaves, labourers and concubines for Muslim overlords in what is today Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya, it is claimed. Almost all the inhabitants of the village of Baltimore, in Ireland, were captured in 1631, and there were other raids in Devon and Cornwall. 7
“A lad was ordered to sweep a chimney at Wandsworth; he came down after SOURCE R endeavouring to ascend (climb), and this occurred several times before he gave up the Account by BM Forster, a gentleman from point; at last the journeyman took some straw or hay, and lighted it under him to Walthamstow, London in ‘London Labour drive him up; when he managed to get up the last time, he found there was a bar and the London Poor’ by Henry Mayhew across the chimney, which he could not pass; he was therefore obliged to come down, 1851 and his master beat him so cruelly that he could not stand for a fortnight.” SOURCE S http://www.indiana.edu/~librcsd/etext/scoble/scoblem.html A witness describes treatment of Indian quot;The Coolies were locked up in the sick house, and next morning they were flogged ‘Coolies’ in Demerara, Guyana in 1838. with a cat-o'-nine-tails; the manager was in the house, and they flogged the people Hundreds of thousands of Indian and under his house; they were tied to the post of the gallery of the manager's house; I Chinese people were transported to cannot tell how many licks; he gave them enough. I saw blood. When they were Mauritius and the Caribbean to replace the flogged at manager's house, they rubbed salt pickle on their backs.quot;-- Elizabeth labourers of the sugar plantations after the Caesar. supply of African slaves was stopped in 1807 quot;The fact that slavery - in the form of human trafficking - still exists in the 21st century shames us all. From Himalayan villages to Eastern European cities, people - especially women and girls - are attracted by the prospect of a well-paid job as a domestic servant, waitress or factory worker. Traffickers recruit victims through fake SOURCE T advertisements, mail-order bride catalogues and casual acquaintances. Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Upon arrival at their destination, victims are placed in conditions controlled by 2007. traffickers while they are exploited to earn illicit revenues. Many are physically confined, their travel or identity documents are taken away and they or their families are threatened if they do not cooperate. Women and girls forced to work as prostitutes are blackmailed by the threat that traffickers will tell their families. Trafficked children are dependent on their traffickers for food, shelter and other basic necessities. Traffickers also play on victims' fears that authorities in a foreign country will prosecute or deport them if they ask for help.” 8
There are reports of girls from Togo trafficked far from their home countries to work SOURCE U as domestic workers.18 Perceived as a cheap and always available labour source, UNICEF Report, September 2003 children in West Africa are trafficked to work on tea, cotton and cocoa plantations. Mining and other hazardous industries are additional sectors that sometimes use trafficking as a way to recruit the labour force. Women and girls may be trafficked as brides for various reasons. In fact, there is a growing demand by older men for young, virgin brides in times of the high risk of SOURCE V HIV/AIDS infection. This practice is reported in extended families in western Kenya, UNICEF Report, September 2003 Zimbabwe and parts of Ghana. In these countries, girls as young as eight are selected as child brides to ensure their “purity”. A group of Tanzanian girls in Sweden described to medical personnel how an African SOURCE W woman came to their parents’ house and offered the girls “education opportunities” UNICEF Report, September 2003 abroad. The girls were taken to Sweden by the woman, kept in her house and shown sex videos and then forced to work on the streets as prostitutes. SOURCE X BBC Special Report – Slavery in the 21st Century 9
Oliver Cromwell quot;barbadosedquot; Irish who refused to clear off their land and allowed SOURCE Y other Irish to be kidnapped from the streets of Ireland and transported to Barbados. Tangled Roots is a research project about Those who were barbadosed were sold as slaves or indentured servants, to British the shared history of African Americans and planters. They lived in slave conditions and had no control over the number of years Irish Americans. they had to serve. The number of Barbadosed Irish in not known and estimates very It grows from the mission of the Gilder widely, from a high of 60,000 to a low of 12,000. Lehrman Center for the Study of Abolition, Both Africans and Irish suffered in harsh conditions and joined together to revolt Resistance and Slavery at Yale University against British settlers. SOURCE Z c.1890 Slavery in Zanzibar. A glass lantern slide Inscribed: 'An Arab master's punishment for a slight offence. The log weighed 32 pounds, and the boy could only move by carrying it on his head.' Unknown photographer, c. 1890. © National Maritime Museum, London 10
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