Irish Slavery

IF YOU DON’T HAVE PROPERTY RIGHTS. YOU BECOME THE PROPERTY.

It’s ironic that the patron saint of Ireland was a slave. Perhaps it’s where Elizabeth I got her idea.

The beginning of the 17th Century, in the reign of James I of England, England faced a problem: what to do with the Irish. They had been practicing genocide against the Irish since the reign of Elizabeth, but they couldn’t kill them all. Some had been banished, and some had gone into voluntary exile, but there were still just too many of them.

So James I encouraged the sale of the Irish as slaves to the New World colonies, not only America but Barbados and South America. The first recorded sale of Irish slaves was to a settlement along the Amazon in South America in 1612. However, before that there were probably many unofficial arrangements, since the Irish were of no importance and details of how they were dealt with were not deemed necessary.

James I

In 1625, the King issued a proclamation that all Irish political prisoners were to be transported to the West Indies and sold as slave labor to the planters there. In 1637, a census showed that 69% of the inhabitants of Monsarrat in the West Indies were Irish slaves. The Irish had a tendency to die in the heat, and were not as well suited to the work as African slaves, but African slaves had to be bought. Irish slaves could be kidnapped if there weren’t enough prisoners, and of course, it was easy enough to make Irish prisoners by manufacturing some petty crime or other. This made the Irish the preferred “livestock” for English slave traders for 200 years.

In 1641, one of the periodic wars in which the Irish tried to overthrow the English misrule in their land took place. As always, this rebellion eventually failed. As a result, in the 12 years following the revolt, known as the Confederation War, the Irish population fell from 1,466,000 to 616,000. Over 550,000 Irishmen were killed, and 300,000 were sold as slaves. The women and children who were left homeless and destitute had to be dealt with , so they were rounded up and sold, too.

But even though it did not seem that things could get worse, with the advent of Oliver Cromwell, they did. In the 1650’s, thousands more Irish were killed, and many more were sold into slavery. Over 100,000 Irish Catholic children were taken from their parents and sold as slaves, many to Virginia and New England. Unbelievably but truly, from 1651 to 1660 there were more Irish slaves in America than the entire non-slave population of the colonies!

19th Century image depicting the Drogheda massacre

In 1652, Cromwell instigated the Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland. He demanded that all Irish people were to resettle west of the Shannon, in arid, uninhabitable land, or be transported to the West Indies. The Irish refused to relocate peaceably, for the most part, since they couldn’t survive if they did.

A law, published in 1657, read:

“Those who fail to transplant themselves into Connaught
(Ireland’s Western Province) or (County) Clare within six
months… Shall be attained of high treason… Are to be sent
into America or some other parts beyond the seas…”(1)

Any who attempted to return would

“suffer the pains of death as
felons by virtue of this act, without benefit of Clergy.”(2)

The soldiers were encouraged to kill the Irish who refused to move; it was certainly not considered a crime. But the slave trade was so profitable that it was much more lucrative to round them up and sell them. Gangs went out to fill quotas by capturing whoever came across their path; they were so industrious that they accidentally captured a number of French and English and several thousand Scots in the process. By Cromwell’s death, at least 100,000 Irish men, women, and children had been sold in the West Indies, Virginia, and New England. While most were sold to the sugar planters in Barbados, Jamaica and throughout the West Indies, some writers assert that at least 20,000 were sold to the American colonies. (3) The earliest record of Irish slaves in America was in 1620, with the arrival of
200 slaves. Most of the documentation, however, comes from the West Indies.

In 1742, a document entitled Thurloe’s State Papers, published in London, opined that:

“..It was a measure beneficial to Ireland, which was
thus relieved of a population that might trouble the planters; it
was a benefit to the people removed, which might thus be made
English and Christians … a great benefit to the West India
sugar planters, who desired men and boys for their bondsmen, and
the women and Irish girls… To solace them.”(4)

Note the chilling insouciance of the purpose stated for the women and Irish girls. . to “solace” the sugar planters. Also, to our way of thinking, the Irish were Christians, but to the Protestant English, Catholics were considered Papist, and Papists weren’t Christians.

So for the entire 17th Century, from 1600 until 1699, there were many more Irish sold as slaves than Africans. There are records of Irish slaves well into the 18th Century.

Many never made it off the ships. According to written record, in at least one incident 132 slaves, men, women, and children, were dumped overboard to drown because ships’ supplies were running low. They were drowned because the insurance would pay for an “accident,” but not if the slaves were allowed to starve. Typical death rates on the ships were from 37% to 50%.

In the West Indies, the African and Irish slaves were housed together, but because the African slaves were much more costly, they were treated much better than the Irish slaves. Also, the Irish were Catholic, and Papists were hated among the Protestant planters. An Irish slave would endure such treatment as having his hands and feet set on fire or being strung up and beaten for even a small infraction. Richard Ligon, who witnessed these things first-hand and recorded them in a history of Barbados he published in 1657, stated:

“Truly, I have seen cruelty there done to servants as I did not think one Christian could
have done to another.”

According to Sean O’Callahan, in To Hell or Barbados, Irish men and women were inspected like cattle there, just as the Africans were. In addition, Irish slaves, who were harder to distinguish from their owners since they shared the same skin color, were branded with the owner’s initials, the women on the forearm and the men on the buttocks. O’Callahan goes on to say that the women were not only sold to the planters as sexual slaves but were often sold to local brothels as well. He states that the black or mulatto overseers also often forced the women to strip while working in the fields and often used them sexually as well.

The one advantage the Irish slaves had over the African slaves was that since they were literate and they did not survive well in the fields, they were generally used as house servants, accountants, and teachers. But the gentility of the service did not correlate to the punishment for infractions. Flogging was common, and most slave owners did not really care if they killed an easily replaceable, cheap Irish slave.

While most of these slaves who survived were eventually freed after their time of service was completed, many leaving the islands for the American colonies, many were not, and the planters found another way to insure a free supply of valuable slaves. They were quick to “find solace” and start breeding with the Irish slave women. Many of them were very pretty, but more than that, while most of the Irish were sold for only a period of service, usually about 10 years assuming they survived, their children were born slaves for life. The planters knew that most of the mothers would remain in servitude to remain with their children even after their service was technically up.

The planters also began to breed the Irish women with the African male slaves to make lighter skinned slaves, because the lighter skinned slaves were more desirable and could be sold for more money. A law was passed against this practice in 1681, not for moral reasons but because the practice was causing the Royal African Company to lose money. According to James F. Cavanaugh, this company, sent 249 shiploads of slaves to the West Indies in the 1680’s, a total of 60,000 African and Irish, 14,000 of whom died in passage.(7)

While the trade in Irish slaves tapered off after the defeat of King James in 1691, England once again shipped out thousands of Irish prisoners who were taken after the Irish Rebellion of 1798. These prisoners were shipped to America and to Australia, specifically to be sold as slaves.

No Irish slave shipped to the West Indies or America has ever been known to have returned to Ireland. Many died, either in passage or from abuse or overwork. Others won their freedom and emigrated to the American colonies. Still others remained in the West Indies, which still contain an population of “Black Irish,” many the descendents of the children of black slaves and Irish slaves.

In 1688, the first woman killed in Cotton Mather’s witch trials in Massachusetts was an old Irish woman named Anne Glover, who had been captured and sold as a slave in 1650. She spoke no English. She could recite The Lord’s Prayer in Gaelic and Latin, but without English, Mather decided her Gaelic was discourse with the devil, and hung her.(8)

It was not until 1839 that a law was passed in England ending the slave trade, and thus the trade in Irish slaves.

It is unfortunate that, while the descendents of black slaves have kept their history alive and not allowed their atrocity to be forgotten, the Irish heritage of slavery in America and the West Indies has been largely ignored or forgotten. It is my hope that this article will help in some small way to change that and to commemorate these unfortunate people.

NOTES:

(1) John P. Prendergast, The Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland, Dublin, ?, 1865
(2) Ibid.
(3) See, for example, Thomas Addis Emmet, Ireland Under English Rule, NY & London,
Putnam, 1903
(4) Prendergast, The Conwellian Settlment of Ireland
(5) Richard Ligon, A True and Exact History of Barbadoes, London,
Cass, 1657, reprinted 1976
(6)Sean O’Callaghan, To Hell or Barbados: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland, (Dingle, Ireland: Brandon, 2001)
(6) James F. Cavanaugh, Clan Chief Herald
(7) For Mather’s account of the case, see Cotton Mather, Memorable Providences, Relating To
Witchcrafts And Possessions (1689)

~~~

A book written in 1675: ‘The Moderate Cavalier, or the Soldiers Description of Ireland holds this chilling verse:

‘Brave Sir Charles Coote I honour;
Who in his father’s steps so trod
As to the rebels was the scourge or rod
Of the Almighty.
He by good advice
Did kill the nits, that they might not grow to lice.’

An illustration from Harper’s Weekly shows an alleged similarity between “Irish Iberian” and “Negro” features in contrast to the higher “Anglo-Teutonic.

~~~

The Cambridge historian Charles Kingsley wrote to his wife from Ireland in 1860: “I am haunted by the human chimpanzees I saw along that hundred miles of horrible country…to see white chimpanzees is dreadful; if they were black one would not see it so much, but their skins, except where tanned by exposure, are as white as ours.” (Charles Kingsley in a letter to his wife, quoted in L.P. Curtis, Anglo-Saxons and Celts, p.84). ~ Charles Kingsley

~~~

Most people have heard of the Irish Great Famine which reduced the population of Ireland by around 25%.
That pales in comparison to the disaster that England inflicted upon Ireland between 1641 and 1652, when the population of Ireland fell from 1,466,000 to 616,000.

Then things got worse.

~~~~~~

Irish Slavery

by James F. Cavanaugh – junglejim@btl.net

There are a great many K/Cavanaughs in North America who trace their ancestry back to a Charles Cavanaugh, who arrived in Virginia, with a brother or cousin named Philemon Cavanagh (Felim or Phelim), on or about 1700. Their descendants most often spell their name with a C, although a variety of both C and K spellings are found, even within the same immediate family. They were originally concentrated in the Southeastern United States, particularly Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia, but now spread to everywhere. Although long standing family traditions trace Charles and Philemon of 1700 arrival back to Colonel Charles Cavanaugh of Carrickduff and Clonmullen, (the son of Sir Morgan Cavanagh, the son of Donnal Spanaigh Cavanagh), a recorded link still evades researchers.

A possible link, however, was found in Barbados, where the birth of a Charles Cavanaugh, son of Charles Cavanaugh, was registered there in January 1679. At the same time, another Cavanagh was registered as inbound on a ship to Barbados from Liverpool. And further complicating the entry is the same registry records the death of a Charles Cavanaugh, son of Charles at the same time. So the questions: was the dead Charles the new born baby; or perhaps the father of the baby; or maybe the inbound Cavanagh who may have died on the trip to Barbados, with his death recorded upon arrival; or another Charles; or.?

Irish slaves in Barbados

Irish slaves in Barbados

These questions are still unanswered, but a more intriguing question is what were the Cavanaughs doing in Barbados in the first place?

The answer takes us down a revolting path wandering through one of the most insensitive and savage episodes in history, where the greed and avarice of the English monarchy systematically planned the genocide of the Irish, for commercial profit, and executed a continuing campaign to destroy all traces of Irish social, cultural and religious being. As the topic was politically sensitive, little has been written about this attempted genocide of the Irish, and what has been written has been camouflaged because it is an ugly and painfully brutal story. But the story should be told.

Transportation and Banishment

If Queen Elizabeth I had lived in the 20th Century. she would have been viewed with the same horror as Hitler and Stalin. Her policy of Irish genocide was pursued with such evil zest it boggles the mind of modern men. But Elizabeth was only setting the stage for the even more savage program that was to follow her, directed specifically to exterminate the Irish. James II and Charles I continued Elizabeths campaign, but Cromwell almost perfected it. Few people in modern so-called civilized history can match the horrors of Cromwell in Ireland. It is amazing what one man can do to his fellow man under the banner that God sanctions his actions!

Elizabeth I

During the reign of Elizabeth I, English privateers captured 300 African Negroes, sold them as slaves, and initiated the English slave trade. Slavery was, of course, an old established commerce dating back into earliest history. Julius Caesar brought over a million slaves from defeated armies back to Rome. By the 16th century, the Arabs were the most active, generally capturing native peoples, not just Africans, marching them to a seaport and selling them to ship owners. Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish ships were originally the most active, supplying slaves to the Spanish colonies in America. It was not a big business in the beginning, but a very profitable one, and ship owners were primarily interested only in profits. The morality of selling human beings was never a factor to them.

 Congolese rubber slaves in 1912.

After the Battle of Kinsale at the beginning of the 17th century, the English were faced with a problem of some 30,000 military prisoners, which they solved by creating an official policy of banishment. Other Irish leaders had voluntarily exiled to the continent, in fact, the Battle of Kinsale marked the beginning of the so-called Wild Geese, those Irish banished from their homeland. Banishment, however, did not solve the problem entirely, so James II encouraged selling the Irish as slaves to planters and settlers in the New World colonies. The first Irish slaves were sold to a settlement on the Amazon River in South America in 1612. It would probably be more accurate to say that the first recorded sale of Irish slaves was in 1612, because the English, who were noted for their meticulous record keeping, simply did not keep track of things Irish, whether it be goods or people, unless such was being shipped to England. The disappearance of a few hundred or a few thousand Irish was not a cause for alarm, but rather for rejoicing. Who cared what their names were anyway, they were gone.

Slaves shown in the hold of a transport ship – the ceiling just 3ft 3in high

Almost as soon as settlers landed in America, English privateers showed up with a good load of slaves to sell. The first load of African slaves brought to Virginia arrived at Jamestown in 1619. English shippers, with royal encouragement, partnered with the Dutch to try and corner the slave market to the exclusion of the Spanish and Portuguese. The demand was greatest in the Spanish occupied areas of Central and South America, but the settlement of North America moved steadily ahead, and the demand for slave labor grew.

Distant family in hash times?

The Proclamation of 1625 ordered that Irish political prisoners be transported overseas and sold as laborers to English planters, who were settling the islands of the West Indies, officially establishing a policy that was to continue for two centuries. In 1629 a large group of Irish men and women were sent to Guiana, and by 1632, Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat in the West Indies. By 1637 a census showed that 69% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves, which records show was a cause of concern to the English planters. But there were not enough political prisoners to supply the demand, so every petty infraction carried a sentence of transporting, and slaver gangs combed the country sides to kidnap enough people to fill out their quotas.

1866 – “The Fenians were members of the so-called Fenian movement in Ireland and elsewhere, though primarily America and England . The Fenians wanted one simple desire for Ireland – independence from British rule. The Great Famine had a massive impact on Ireland. Some in Ireland believed that the government in London – to solve the ‘Irish Problem’ – had deliberately done as little as possible to aid the people of Ireland – a form of genocide – and these people concluded that the only hope Ireland had for its future was a complete separation from Great Britain. If London was unwilling to grant this, then the Fenians would fight for it.” Source

~~~~~~~~~ 

Although African Negroes were better suited to work in the semi-tropical climates of the Caribbean, they had to be purchased, while the Irish were free for the catching, so to speak. It is not surprising that Ireland became the biggest source of livestock for the English slave trade.

The above ran in an English publication Judy. It portrays Gladstone’s reforms as appeasing violence, and the simian-Fenian beast is intended to blame Irish Americans for fostering resistance to slavery amongst both themselves and the blacks.

~~~

The Confederation War broke out in Kilkenny in 1641, as the Irish attempted to throw out the English yet again, something that seem to happen at least once every generation. Sir Morgan Cavanaugh of Clonmullen, one of the leaders, was killed during a battle in 1646, and his two sons, Daniel and Charles (later Colonel Charles) continued with the struggle until the uprising was crushed by Cromwell in 1649. It is recorded that Daniel and other Carlow Kavanaghs exiled themselves to Spain, where their descendants are still found today, concentrated in the northwestern corner of that country. Young Charles, who married Mary Kavanagh, daughter of Brian Kavanagh of Borris, was either exiled to Nantes, France, or transported to Barbados or both. Although we haven’t found a record of him in a military life in France, it is known that the crown of Leinster and other regal paraphernalia associated with the Kingship of Leinster was brought to France, where it was on display in Bordeaux, just south of Nantes, until the French Revolution in 1794. As Daniel and Charles were the heirs to the Leinster kingship, one of them undoubtedly brought these royal artifacts to Bordeaux.

In the 12 year period during and following the Confederation revolt, from 1641 to 1652, over 550,000 Irish were killed by the English and 300,000 were sold as slaves, as the Irish population of Ireland fell from 1,466,000 to 616,000. Banished soldiers were not allowed to take their wives and children with them, and naturally, the same for those sold as slaves. The result was a growing population of homeless women and children, who being a public nuisance, were likewise rounded up and sold. But the worse was yet to come.

After the massacre – September 11, 1649, Oliver Cromwell declared to the English Parliament, “I am persuaded that this is a righteous judgment of God upon these barbarous wretches, who have imbued their hands in so much innocent blood and that it will tend to prevent the effusion [shedding] of blood for the future, which are satisfactory grounds for such actions, which otherwise cannot but work remorse and regret.” Source

~

In 1649, Cromwell landed in Ireland and attacked Drogheda, slaughtering some 30,000 Irish living in the city. Cromwell reported: I do not think 30 of their whole number escaped with their lives. Those that did are in safe custody in the Barbados. A few months later, in 1650, 25,000 Irish were sold to planters in St. Kitt. During the 1650s decade of Cromwell’s Reign of Terror, over 100,000 Irish children, generally from 10 to 14 years old, were taken from Catholic parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In fact, more Irish were sold as slaves to the American colonies and plantations from 1651 to 1660 than the total existing free population of the Americas!

But all did not go smoothly with Cromwell’s extermination plan, as Irish slaves revolted in Barbados in 1649. They were hanged, drawn and quartered and their heads were put on pikes, prominently displayed around Bridgetown as a warning to others. Cromwell then fought two quick wars against the Dutch in 1651, and thereafter monopolized the slave trade. Four years later he seized Jamaica from
Spain, which then became the center of the English slave trade in the Caribbean.

~~~~~

Irish Slaves Were Hanged Drawn and Quartered for Trying to Escape which was Considered an Act of Treason

Edward III, under whose rule the Treason Act 1351 was enacted. It defined in law what constituted high treason. wiki commons

As illustrated in Matthew Paris‘s Chronica Majora, William de Marisco is drawn to his execution tied to the back of a horse. wiki commons

The spiked heads of executed criminals once adorned the gatehouse of the medieval London Bridge wiki commons

A liuely Representation of the manner how his late Majesty was beheaded upon the Scaffold Ian 30: 1648; A representation of the execution of the King’s Judges. In the top pane, Charles I is shown awaiting his execution. In the bottom pane, one regicide is hanged and another quartered, while the latter’s head is shown to the crowd. wiki commons

Engraving depicting the execution of Sir Thomas Armstrong in 1684 wiki commons

The severed head of Jeremiah Brandreth, one of the last men in England sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered wiki commons

The Irish slaves in revolt were hanged by a gibblet until not quite dead, they were then laid flat while still alive, their abdomen sliced open, entails pulled out and stamped on, their limbs were then tied to a wagon and driven until they were pulled apart. The body parts were distributed to different areas of the city, and each head stuck on a pike in the town square.

~~~

On 14 August 1652, Cromwell began his Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland, ordering that the Irish were to be transported overseas, starting with 12,000 Irish prisoners sold to Barbados. The infamous Connaught or Hell proclamation was issued on 1 May 1654, where all Irish were ordered to be removed from their lands and relocated west of the Shannon or be transported to the West Indies. Those who have been to County Clare, a land of barren rock will understand what an impossible position such an order placed the Irish. A local sheep owner claimed that Clare had the tallest sheep in the world, standing some 7 feet at the withers, because in order to live, there was so little food, they had to graze at 40 miles per hour. With no place to go and stay alive, the Irish were slow to respond. This was an embarrassing problem as Cromwell had financed his Irish expeditions through business investors, who were promised Irish estates as dividends, and his soldiers were promised freehold land in exchange for their services. To speed up the relocation process, a reinforcing law was passed on 26 June 1657 stating: Those who fail to transplant themselves into Connaught or Co Clare within six months. Shall be attained of high treason are to be sent into America or some other parts beyond the seas those banished who return are to suffer the pains of death as felons by virtue of this act, without benefit of Clergy.

check out article @ http://www.reunionblackfamily.com/apps/photos/photo?photoid=154178306

The engraving accompanying this piece is of a large carte de visite available from the National Freedman’s Relief Association in 1864, similar to “Emancipated Slaves,” an image by M. H. Kimball, reproduced in Claire Perry’s Young America: Childhood in 19th-Century Art and Culture (p. 100). The group on the right side of the image formed the basis for an image appearing in The Youth’s Companion in 1865; this kind of recycling of images was common in 19th-century American periodicals, though this example has an interesting racial twist. [Thanks to Laurie Rofini for proofreading help.]

WHITE AND COLORED SLAVES, by C. C. Leigh (from Harper’s Weekly, January 30, 1864, p. 71)

illus of 8 people

Wilson Chinn; Charles Taylor; Augusta Broujey; Mary Johnson; Isaac White; Rebecca Huger; Robert Whitehead; Rosina Downs
EMANCIPATED SLAVES, WHITE AND COLORED.—The children are from the schools established in New Orleans, by order of Major-General Banks.
[Illustration on p. 69]

No. 1. Mercer Street, New York.

To the Editor of Harper’s Weekly:

The group of emancipated slaves whose portraits I send you were brought by Colonel Hanks and Mr. Phillip Bacon from New Orleans, where they were set free by General Butler. Mr. Bacon went to New Orleans with our army, and was for eighteen months employed as Assistant-Superintendent of Freedmen, under the care of Colonel Hanks. He established the first school in Louisiana for emancipated slaves, and these children were among his pupils. He will soon return to Louisiana to resume his labor.

Rebecca Huger is eleven years old, and was a slave in her father’s house, the special attendant of a girl a little older than herself. To all appearance she is perfectly white. Her complexion, hair, and features show not the slightest trace of negro blood. In the few months during which she has been at school she has learned to read well, and writes as neatly as most children of her age. Her mother and grandmother live in New Orleans, where they support themselves comfortably by their own labor. The grandmother, an intelligent mulatto, told Mr. Bacon that she had “raised” a large family of children, but these are all that are left to her.

Rosina Downs is not quite seven years old. She is a fair child, with blonde complexion and silky hair. Her father is in the rebel army. She has one sister as white as herself, and three brothers who are darker. Her mother, a bright mulatto, lives in New Orleans in a poor hut, and has hard work to support her family.

Charles Taylor is eight years old. His complexion is very fair, his hair light and silky. Three out of five boys in any school in New York are darker than he. Yet this white boy, with his mother, as he declares, has been twice sold as a slave. First by his father and “owner,” Alexander Wethers, of Lewis County, Virginia, to a slave-trader named Harrison, who sold them to Mr. Thornhill of New Orleans. This man fled at the approach of our army, and his slaves were liberated by General Butler. The boy is decidedly intelligent, and though he has been at school less than a year he reads and writes very well. His mother is a mulatto; she had one daughter sold into Texas before she herself left Virginia, and one son who, she supposes, is with his father in Virginia.

These three children, to all appearance of unmixed white race, came to Philadelphia last December, and were taken by their protector, Mr. Bacon, to the St. Lawrence Hotel on Chestnut Street. Within a few hours, Mr. Bacon informed me, he was notified by the landlord that they must leave. The children, he said, had been slaves, and must therefore be colored persons, and he kept a hotel for white people. From this hospitable establishment the children were taken to the “Continental,” where they were received without hesitation.

Wilson Chinn is about 60 years old, he was “raised” by Isaac Howard of Woodford County, Kentucky. When 21 years old he was taken down the river and sold to Volsey B. Marmillion, a sugar planter about 45 miles above New Orleans. This man was accustomed to brand his negroes, and Wilson has on his forehead the letters “V. B. M.” Of the 210 slaves on this plantation 105 left at one time and came into the Union camp. Thirty of them had been branded like cattle with a hot iron, four of them on the forehead, and the others on the breast or arm.

Augusta Boujey is nine years old. Her mother, who is almost white, was owned by her half-brother, named Solamon, who still retains two of her children.

Mary Johnson was cook in her master’s family in New Orleans. On her left arm are scars of three cuts given to her by her mistress with a rawhide. On her back are scars of more than fifty cuts given by her master. The occasion was that one morning she was half an hour behind time in bringing up his five o’clock cup of coffee. As the Union army approached she ran away from her master, and has since been employed by Colonel Hanks as cook.

Isaac White is a black boy of eight years; but none the less intelligent than his whiter companions. He has been in school about seven months, and I venture to say that not one boy in fifty would have made as much improvement in that space of time.

Robert Whitehead—the Reverend Mr. Whitehead perhaps we ought to style him, since he is a regularly-ordained preacher—was born in Baltimore. He was taken to Norfolk, Virginia, by a Dr. A. F. N. Cook, and sold for $1525; from Norfolk he was taken to New Orleans where he was bought for $1775 by a Dr. Leslie, who hired him out as house and ship painter. When he had earned and paid over that sum to his master, he suggested that a small present for himself would be quite appropriate. Dr. Leslie thought the request reasonable, and made him a donation of a whole quarter of a dollar. The reverend gentleman can read and write well, and is a very stirring speaker. Just now he belongs to the church militant, having enlisted in the United States army.

A large photograph of the whole group which you reproduce has been taken, and cartes de visite of the separate figures. They are for sale at the rooms of the National Freedman’s Relief Association, No. 1 Mercer Street, New York, or I will send them by mail on receipt of the price: $1 for the large picture, 25 cents each for the small ones. The profits to go to the support of the schools in Louisiana.

Copyright 1999-2006, Pat Pflieger

http://www.merrycoz.org/yc/HARPERSL.HTM

The grown man is actually a relative teaching the Irish (mixed) children..(the site got this picture from mentioned he was a free man or was already free.) Many pictures of the children appear to be just "WHITE" Irish but some are actually fair skin mixed Irish children. Either mixed with both Irish parents one Black and one White or White Irish Female/Male with Black African Female/Male.
The grown man is actually a relative teaching the Irish (mixed) children..(the site where we got this picture mentioned he was a free man or was already free.) Many pictures of the children appear to be just “WHITE” Irish but some are actually fair skin mixed Irish children. Either mixed with both Irish parents one Black and one White or White Irish Female/Male with Black African Female/Male

White Slaves” was one of several pieces on the South printed in The Youth’s Companion as the Civil War ended in 1865. Its theme was the “degrading” effects of slavery on Southern culture — explored in several pieces the Companion printed that year. As the piece offered its young readers information on one of the shameful aspects of antebellum Southern society, it offers us a glimpse of attitudes of the time. Editorial assumptions about the audience are evident: the readers were not only Northern (a safe bet at the time this piece was published), but white.

The engraving apparently was reworked from one printed a year earlier in Harper’s Weekly, of a large carte de visite available from the National Freedman’s Relief Association; this kind of recycling of images was common in 19th-century American periodicals. However, the figure on the left is an amalgamation of the body of dark-skinned Isaac White and the head of light-skinned Charles Taylor, also in the original image; Isaac’s hand was lightened to match Charles’s skin tone. The engraving is, in fact, fairly crude, especially when compared with the original, highlighting that probably they were done by different people. Unfortunately, Isaac’s name didn’t get changed in the process. The author of the piece probably worked from the illustration, as the work refers to Isaac’s “light complexion.”

Why was the figure changed? The focus of the piece is on the fact that while it may not be possible to tell the difference between children of the same father, Southern law made a very real distinction based on the status of their mothers. The fact was the basis for a story by Augusta Moore printed in the Companion a month later. Perhaps the editors of the Companion decided to emphasize the vagaries of parentage by “including” one of the other light-skinned children in the original image.

Individual cartes of the individuals could be bought from the National Freedman’s Relief Association in 1864; a patriotic carte of Rebecca Huger now in the Photographic Collections of the William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, can be seen online. A carte of Isaac and Rosina (called Rosa) is online to illustrate an article by Gregory Fried.


WHITE SLAVES (from The Youth’s Companion, March 9, 1865, p. 38)

illus of 4 people

Isaac White. Rebecca Huger. Robert Whitehead. Rosina Downs.

WHITE SLAVES.

[Illustration on p. 37]

We offer our young friends to-day, the portraits of four youths, who were formerly slaves, but who have been made free by the successes of our army and navy in Louisiana. They lived in New Orleans, and are now probably studying in the schools which Gen. Banks established in that city for the education of the children of freedmen.

One of them, the tall figure in the background, is a full-blooded negro. His name is Robert Whitehead. The boy, who is called Isaac White, is of light complexion. The two girls are perfectly white, and are named Rebecca Huger and Rosina Downs.

Let our friends not be surprised that these girls are white. They are in fact as light colored, and we dare say, as good looking as most of our young readers of their sex. And so it often is at the South. Large numbers of the slaves are white. This indicates one of the evils, and the great wickedness of slavery. The white slave children are not unfrequently the children of their masters. Often a number of children will grow up together in the same family. They play together as companions. They are all as fair to look upon as you or I, and in the sight of God there is no reason why there should be any difference between one and another. They are brothers and sisters, for they have the same father. Yet a part of them are slaves. Why? Because their mother was a slave. The others are free born, for their mother was the wife of their father. The poor white children of the slave mother are sold like brutes to the highest bidder, by their worse than brute father, while their free born brothers and sisters, who are not whiter than they in complexion, or purer in heart, inherit the father’s wealth, and enjoy the blessings of that freedom which is the choicest earthly gift from God to man. Thus slavery degrades and makes fiendish the dearest relations and the purest instincts of humanity.

Copyright 1999-2006, Pat Pflieger
.

Subsequently some 52,000 Irish, mostly women and sturdy boys and girls, were sold to Barbados and Virginia alone. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were taken prisoners and ordered transported and sold as slaves. In 1656, Cromwell’s Council of State ordered that 1000 Irish girls and 1000 Irish boys be rounded up and taken to Jamaica to be sold as slaves to English planters. As horrendous as these numbers sound, it only reflects a small part of the evil program, as most of the slaving activity was not recorded. There were no tears shed amongst the Irish when Cromwell died in 1660.

White children enslaved in a mine in 19th century England. The two on the left are virtually naked. Children of both sexes worked in this manner.

by Michael A. Hoffman II ©Copyright 1999. All Rights Reserved

http://pridecomethbeforeafall.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/the-irish-slave-trade-white-cargo/

The Irish welcomed the restoration of the monarchy, with Charles II duly crowned, but it was a hollow expectation. After reviewing the profitability of the slave trade, Charles II chartered the Company of Royal Adventurers in 1662, which later became the Royal African Company. The Royal Family, including Charles II, the Queen Dowager and the Duke of York, then contracted to supply at least 3000 slaves annually to their chartered company. They far exceeded their quotas.

There are records of Irish sold as slaves in 1664 to the French on St. Bartholomew, and English ships which made a stop in Ireland enroute to the Americas, typically had a cargo of Irish to sell on into the 18th century. Few people today realize that from 1600 to 1699, far more Irish were sold as slaves than Africans.

Slaves or Indentured Servants

There has been a lot of whitewashing of the Irish slave trade, partly by not mentioning it, and partly by labeling slaves as indentured servants. There were indeed indentureds, including English, French, Spanish and even a few Irish. But there is a great difference between the two. Indentures bind two or more parties in mutual obligations. Servant indentures were agreements between an individual and a shipper in which the individual agreed to sell his services for a period of time in exchange for passage, and during his service, he would receive proper housing, food, clothing, and usually a piece of land at the end of the term of service. It is believed that some of the Irish that went to the Amazon settlement after the Battle of Kinsale and up to 1612 were exiled military who went voluntarily, probably as indentureds to Spanish or Portuguese shippers.

Irish women and children dragged out of their beds and sold into slavery.

Eleven-year-old Philip Welch was kidnapped from his own bed in 1654, by order of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England. He and another Irish lad, William Downing, were loaded onto the ship Goodfellow, which by then was already bursting at the seams with Irish women and children destined for slavery in New England. Source

However, from 1625 onward the Irish were sold, pure and simple as slaves. There were no indenture agreements, no protection, no choice. They were captured and originally turned over to shippers to be sold for their profit. Because the profits were so great, generally 900 pounds of cotton for a slave, the Irish slave trade became an industry in which everyone involved (except the Irish) had a share of the profits.

Treatment

Although the Africans and Irish were housed together and were the property of the planter owners, the Africans received much better treatment, food and housing. In the British West Indies the planters routinely tortured white slaves for any infraction. Owners would hang Irish slaves by their hands and set their hands or feet afire as a means of punishment. To end this barbarity, Colonel William Brayne wrote to English authorities in 1656 urging the importation of Negro slaves on the grounds that, “as the planters would have to pay much more for them, they would have an interest in preserving their lives, which was wanting in the case of (Irish)….” many of whom, he charged, were killed by overwork and cruel treatment.

African Negroes cost generally about 20 to 50 pounds Sterling, compared to 900 pounds of cotton (about 5 pounds Sterling) for an Irish. They were also more durable in the hot climate, and caused fewer problems. The biggest bonus with the Africans though, was they were NOT Catholic, and any heathen pagan was better than an Irish Papist. Irish prisoners were commonly sentenced to a term of service, so theoretically they would eventually be free. In practice, many of the slavers sold the Irish on the same terms as prisoners for servitude of 7 to 10 years.

There was no racial consideration or discrimination, you were either a freeman or a slave, but there was aggressive religious discrimination, with the Pope considered by all English Protestants to be the enemy of God and civilization, and all Catholics heathens and hated. Irish Catholics were not considered to be Christians. On the other hand, the Irish were literate, usually more so than the plantation owners, and thus were used as house servants, account keepers, scribes and teachers. But any infraction was dealt with the same severity, whether African or Irish, field worker or domestic servant. Floggings were common, and if a planter beat an Irish slave to death, it was not a crime, only a financial loss, and a lesser loss than killing a more expensive African. Parliament passed the Act to Regulate Slaves on British Plantations in 1667, designating authorized punishments to include whippings and brandings for slave offenses against a Christian. Irish Catholics were not considered Christians, even if they were freemen.

A depiction of African slaves being hearded into a slave market. Illustrator unknown. Notice the ship in the background

The planters quickly began breeding the comely Irish women, not just because they were attractive, but because it was profitable,,, as well as pleasurable. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, and although an Irish woman may become free, her children were not. Naturally, most Irish mothers remained with their children after earning their freedom. Planters then began to breed Irish women with African men to produce more slaves who had lighter skin and brought a higher price. The practice became so widespread that in 1681, legislation was passed forbidding the practice of mating Irish slave women to African slave men for the purpose of producing slaves for sale. This legislation was not the result of any moral or racial consideration, but rather because the practice was interfering with the profits of the Royal African Company! It is interesting to note that from 1680 to 1688, the Royal African Company sent 249 shiploads of slaves to the Indies and American Colonies, with a cargo of 60,000 Irish and Africans. More than 14,000 died during passage.

Following the Battle of the Boyne and the defeat of King James in 1691, the Irish slave trade had an overloaded inventory, and the slavers were making great profits. The Spanish slavers were a competition nuisance, so in 1713, the Treaty of Assiento was signed in which Spain granted England exclusive rights to the slave trade, and England agreed to supply Spanish colonies 4800 slaves a year for 30 years. England shipped tens of thousands of Irish prisoners after the 1798 Irish Rebellion to be sold as slaves in the Colonies and Australia.

Curiously, of all the Irish shipped out as slaves, not one is known to have returned to Ireland to tell their tales. Many, if not most, died on the ships transporting them or from overwork and abusive treatment on the plantations. The Irish that did obtain their freedom, frequently emigrated on to the American mainland, while others moved to adjoining islands. On Montserrat, seven of every 10 whites were Irish. Comparable 1678 census figures for the other Leeward Islands were: 26 per cent Irish on Antigua; 22 per cent on Nevis; and 10 per cent on St Christopher. Although 21,700 Irish slaves were purchased by Barbados planters from 1641 to 1649, there never seemed to have been more than about 8 to 10 thousand surviving at any one time. What happened to them? Well, the pages of the telephone directories on the West Indies islands are filled with Irish names, but virtually none of these black Irish know anything about their ancestors or their history. On the other hand, many West Indies natives spoke Gaelic right up until recent years. They know they are strong survivors who descended from black white slaves, but only in the last few years have any of them taken an interest in their heritage

Brother and sister

Photographs of emancipated children were sold to raise money for the education of freed slaves in New Orleans. The children featured in this photograph drew attention to the fact that slavery was not solely a matter of color. If a child’s mother was a slave, then he or she was a slave as well.  Source

There were horrendous abuses by the slavers, both to Africans and Irish. The records show that the British ship Zong was delayed by storms, and as their food was running low, they decided to dump 132 slaves overboard to drown so the crew would have plenty to eat. If the slaves died due to accident, the loss was covered by insurance, but not if they starved to death. Another British ship, the Hercules averaged a 37% death rate on passages. The Atlas II landed with 65 of the 181 slaves found dead in their chains. But that is another story.

The economics of slavery permeated all levels of English life. When the Church of England Bishop of Exeter learned that there was a movement afoot to ban the slave trade, he reluctantly agreed to sell his 655 slaves, provided he was properly compensated for the loss. Finally, in 1839, a bill was passed in England forbidding the slave trade, bringing an end to Irish misery.

British cartoon shows backward Chinese blocking “Progress” only ten years after the “Opium War” when the British government used troops and gunboats to force the Chinese to accept illegal opium trafficking.

British commerce shifted to opium in China.

An end to Irish misery? Well, perhaps just a pause. During the following decade thousands of tons of butter, grain and beef were shipped from Ireland as over 2 million Irish starved to death in the great famine, and a great many others went to America and Australia. The population of Ireland fell from over 9 million to bottom out at less than 3 million. Another chapter, another time, another method. same people, same results.

Cavanaghs in Barbados

Did the Cavanaghs in Barbados arrive there as slaves? Yes, definitely. Which Cavanaghs is hard to pinpoint. The registry at St. Michaels Parish contains the birth and death of a Charles Cavanagh, son of Charles, which suggests that they were freemen, as records were not kept for slaves. There is a record of another Cavanagh living on a small allotment acreage in Barbados, ironically with a given name of Oliver. (Someone had a sadistic sense of humor.) Oliver Cavanagh had to be a freed slave or descended from one, and because his parents are not noted, they had to be slaves. There are records in Ireland of a number of petitions filed over a number of years after Cromwell by Mary Cavanagh, wife of Col. Charles, seeking his pardon and return of lands, indicating Charles was transported. Recently, Jimmy Kavanagh of Dublin has found a registry containing over a dozen Kavanaghs in Haiti. Perhaps someday, we will be able to sort this out, but it is doubtful…

http://www.raceandhistory.com/cgi-bin/forum/webbbs_config.pl?md=read;id=1638

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The Slaves That Time Forgot

The Irish Slave Trade – The Forgotten “White” Slaves

At the beginning of the 17th Century, in the reign of James I of England, England faced a problem: what to do with the Irish. They had been practicing genocide against the Irish since the reign of Elizabeth, but they couldn’t kill them all. Some had been banished, and some had gone into voluntary exile, but there were still just too many of them.

American political cartoon by Thomas Nast titled “The Usual Irish Way of Doing Things”, depicting a drunken Irishman lighting a powder keg and swinging a bottle. Published 1871-09-02 in Harper’s Weekly. wiki commons
[MC ->A subtle reminder of Guy Fawkes to the Puritans…]
~~

So James I encouraged the sale of the Irish as slaves to the New World colonies, not only America but Barbados and South America. The first recorded sale of Irish slaves was to a settlement along the Amazon in South America in 1612. However, before that there were probably many unofficial arrangements, since the Irish were of no importance and details of how they were dealt with were not deemed necessary.

In 1625, the King issued a proclamation that all Irish political prisoners were to be transported to the West Indies and sold as slave labor to the planters there. In 1637, a census showed that 69% of the inhabitants of Monsarrat in the West Indies were Irish slaves. The Irish had a tendency to die in the heat, and were not as well suited to the work as African slaves, but African slaves had to be bought. Irish slaves could be kidnapped if there weren’t enough prisoners, and of course, it was easy enough to make Irish prisoners by manufacturing some petty crime or other. This made the Irish the preferred “livestock” for English slave traders for 200 years.

In 1641, one of the periodic wars in which the Irish tried to overthrow the English misrule in their land took place. As always, this rebellion eventually failed. As a result, in the 12 years following the revolt, known as the Confederation War, the Irish population fell from 1,466,000 to 616,000. Over 550,000 Irishmen were killed, and 300,000 were sold as slaves. The women and children who were left homeless and destitute had to be dealt with , so they were rounded up and sold, too.

\"The

The slave ship HMS Glendower brought human cargo to South American and the Indies. Photo by: Wikimedia Commons 

But even though it did not seem that things could get worse, with the advent of Oliver Cromwell, they did. In the 1650’s, thousands more Irish were killed, and many more were sold into slavery. Over 100,000 Irish Catholic children were taken from their parents and sold as slaves, many to Virginia and New England. Unbelievably but truly, from 1651 to 1660 there were more Irish slaves in America than the entire non-slave population of the colonies!

In 1652, Cromwell instigated the Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland. He demanded that all Irish people were to resettle west of the Shannon, in arid, uninhabitable land, or be transported to the West Indies. The Irish refused to relocate peaceably, for the most part, since they couldn’t survive if they did.

A law, published in 1657, read:

“Those who fail to transplant themselves into Connaught
(Ireland’s Western Province) or (County) Clare within six
months… Shall be attained of high treason… Are to be sent
into America or some other parts beyond the seas…”(1)

Any who attempted to return would

“suffer the pains of death as
felons by virtue of this act, without benefit of Clergy.”(2)

The soldiers were encouraged to kill the Irish who refused to move; it was certainly not considered a crime. But the slave trade was so profitable that it was much more lucrative to round them up and sell them. Gangs went out to fill quotas by capturing whoever came across their path; they were so industrious that they accidentally captured a number of French and English and several thousand Scots in the process. By Cromwell’s death, at least 100,000 Irish men, women, and children had been sold in the West Indies, Virginia, and New England. While most were sold to the sugar planters in Barbados, Jamaica and throughout the West Indies, some writers assert that at least 20,000 were sold to the American colonies. (3) The earliest record of Irish slaves in America was in 1620, with the arrival of 200 slaves. Most of the documentation, however, comes from the West Indies.

In 1742, a document entitled Thurloe’s State Papers, published in London, opined that:

“..It was a measure beneficial to Ireland, which was
thus relieved of a population that might trouble the planters; it
was a benefit to the people removed, which might thus be made
English and Christians … a great benefit to the West India sugar planters, who desired men and boys for their bondsmen, and
the women and Irish girls… To solace them.”(4)

Note the chilling insouciance of the purpose stated for the women and Irish girls. . to “solace” the sugar planters. Also, to our way of thinking, the Irish were Christians, but to the Protestant English, Catholics were considered Papist, and Papists weren’t Christians.

So for the entire 17th Century, from 1600 until 1699, there were many more Irish sold as slaves than Africans. There are records of Irish slaves well into the 18th Century.

<p>Irish children working in the mines in England</p>

Irish children working in the mines in England

Many never made it off the ships. According to written record, in at least one incident 132 slaves, men, women, and children, were dumped overboard to drown because ships’ supplies were running low. They were drowned because the insurance would pay for an “accident,” but not if the slaves were allowed to starve. Typical death rates on the ships were from 37% to 50%.

In the West Indies, the African and Irish slaves were housed together, but because the African slaves were much more costly, they were treated much better than the Irish slaves. Also, the Irish were Catholic, and Papists were hated among the Protestant planters. An Irish slave would endure such treatment as having his hands and feet set on fire or being strung up and beaten for even a small infraction. Richard Ligon, who witnessed these things first-hand and recorded them in a history of Barbados he published in 1657, stated:

“Truly, I have seen cruelty there done to servants as I did not think one Christian could
have done to another.”(5)

According to Sean O’Callahan, in To Hell or Barbados, Irish men and women were inspected like cattle there, just as the Africans were. In addition, Irish slaves, who were harder to distinguish from their owners since they shared the same skin color, were branded with the owner’s initials, the women on the forearm and the men on the buttocks. O’Callahan goes on to say that the women were not only sold to the planters as sexual slaves but were often sold to local brothels as well. He states that the black or mulatto overseers also often forced the women to strip while working in the fields and often used them sexually as well.(6)

An Irishman depicted as an ape

~

The one advantage the Irish slaves had over the African slaves was that since they were literate and they did not survive well in the fields, they were generally used as house servants, accountants, and teachers. But the gentility of the service did not correlate to the punishment for infractions. Flogging was common, and most slave owners did not really care if they killed an easily replaceable, cheap Irish slave.

While most of these slaves who survived were eventually freed after their time of service was completed, many leaving the islands for the American colonies, many were not, and the planters found another way to insure a free supply of valuable slaves. They were quick to “find solace” and start breeding with the Irish slave women. Many of them were very pretty, but more than that, while most of the Irish were sold for only a period of service, usually about 10 years assuming they survived, their children were born slaves for life. The planters knew that most of the mothers would remain in servitude to remain with their children even after their service was technically up.

The planters also began to breed the Irish women with the African male slaves to make lighter skinned slaves, because the lighter skinned slaves were more desirable and could be sold for more money. A law was passed against this practice in 1681, not for moral reasons but because the practice was causing the Royal African Company to lose money. According to James F. Cavanaugh, this company, sent 249 shiploads of slaves to the West Indies in the 1680’s, a total of 60,000 African and Irish, 14,000 of whom died in passage.(7)

While the trade in Irish slaves tapered off after the defeat of King James in 1691, England once again shipped out thousands of Irish prisoners who were taken after the Irish Rebellion of 1798. These prisoners were shipped to America and to Australia, specifically to be sold as slaves.

No Irish slave shipped to the West Indies or America has ever been known to have returned to Ireland. Many died, either in passage or from abuse or overwork. Others won their freedom and emigrated to the American colonies. Still others remained in the West Indies, which still contain an population of “Black Irish,” many the descendents of the children of black slaves and Irish slaves.

A Radharc report from 1976 about the Black Irish of Montserrat. Irish people exiled by Cromwell and African slaves arrived on Montserrat at about the same time.

Montserrat is known as the “Emerald Isle of the Caribbean”.

.

In 1688, the first woman killed in Cotton Mather’s witch trials in Massachusetts was an old Irish woman named Anne Glover, who had been captured and sold as a slave in 1650. She spoke no English. She could recite The Lord’s Prayer in Gaelic and Latin, but without English, Mather decided her Gaelic was discourse with the devil, and hung her.(8)

The story of Anne Glover who was convicted of being a witch and sentenced to hang:  http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/component/content/article/79-history/279-anti-catholicism-in-the-salem-witch-trials.html

.

Barbados Red Legs – The Yearwood family Photo: Sheena Jolley Source

It was not until 1839 that a law was passed in England ending the slave trade, and thus the trade in Irish slaves.

Red legs Barbados – Eric Bailey with grand aunt Erlene Downie. Eric had ambitions to be a cabinet-maker. Now he works as a labourer on the roads. Photo: Sheena Jolley Source
It is unfortunate that, while the descendents of black slaves have kept their history alive and not allowed their atrocity to be forgotten, the Irish heritage of slavery in America and the West Indies has been largely ignored or forgotten. It is my hope that this article will help in some small way to change that and to commemorate these unfortunate people.

Notes:

(1) John P. Prendergast, The Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland, Dublin, ?, 1865
(2) Ibid.
(3) See, for example, Thomas Addis Emmet, Ireland Under English Rule, NY & London,
Putnam, 1903
(4) Prendergast, The Conwellian Settlment of Ireland
(5) Richard Ligon, A True and Exact History of Barbadoes, London,
Cass, 1657, reprinted 1976
(6)Sean O’Callaghan, To Hell or Barbados: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland, (Dingle, Ireland: Brandon, 2001)
(6) James F. Cavanaugh, Clan Chief Herald
(7) For Mather’s account of the case, see Cotton Mather, Memorable Providences, Relating To
Witchcrafts And Possessions (1689)

http://www.rhettaakamatsu.com/irishslaves.htm

Read more: http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/irish-the-forgotten-white-slaves-says-expert-john-martin-188645531-237793261.html#ixzz2xPJRAJQn
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http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-irish-slave-trade-the-forgotten-white-slaves/31076

Pics credit: http://moviepilot.com/posts/2014/01/31/the-irish-slave-trade-another-historical-movie-idea-plus-more-1227829?lt_source=external,manual,manual

http://humboldtsentinel.com/tag/proclamation-of-1625/

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The First Victims Were Irish Soldiers

[mediachecker->the first victims were always, always the priests because without them there was no Holy Mass and without the Holy Mass there were no Catholics]

After victory of the Parlamentarian Army, professional Irish soldiers were put into internment camps. About 38,000 of them were sold into the armies of nations not at war with England, such as Spain, Portugal, and Poland.

Two soldiers of Cromwell's New Model Army that invaded Ireland in 1649.

The Cromwellian New Model Army was the best organized army in the world at the time. Their heavy assault guns and other weaponry were far superior to what the Irish were fighting with a lot of who were fighting with pikes and pitchforks when they did not have rifles.

From a strategic viewpoint it was understandable that Cromwell wanted rid of the soldiers. Irish soldiers had a reputation internationally for being fierce fighters.

The soldiers were shipped off as soon as possible, and they were not allowed to bring their dependents. This meant there was now a huge population women and children that were financially unsupported, destined to go hungry.

The Hunt For More Slaves

Then, Cromwell systematically made sure the next harvest was destroyed. He had organized that the army bring scythes. Houses, which in those days were mostly wooden and wattle and daub cabins, were burned.

Many people were driven off the land and sought refuge in the towns. This strategy increased the numbers of destitute. And those figures were used to justify the rounding up of people to sell them into slavery.

It was easy to target the homeless in towns. So called ‘man hunters’ went around settlements on horseback with long whips forcing people, men, women and children, into holding pens outside the towns from which they were marched to the major ports, Kinsale, Bantry, or Galway. English slave ships picked them up at the ports.

To sell the Irish as slaves was seen by the English as a natural and normal thing.

The prevailing attitude was that an Irish Catholic was less than human. To kill them was a heroic act, profiting from Irish White slavery was seen almost as a humanitarian act.

White Slavery On Barbados

Most slaves were sent to Barbados, believe it or not, which today is a holiday resort. Back then, it was an English sugar plantation that needed slave labour. Irish slavery was the answer.

Anyone who was considered to be a ‘vagrand’ or vagabond (in other words homeless) or an enemy of the new regime such as the entire Catholic clergy that was young enough to be useful for slave labour, was transported.

It is estimated that transportation to Barbados was the fate of 50,000 Irish people between the years of 1652 and 1656. The practise had become so popular, one resident wrote, that people had started to “make a verb of it, to Barbados you“.

In Barbados today there are still some descendants of those Irish that were captured and sold as slaves. They are called the Red Legs, a poverty stricken group of the population. Apparently they owe their strange name name to sunburnt legs emerging from their kilts when stepping of the slave boats first.

http://www.enjoy-irish-culture.com/white-slavery.html

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To Hell or Barbados: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland

‘When those earlier Wild Geese had fled, in 1652, the Cromwellian whores had taken the women and children and sailed them down the Shannon and the Lee to the Barbadoes. In their tens of thousands they had turned black under the sun — cooked in a Barbadoes bastible; or dead, their bodies blacker, or rebellious, their Irish bodies red from the whips… There were Die-hards among those that remained, ‘No Surrender’ men, gunmen, who were to become Raparees, and rove the hills, and raid the settling conquerors, and sleep, and be cold and hungry under the trees…’
( from Sean O’Faoilean ‘King of the Beggars’.)

Between 1652 and 1659 over 50,000 Irish men, women and children were transported from Ireland to the West Indies, and to Virginia in the U.S. While much has been written of the coffin ships that ferried their human cargo to America and Canada very little is recorded or known of those who were shipped to the West Indies. As with other such schemes the reason for their deportation was made clear by King James 1 of England:

‘Root out the Papists and fill it [Ireland] with Protestants’ he declared.

Earlier, Lord Ormonde, lieutenant general of the English in Ireland at the time, was ordered ‘to burn, spoil, waste, consume, destroy and demolish all the places, towns and houses,’ where the rebel Irish are to be found. No one, not even children, were to be spared.

A book written in 1675: ‘The Moderate Cavalier, or the Soldiers Description of Ireland, A Book fit for all Protestant Houses in Ireland.’ contains this chilling verse:

Sligo’s Sir John Temple and the Irish

.
Pamphlets published during the English Civil War (1642-1651), and a book written by Sir John Temple (forbear of Lord Palmerston of Classiebawn Castle, Co. Sligo) fuelled the loathing of the English for the Irish. An extract is sufficent to show the virulence of the hatred that the Puritans had for the Irish people:

.
‘These Irish, anciently called Anthropophagi (maneaters) have a tradition among them, that when the devil showed our Saviour all the kingdoms of the earth and their glory he would not show him Ireland, but reserved it for himself… they are the very offal of men, dregs of mankind, reproach of Christendom, the bots that crawl on the beast’s tail… Cursed is he that holdeth back his sword from blood; yea, cursed be he that maketh not his sword drunk with Irish blood.’

It was against this background that, ” in 1636, a ship sailed out of Kinsale bound for Barbados. Its cargo? Sixty-one Irish people destined to join thousands of others as slaves and indentured servants.”  So writes photographer Sheena Jolley who met their descendents, known as the ‘Red Legs’, who still live there today. She has given SligoHeritage permission to print her article which appeared recently in the Irish Times. A documentary based on her research has also being aired on TG4:

“Having succeeded in “recruiting” Irish men to die in the services of France, Spain, Poland and Italy, Cromwell turned his attention to others – men and women press-ganged by soldiers, taken to Cork and shipped to Bristol where they were sold as slaves and transported to Barbados. This included the landlords who refused to transplant and whose properties had been confiscated by Cromwellian settlers, men who refused to join foreign armies, children from hospitals and workhouses and many prisoners. It was a lucrative business.

In much of the pseudo-scientific literature of the day the Irish were held to be inferior, an example of a lower evolutionary form, closer to the apes than their “superiors”, the Anglo-Saxons . Cartoons in Punch portrayed the Irish as having bestial, ape-like or demonic features and the Irishman, (especially the political radical) was invariably given a long or prognathous jaw, the stigmata to the phrenologists of a lower evolutionary order, degeneracy, or criminality. Thus John Beddoe, who later became the President of the Anthropological Institute (1889-1891), wrote in his Races of Britain (1862) that all men of genius were orthognathous (less prominent jaw bones) while the Irish and the Welsh were prognathous and that the Celt was closely related to Cromagnon man, who, in turn, was linked, according to Beddoe, to the “Africanoid”. The position of the Celt in Beddoe’s “Index of Nigrescence” was very different from that of the Anglo-Saxon. These ideas were not confined to a lunatic fringe of the scientific community, for although they never won over the mainstream of British scientists they were disseminated broadly and it was even hinted that the Irish might be the elusive missing link! Certainly the “ape-like” Celt became something of an malevolent cliche of Victorian racism. The pigment of slave and master being the same brought about the “witch popery” and “inferior race”.

http://www.sligoheritage.com/archBarbados.htm

.

In the Irish historical narrative, Queen Elizabeth I and Cromwell, are seen much differently than by the British. They undertook a campaign of ethnic cleansing that involved murder, deportation, and sold into slavery. Irish slavery was not a fluke. It was a systematic trade that served the dual purpose of making money and depopulating Ireland. Irish slavery was not a departure from the norm but a large component of the slave trade as a whole. The Irish weren’t colonizers. In fact, when they came to America on “death ships” to escape war, famine, and oppression, they were called “white Negroes” and considered “demonic pagans”. Financiers – Bank of England and Companies: The English Adventure Company, English East Indian Trading Company, English Oriental Trading Company. Today the IMF, World Bank, World Trading Organization…

.

From Domesticating the Anthropomorphic Apes:  The growing “break between man and his nearest allies” mentioned by Darwin was actually a widening chasm between the oligarchs and the common man. In reality, the “anthropomorphic apes” were all those with the misfortune of not inhabiting the same layer of socioeconomic stratum as the ruling class. Source

The British Empire didn’t just have a fleet that projected its hegemonic will across the planet, it possessed financial networks to consolidate global economic power, and system administrators to ensure the endless efficient flow of resources from distant lands back to London and into the pockets of England’s monied elite. It was a well oiled machine, refined by centuries of experience.

If people can study history and see today’s events are simply the relabeled repeating of what empire has been doing for centuries, the public as a whole will be less likely to go along with what is in reality an exploitative, murderous crime spree of global proportions – merely sold to us as justified intervention.

~

Racial Hygiene

Racial hygiene was a set of early twentieth century state sanctioned policies by which certain groups of individuals were allowed to procreate and others not, with the expressed purpose of promoting certain characteristics deemed to be particularly desirable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_hygiene

An illustration from Harper’s Weekly shows an alleged similarity between “Irish Iberian” and “Negro” features in contrast to the higher “Anglo-Teutonic.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_racism

Eva Justin checking the facial characteristics of a Romani woman as part of her “racial studies”.

Bruno Beger conducting anthropometric studies in Sikkim

Naked Soviet POWs in Mauthausen concentration camp, whom the Nazis considered “subhuman”.

Nazi propaganda poster

41 “Mischlinge” half-Romani children at St. Josefspflege orphanage in Mulfingen, Germany, were used in Eva Justin’s racial studies for her PhD dissertation. 39 of them (20 boys and 19 girls) were shipped to Auschwitz extermination camp on 9 May 1944. Of the 39 children, two survived Auschwitz; all the others were killed, most on 3 August 1944.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eva_Justin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruno_Beger

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_policy_of_Nazi_Germany

~

Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Head of a Nama man who died at Shark Island concentration camp, Namibia, which was sent to Germany for anthropological “research” (14)(with permission, E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung http://www.schweizerbart.de).

Nazi policy was actually presaged prior to WWI in Germany’s African colonies. The native populations were regarded as inferior and treated in kind, and racism was institutionalized. Indigenous populations were coerced into forced labor in Togo, Cameroon, and South West Africa (Namibia), but conditions reached their peak in the latter under Namibia’s first governor, Heinrich Ernst Goering (father of Hitler’s deputy Herman Goering).

Among the populations inhabiting this colony were the more than 80,000 Hereros (10) , who rebelled against their German overlords in 1904. The Germans sent an army under Lothar von Trotha who called the conflict a “race war.” He declared in the German press that “no war may be conducted humanely against non-humans” and issued an “annihilation order”:

http://www.fasebj.org/content/22/2/332.long

Although notions of race have a long history, it was ironically the Scientific Revolution followed by the Enlightenment and then the Age of Reason, emphasizing science and rationality, that were the wellsprings for biologically based racism.

Hitler viewed German society as an organism with its own health. “Our people is also a biological entity. …German people forms one great relationship, a blood society. …This biological unity of people will be known as the people-body.” Because individual human beings were regarded as functional or dysfunctional parts of this larger whole and thus affecting the health of the people-body, racial hygiene became seminal to Hitler’s thinking. As Bavarian Cabinet Minister Hans Schemm declared in 1934, “National Socialism is nothing but applied biology. http://www.fasebj.org/content/22/2/332.long

If the physician presumes to take into consideration in his work whether a life has value or not, the consequences are boundless and the physician becomes the most dangerous man in the state.

Christopher Willhelm Hufeland (1762–1836)

“The famine in India: natives waiting for relief at Bangalore,” from the Illustrated London News, 1877

INDIA: Famine Victims, antique print, c1885

India: Famine Victims c1885  Source

~~

The British Empire didn’t just have a fleet that projected its hegemonic will across the planet, it possessed financial networks to consolidate global economic power, and system administrators to ensure the endless efficient flow of resources from distant lands back to London and into the pockets of England’s monied elite. It was a well oiled machine, refined by centuries of experience.

If people can study history and see today’s events are simply the relabeled repeating of what empire has been doing for centuries, the public as a whole will be less likely to go along with what is in reality an exploitative, murderous crime spree of global proportions – merely sold to us as justified intervention.

~

Today is just another chapter, another time, another method, same people, same results.

.

Related:

The Great Famine of Ireland 

Irish Penal Laws (‘Popery Code’)

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4 Responses to Irish Slavery

  1. T says:

    Nice piece, even the borrowed parts!
    But the Nazi garbage is all enemy (Jew Marxist) Propoganda. 6 million did not die in a 2.5 car garage sized, vented room, by use of bug spray within 18 months as claimed.
    In truth, Germany executed the most humane war in existance. Those in their POW Camps were fell fed and cared for and had very low mortality rates. Same with Jews kept safe away from the war theatre in Poland! It was allied bombing the rail lines that created poor conditions as well as Jewish sanitary habits of defecating on the fllors as told by our own General Patton.
    See: Tomato Bubble website or Justice for Germans or Pride Cometh Before A Fall.

  2. Fran says:

    This Irish slave nonsense is a myth, there were Irish indentured servants and plenty of Irish slave owners.

    • Black irish says:

      Lol yea really????? You can’t change irish history, we were slaves!!!!!! Let me guess you seem like the ignorant type who read a non -historian doctorate/professors opinions that every single black African American website/blog has been using him as their main source!!!!! Literally they use him, liam hogan the librarian, as their main source!!!!! His opinions mind you…..don’t you think if irish slavery was a myth more accredited professors and doctorates in history would be coming out and saying so?????? They aren’t because they know you can’t change history, especially the proclamation of 1625!!!!!! Yale university has uncovered numerous historical documents regarding irish slavery!!!!!! St kitts in the West Indies has a monument commemorating the irish who were enslaved there!!!!! Ireland has a monument commemorating the irish slaves who left to Barbados as slaves!!!!!!! Anne goody glover was the last witch hung in Salem,ma ( a irish hotspot for escaped irish slaves) Anne glover was a irish slave in Barbados during cromwells era, who escaped from slavery and found refuge in Salem,ma……there is a monument commemorating Anne glover the irish slave in Salem,ma and boston,ma!!!!!!!
      http://glc.yale.edu/master-samuel-symonds-against-irish-slaves
      http://glc.yale.edu/tangled-roots
      https://www.ewtn.com/library/HUMANITY/SLAVES.TXT
      https://mediachecker.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/irish-slavery/

  3. Ted melancon says:

    Ron this is such a great article it tells so much. I really appreciate it and true this should be known
    The Irish are proud people and have become very successful people. And we never hear a bunch of whining about what happened they are busy bettering themselves instead of complaining
    Thanks so much ted Melancon

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