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American Negro Slavery A Survey of the Supply, Employment and Control of Negro Labor as Determined by the Plantation Regime   By: (1877-1934)

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First Page:

ULRICH BONNELL PHILLIPS

AMERICAN

NEGRO SLAVERY

A Survey of the Supply, Employment and Control Of Negro Labor As Determined by the Plantation Regime

TO

MY WIFE

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I. THE EARLY EXPLOITATION OF GUINEA II. THE MARITIME SLAVE TRADE III. THE SUGAR ISLANDS IV. THE TOBACCO COLONIES V. THE RICE COAST VI. THE NORTHERN COLONIES VII. REVOLUTION AND REACTION VIII. THE CLOSING OF THE AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE IX. THE INTRODUCTION OF COTTON AND SUGAR X. THE WESTWARD MOVEMENT XI. THE DOMESTIC SLAVE TRADE XII. THE COTTON RÉGIME XIII. TYPES OF LARGE PLANTATIONS XIV. PLANTATION MANAGEMENT XV. PLANTATION LABOR XVI. PLANTATION LIFE XVII. PLANTATION TENDENCIES XVIII. ECONOMIC VIEWS OF SLAVERY: A SURVEY OF THE LITERATURE XIX. BUSINESS ASPECTS OF SLAVERY XX. TOWN SLAVES XXI. FREE NEGROES XXII. SLAVE CRIME XXIII. THE FORCE OF THE LAW INDEX

AMERICAN NEGRO SLAVERY

CHAPTER I

THE DISCOVERY AND EXPLOITATION OF GUINEA

The Portuguese began exploring the west coast of Africa shortly before Christopher Columbus was born; and no sooner did they encounter negroes than they began to seize and carry them in captivity to Lisbon. The court chronicler Azurara set himself in 1452, at the command of Prince Henry, to record the valiant exploits of the negro catchers. Reflecting the spirit of the time, he praised them as crusaders bringing savage heathen for conversion to civilization and christianity. He gently lamented the massacre and sufferings involved, but thought them infinitely outweighed by the salvation of souls. This cheerful spirit of solace was destined long to prevail among white peoples when contemplating the hardships of the colored races. But Azurara was more than a moralizing annalist. He acutely observed of the first cargo of captives brought from southward of the Sahara, less than a decade before his writing, that after coming to Portugal "they never more tried to fly, but rather in time forgot all about their own country," that "they were very loyal and obedient servants, without malice"; and that "after they began to use clothing they were for the most part very fond of display, so that they took great delight in robes of showy colors, and such was their love of finery that they picked up the rags that fell from the coats of other people of the country and sewed them on their own garments, taking great pleasure in these, as though it were matter of some greater perfection."[1] These few broad strokes would portray with equally happy precision a myriad other black servants born centuries after the writer's death and dwelling in a continent of whose existence he never dreamed. Azurara wrote further that while some of the captives were not able to endure the change and died happily as Christians, the others, dispersed among Portuguese households, so ingratiated themselves that many were set free and some were married to men and women of the land and acquired comfortable estates. This may have been an earnest of future conditions in Brazil and the Spanish Indies; but in the British settlements it fell out far otherwise.

[Footnote 1: Gomez Eannes de Azurara Chronicle of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea , translated by C.R. Beazley and E.P. Prestage, in the Hakluyt Society Publications , XCV, 85.]

As the fifteenth century wore on and fleets explored more of the African coast with the double purpose of finding a passage to India and exploiting any incidental opportunities for gain, more and more human cargoes were brought from Guinea to Portugal and Spain. But as the novelty of the blacks wore off they were held in smaller esteem and treated with less liberality. Gangs of them were set to work in fields from which the Moorish occupants had recently been expelled. The labor demand was not great, however, and when early in the sixteenth century West Indian settlers wanted negroes for their sugar fields, Spain willingly parted with some of hers. Thus did Europe begin the coercion of African assistance in the conquest of the American wilderness... Continue reading book >>




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