50 Years Ago: Black and White Slavery in America
The enclosure of the common lands in France, Germany, and England gave rise to a multitude of starving outcasts, some of whom turned their eyes towards the New World in the hope of finding an amelioration of their lot. These provided ready material for the kidnapper and emigration agent, who enticed them across the Atlantic and then sold them into a species of slavery (indentured service) even worse than the slavery of the blacks.
The records of the American white slave trade exhibit an almost unbelievable barbarity. This traffic is fully discussed by James O’Neal in The Workers in American History, where the worst evils of Negro slavery are shown to be paralleled if not surpassed by the system of indentured service.
Of course the followers of the ‘meek and lowly one’ had to have a finger in the pie, and we read that:
The famous Whitfield, and the two Wesleys, visited America at this period (1743) and urged the expedience of allowing slavery. (War of American Independence, Ludlow, p38).
In his Story of the Negro Booker T. Washington points out that the white man sold his own people in America years before the first black slaves sailed into Jamestown, Virginia (1619).