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  1. DUTCH JEWS AND THE WHITE SLAVE TRADE

    In the British West Indies much of the early capital to finance White slavery came from Sephardic Jews from Holland. They provided credit, machinery and shipping facilities. In the 1630s Dutch Jews had been deeply involved in the enslavement of the Irish, financing their transport to slave plantations in the tropics. By the 1660s, this combination of Jewish finance and White slave labor made the British island colony of Barbados the richest in the empire. The island’s value, in terms of trade and capital exceeded that of all other British colonies combined. (John Oldmixon, The British Empire in America, vol. 2, p. 186.)

    Of the fact that the wealth of Barbados was founded on the backs of White slave labor there can be no doubt. White slave laborers from Britain and Ireland were the mainstay of the sugar colony. Until the mid-1640s there were few Blacks in Barbados. George Downing wrote to John Winthrop, the colonial governor of Massachusetts in 1645, that planters who wanted to make a fortune in the British West Indies must procure White slave labor “out of England” if they wanted to succeed. (Elizabeth Donnan, Documents Illustrative of the History of the Slave Trade to America, pp. 125-126. In Hoffman, They Were White and They Were Slaves p. 12.)

    From their experience with rebellious Irish slaves, Dutch Jews would eventually be instrumental in the switch from White to Black slavery in the British West Indies. Blacks were more docile – and more profitable for the Jews.

    The English traffic in slaves in the first half of the seventeenth century was solely in White slaves. The English had no slave base in West Africa, as did the Dutch Jews. Moreover, Dutch Jews were not only bankers and shipping magnates but slave masters and plantation owners themselves. Jews were forbidden by English law to own White Protestant slaves, although in practice this was not uniformly enforced. Irish slaves were allowed to the Jewish slaves but were regarded by them as intractable. Hence the Jews became prime movers behind the African slave trade and the importation of Negro slaves into the New World. (Dalby Thomas, An Historical Account of the Rise and Growth of the British West Indies, pp. 36-37, and G. Merrill, ‘The Role of the Sephardic Jews in the British Caribbean Area in the Seventeenth Century,’ Caribbean Studies, vol. 4, no. 3, 1964-65, pp. 32-49.)

    Hundreds of thousands of White slaves were kidnapped off the streets and roads of Great Britain in the course of more than one hundred and fifty years and sold to captains of slave ships in London known as “White Guineamen.” Ten thousand Whites were kidnapped from England in the year 1670 alone.’

    Excerpts from
    They Were White and They Were Slaves
    The Untold History of the Enslavement of Whites in Early America
    Michael A. Hoffman

    * * *

    “White indentured servants were employed and treated, incidentally, exactly like slaves.” (Morley Ayearst, The British West Indies, p. 19.)

    “The many gradations of unfreedom among Whites made it difficult to draw fast lines between any idealized free White worker and a pitied or scorned servile Black worker… in labor-short seventeenth and eighteenth-century America the work of slaves and that of White servants were virtually interchangeable in most areas.” (David R. Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class, p. 25.)

    A Holocaust Against the White Poor

    In 1723 the Waltham Act was passed which classified more than 200 minor offenses such as stealing a rabbit from an aristocrat or breaking up his fishpond, a crime punishable by hanging. Starving youths, fourteen years old, were strung-up on Tyburn gallows for stealing as little as one sheep. When their bodies were cut down their parents had to fight over them with agents of the Royal College of Physicians who had been empowered by the courts to use their remains for laboratory dissection.

    The English historian William Cobbett stated in 1836,
    “The starving agricultural laborers of southern England are worse off than American negroes.”

    When in 1834 English farm workers in Dorset tried to form a union in order to “preserve ourselves, our wives and our children from starvation” they were shipped into slavery in Australia for this “crime.” The situation of White factory workers was no better. Robert Owen declared in 1840, “The working classes of Great Britain are in a worse condition than any slaves in any country, in any period of the world’s history.”

    In 19th century England tens of thousands of White children were employed as slave laborers in British coal mines. Little White boys, seven years old, were harnessed like donkeys to coal carts and ordered to drag them through mine shafts. In 1843, White children aged four were working in the coal pits. In old English cemeteries can be seen epitaphs on grave stones like one which reads,

    “William Smith, aged eight years, Miner, died Jan. 3, 1841.”

    The root of the holocaust against the White yeomanry of Britain lies in the history of the land swindles perpetrated against them in the late 12th and early 13th centuries.

    The Factory System

    [Rev. Richard] Oastler was publicly thanked by a delegation of English laborers at a meeting in York “for his manly letters to expose the conduct of those pretended philanthropists and canting hypocrites who travel to the West Indies in search of slavery, forgetting there is a more abominable and degrading system of slavery at home.” (Cecil Driver, Tory Radical: The Life of Richard Oastler, pp. 36-55; lnglis, p. 260.)

    * * *

    White children worked up to sixteen hours a day and “During that period the doors were locked; children – and most of the mill workers were still children – were allowed out only ‘to go to the necessary’… In some factories it was forbidden to open my of the windows; cotton fluff was everywhere, including on the children’s food, but often, as they had to stand all day, they were too fatigued to have any appetite… The (child) apprentices who were on night shift might stay on it for as long as four or five years… although they were provided with dinner at midnight, the machinery did not stop.”
    (lnglis, pp. 80, 163, 164, 262).

    * * *

    “In Bleak House Dickens was to satirize evangelical ‘telescopic philanthropy’ in the person of Mrs. Jellyby, a do-gooder so absorbed in the welfare of the African natives of Borrioboola-Gha that she fails to notice her own family sinking into ruin. This was precisely Carlyle’s point: with Irish… dying in ditches… it was the worst sort of rose-pink sentimentalism to worry oneself about West Indian Negroes.” (Eugene R. August, introduction to Thomas Carlyle’s The Nigger Question, Crofts Classics edition, p. xvii.)

    In the late 1830s William Dodd began his exhaustive research into the condition of the English poor. He estimated that in the year 1846 alone, 10,000 English workers, many of them children, had been mangled and mutilated by machinery or otherwise disabled for life. They were abandoned and received no compensation of any kind. Many died of their injuries.

    “Young children are allowed to clean the machinery, actually while it is in motion; and consequently the fingers, hands and arms are frequently destroyed in a moment. I have seen the whole of the arm, from the tip of the fingers to above the elbow, chopped into mince-meat, the cog-wheels cutting through the skin, muscles and in some places, through the bone… in one instance every limb but one was broken.” (William Dodd, The Factory System Illustrated, pp. 21-22.)

    “Accidents were often due to… children being set to clean machinery while it was still in motion. The loss of two or three fingers was not exceptional. There were more serious accidents… such as that reported by a Stockport doctor in 1840 of a girl caught by the hair and scalped from the nose to the back of the head. The manufacturer gave her five shillings. She died in the workhouse.” (Cruickshank, p. 51.)

    Nineteenth century factory worker William Dodd stated,
    “Petition after petition has been sent to the two houses of Parliament, to the prime minister, and to the Queen, concerning this unfortunate class of British subjects, but without effect. Had they only been black instead of white, their case would have been taken into consideration long ago.”

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    Comment by Pip | June 22, 2021 | Reply


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