White Slavery 1847 to 1851 in Boston no less!

I have stayed out of the frey over Obama, but I would like for people like David's Mom to see that slavery was not all black.

I like to do genealogy and came across this the other day. It seems that as late as 1847 -1851, white slavery was alive and well in good old Boston.

I thought when we won the Revolutionary War, we stopped England from selling its own people into slavery for a profit. After that they had to use Australia. It seems not. It seems our sanctimonious Northern friends were still at it.

read these






some of these are infants!

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Submitted by Davids mom on Sat, 05/03/2008 - 8:22pm.

Thanks. Those of us who have studied this blot on American history are well aware of 'white slavery'. The color of one's skin allowed some to escape the legacy of this horror; Jim Crow, Segregation, Marginalization, etc. Thanks for sharing. If American History were taught truthfully - you would not have to 'share' this 'news'. This is what is good about the conversation. We can all expand our knowledge.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Sat, 05/03/2008 - 11:17am.

I'm sure there is some fascinating reading material behind those links, but you'll forgive me if I do not want to provide a credit card number for a "trial membership" in order to read them. Sorry!
Diagnosing Denise

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Sat, 05/03/2008 - 12:06pm.

gonna do that, I have a private membership with Ancestry.com and was hoping it would come through. They also have it fixed so I can't copy the whole page.

I'll try again.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Sat, 05/03/2008 - 9:20am.

and ...sold...these people, not for crimes of stealing food, as they normaly do, but they cleaned out their poor houses, and sold the inhabitants! to ...people in Boston....and made a profit...how low!

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Sat, 05/03/2008 - 9:29am.

and was practiced by our own home grown as well,


Indentured Servitude on Appalachian Frontiers

This is a copyrighted document from the electronic archive for Wilma A. Dunaway, Women, Work and Family in the Antebellum Mountain South (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

By the time of the Revolutionary War, indentured servitude had been a common practice in the United States for 150 years. According to Kenneth Stampp:

In the seventeenth century most of the servants were English; in the eighteenth century most of them were Germans, Swiss, Scots, Scotch-Irish, and Irish. Victims of kidnappers and convicts sentenced to transportation by English courts supplemented this flow of unfree labor. Probably more than half of the immigrants to the thirteen English colonies in North American came as bondsmen.

By 1750, a majority of the white population of the U.S. was native-born, so immigrant indentured laborers "were an increasingly less visible part of the labor force and a very small proportion of the adult female population." By the middle of the eighteenth century, only about one in ten of the country’s new foreign arrivals was a bound laborers. Historically, the slight over-representation of white Appalachian males was caused by the immigration of greater numbers of foreign men to the frontiers. In 1790, the Appalachian counties with the lowest percentage of females were located in Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia, areas of the U.S. South that received the greatest numbers of foreign immigrants in this period. In this era, Maryland and Virginia received more than 1,000 indentured servants a year, most of them from Germany and Ireland, and three-quarters of them were males. We can also get a limited sense of the extent of indentured servitude by examining frontier newspaper advertisements. Of 602 runaways posted in eight regional newspapers between 1790 and 1810, nearly 6 percent were rewards offered for the return of indentured laborers. Two-fifths of these runaways were immigrants, and more than one-third were females, like the missing "spinner from Ireland" posted in 1801 by an east Tennessee employer. A sixteen-year-old female escaped from her Frederick County, Maryland, employer and was believed to be on the east Tennessee frontier in 1793. The "Public" was "Warned" by Daniel Wythe "Not to Harber [his] indentured servant, Biddy Colbert, emigrant from Ireland."

By 1820, the census reported only 2,580 white foreigners in Southern Appalachia, representing less than three-tenths of one percent of the total population. More than 90 percent of them resided in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, the vast majority of them males. Only about half these immigrants would have been indentured, meaning that no more than one of about every 1,000 residents would have been a bonded emigrant laborer in 1819. Even though immigrants accounted for nearly 2 percent of the western Maryland population, there were many more locally-indentured persons in the rest of Southern Appalachia than there were bonded immigrants.

Following British laws established during the colonial period, post-Revolutionary public authorities indentured the labor of those who were likely to fall upon the public dole. Appalachian county governments bound out indigent adults and children whose families could no longer care for them. The age, gender, and racial trends are clearly documented in early records of Appalachian poor houses, for women and orphans represented more than two-thirds of the individuals whose labor was auctioned off by county governments. Isaac Miller of Anderson County, Tennessee, advertised in 1819 for the return of Margaret Hutcheson who had been bound to him by the county poor house. Obviously, the seventeen-year-old girl had tried the patience of her master, for he offered only "a reward of 61/4 cents to the person who w[ould] deliver her to [him]," caustically adding, "but I will not thank any person for doing so." When an orphan was bound out by the county poor house, the child was legally tied to the master until the age of eighteen or twenty-one. Because he saw so few white female servants, Toulmin erroneously claimed that "there [we]re no indented servants" in east Kentucky at the turn of the nineteenth century. In east Kentucky, as in other parts of the South, orphans were often bound to tradesmen or farmers until age 21, and indigent adults were typically bound for three to seven years. However, there is no way to document how many laborers were bound out by their own families. When parents indentured their own children, it was for "a usual term of seven years if a girl, or five if a boy." Most scholars have ignored the continuing indenturement of free whites, free blacks, and Indians after 1800, incorrectly claiming that such servitude ended abruptly after slavery was firmly established in the U.S. South. However, there was no neat historical termination of this practice as the numbers of slaves increased. Even though it is highly likely that there were two to three times more bound laborers in the early 1800s, indenturement was a common practice throughout the antebellum period.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Sat, 05/03/2008 - 9:35am.

as well. I think the reason a lot of whites can't find their roots, is probably because of this sort of thing.


Submitted by oldbeachbear on Sat, 05/03/2008 - 9:41am.


carbonunit52's picture
Submitted by carbonunit52 on Sat, 05/03/2008 - 10:10am.


This is not color of skin specific, as the victims were both white and black.

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Sat, 05/03/2008 - 8:48pm.

Si esta possible, yo quero hablar quando tu puedes en una lugar que tu preferas tambien. Bebiendo cafe o una comida pequenia o solemente por telefono. Si tu hablas y lees tambien, sabes que yo necessito practicar muchisimo. Desculpa si tu no me intiendes.


Kevin "Hack" King
(anyone want two dogs???)

carbonunit52's picture
Submitted by carbonunit52 on Sat, 05/03/2008 - 9:05pm.

Sí, el café está muy bien. Starbucks es uno de los favoritos. Yo no hablo español, pero Google ayuda a herramientas lingüísticas.



Submitted by oldbeachbear on Sat, 05/03/2008 - 9:55am.

White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britains White Slaves in America (Paperback)

High school American history classes present indentured servitude as a benignly paternalistic system whereby colonial immigrants spent a few years working off their passage and went on to better things. Not so, this impassioned history argues: the indentured servitude of whites was comparable in most respects to the slavery endured by blacks. Voluntary indentures arriving in colonial America from Britain were sold on the block, subjected to backbreaking work on plantations, poorly fed and clothed, savagely punished for any disobedience, forbidden to marry without their master's permission, and whipped and branded for running away. Nor were indentures always voluntary: tens of thousands of convicts, beggars, homeless children and other undesirable Britons were transported to America against their will. Given the hideous mortality rates, the authors argue, indentured contracts often amounted to a life sentence at hard labor—some convicts asked to be hanged rather than be sent to Virginia. The authors, both television documentarians, don't attempt a systematic survey of the subject, and their episodic narrative often loses its way in colorful but extraneous digressions. Still, their exposé of unfree labor in the British colonies paints an arresting portrait of early America as gulag. 8 pages of photos. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Description

"This vividly written book tells the tale from both sides of the Atlantic…meticulously source and footnoted—but is never dry or academic...Jordan and Walsh offer an explanation of how the structures of slavery—black or white—were entwined in the roots of American society. They refrain from drawing links to today, except to remind readers that there are probably tens of millions of Americans who are descended from white slaves without even knowing it."
—New York Times Book Review

”With information gleaned from contemporary letters, journals and court archives, White Cargo is packed with proof that the brutalities usually associated with black slavery were, for centuries, also inflicted on whites.”
—Daily Mail

”An eye-opening and heart-rending story.”
—The Times (London)

White Cargo is the forgotten story of the thousands of Britons who lived and died in bondage in BritainÂ’s American colonies.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, more than 300,000 white people were shipped to America as slaves. Urchins were swept up from London’s streets to labor in the tobacco fields, where life expectancy was no more than two years. Brothels were raided to provide “breeders” for Virginia. Hopeful migrants were duped into signing as indentured servants, unaware they would become personal property who could be bought, sold, and even gambled away. Transported convicts were paraded for sale like livestock.

Drawing on letters crying for help, diaries, and court and government archives, Don Jordan and Michael Walsh demonstrate that the brutalities usually associated with black slavery alone were perpetrated on whites throughout British rule. The trade ended with American independence, but the British still tried to sell convicts in their former colonies, which prompted one of the most audacious plots in Anglo-American history.

This is a saga of exploration and cruelty spanning 170 years that has been submerged under the overwhelming memory of black slavery. White Cargo brings the brutal, uncomfortable story to the surface.

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