Hot Best Seller

White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America

Availability: Ready to download

White Cargo is the forgotten story of the thousands of Britons who lived and died in bondage in Britain 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 streets to labor in the tobacco fields, where life expectancy was no more than two years. Brothels were ra White Cargo is the forgotten story of the thousands of Britons who lived and died in bondage in Britain 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 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.


Compare

White Cargo is the forgotten story of the thousands of Britons who lived and died in bondage in Britain 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 streets to labor in the tobacco fields, where life expectancy was no more than two years. Brothels were ra White Cargo is the forgotten story of the thousands of Britons who lived and died in bondage in Britain 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 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.

30 review for White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    Every time I think I have a fairly reasonable understanding of American history, a book like this comes along and makes me feel gloriously ignorant. This is a fantastically detailed history of white indentured servitude in the early colonial period. Needless to say, it wasn't at all like we were taught in school and astonishingly brutal. I don't want to give away the ending, but I do want to say that I cannot recommend this book strongly enough. Every time I think I have a fairly reasonable understanding of American history, a book like this comes along and makes me feel gloriously ignorant. This is a fantastically detailed history of white indentured servitude in the early colonial period. Needless to say, it wasn't at all like we were taught in school and astonishingly brutal. I don't want to give away the ending, but I do want to say that I cannot recommend this book strongly enough.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lois is behind her reviews at least a month

    Edited 2021: The Irish were treated horribly by the British. Their treatment by the British very much mirrors many of the brutal horrors that happened to Black folks in the US post Antebellum period: their lands were stolen, their customs and even religion was marginalized, they were forced onto plantations, there was large scale genocide and mass starvation in addition to routine terror tactics of oppression. In the America's Irish history is very different. Irish people were never enslaved in th Edited 2021: The Irish were treated horribly by the British. Their treatment by the British very much mirrors many of the brutal horrors that happened to Black folks in the US post Antebellum period: their lands were stolen, their customs and even religion was marginalized, they were forced onto plantations, there was large scale genocide and mass starvation in addition to routine terror tactics of oppression. In the America's Irish history is very different. Irish people were never enslaved in the America's. This history is exaggerated, extended and used as a weapon against the history of actual chattel slavery in the USA. That is done for racist and white supremacist reasons. In addition we would have to deal with the history of Irish involvement with US chattel history if we talk about slavery. Their own experiences do not give them a pass at all. This review is edited because apparently it is causing a lot of reports to Goodreads, which strangely makes me happy. Anyway this is the original review slightly modified/toned down for the fragile melanin challenged racists: FYI this is all 100% exaggeration. This is classic Neo-Nazi/White Supremacist/KKK/MAGA lies. This is ahistorical meaning there is zero evidence this ever happened. White people were indentured servants which is a human rights violation. It's not the same as chattel slavery. It's not even close. Their kids were born free. Under chattel slavery your descendants are enslaved in perpetuity. Indentured Servitude isn't an inheritable condition. This is the historical equivalent of saying the US Japanese Concentration (Internment) Camps during WWII are the same Nazi Germany's Death Camps. No, in both camps people are treated horribly, inhumanely and in violation of their human rights. In the German camp they suffer the same AND are being systematically murdered. 🗣NOT THE SAME This is one of the MOST popular of the white supremacist myths and this should never have been printed, much better books on Irish Indentured experiences exist that don't include antiblack racism. White supremacists live and walk around thinking they are the victim of everything. It's annoying and hilarious in equal measures. They whine more than my toddler grandkids.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bibliomysterious BAM

    During the early centuries of the British colonies hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children were shipped from England and Ireland to serve as forced labor, many of them enslaved. Some of the children were mere toddlers, the parents hoping for a better life for them. The adults were either convicts, vagrants, or Catholics. Many of them were kidnapped. Ir is thought that " black slavery emerged out of white servitude," the only difference being that those white servants who survived the b During the early centuries of the British colonies hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children were shipped from England and Ireland to serve as forced labor, many of them enslaved. Some of the children were mere toddlers, the parents hoping for a better life for them. The adults were either convicts, vagrants, or Catholics. Many of them were kidnapped. Ir is thought that " black slavery emerged out of white servitude," the only difference being that those white servants who survived the brutality of their servitude may see freedom many years later. Cheap bodies to people the new colonies and toil in the fields were drastically needed, but no one volunteered. The majority of them died within months of landing. Food was scarce. Brutal punishment was prevalent. It wasn't until the suppression of Bacon's Rebellion that white supremacy was engendered. Their "daily condition was little different from that of Africans", but whites were now taught that they were superior and were segregated, but brutality was equal. Importation of white servants into America did not stop until about 1785. Our first president, George Washington, was a prosperous slave owner. For more on this read Not Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar. It's naive to believe that our country was solely founded on the backs of free men. We need to recognize the slave labor that built, toiled, and tilled this great land. 2017 Lenten nonfiction Buddy Reading Challenge book #34

  4. 4 out of 5

    Robert Owen

    “White Cargo” is the history of pre-Revolutionary white indentured servitude in North America. It is a story that is as unloved and it is, unlovely; yet Jordan and Walsh bring the institution, its victims and its compelling consequences to life in this fascinating, layman-friendly read. Beginning with the story of Jamestown’s founding in 1607, the authors recount how, over a century and a half, wave after wave of various cohorts of people were transported as a cheap, convenient labor source to t “White Cargo” is the history of pre-Revolutionary white indentured servitude in North America. It is a story that is as unloved and it is, unlovely; yet Jordan and Walsh bring the institution, its victims and its compelling consequences to life in this fascinating, layman-friendly read. Beginning with the story of Jamestown’s founding in 1607, the authors recount how, over a century and a half, wave after wave of various cohorts of people were transported as a cheap, convenient labor source to tame the Brittan’s New World colonies. Under the system, those who were deemed unworthy or those who were either desperate or naïve were seconded to America and made to serve out mulit-year periods of servitude. The indentured were essentially landless, right-less slaves who worked under unimaginably brutal and dehumanizing conditions The abuse and cruel exploitation inherent in the game of convict labor and debt peonage played by pre-Revolutionary land holders will be familiar to anyone who has read Blackmon’s “Slavery by Anther Name”. Predating slightly the first African slaves sold in America, among the first brought over as “servants” were British orphans and homeless children between the ages of 8 and 16. English cities were full of untended urchins, and America became seen as a place to offload these surplus and unwanted children. Most of them died within a year or so. Over successive generations, to the ranks of these children were added Irish and Scottish peasants displaced by Cromwell’s army, religious dissenters, Royalists, convicts, German émigrés, kidnap victims who happened to live near port cities and the so-called free-willers….those who voluntarily signed up to be slaves in order to be able to make new lives for themselves in the New World paradise. In total, it is estimated that approximately 600,000 white indentured servants were brought to America prior to the revolution. By contrast, the number of African slaves totaled approximately 350,000. However, during the first century of the British settlement of North America, the number of white servants outnumbered black slaves by a huge margin. Understanding the societal dynamic that evolved over the 150 year history of white servitude in America is critical to anyone interested in understanding racial oppression in America today. The early colonists were equal opportunity oppressors who were completely unconcerned about race. “Unimportants” , be they the “poor scum of Europe” or kidnapped Africans, were all beings unworthy of dignity and available to be exploited without fear of moral consequence. The slow but inexorable migration from white indentured servitude to African slavery is an important part of America’s story….and one that, unless it is recognized and acknowledged, one unlikely to be understood, embraced and learned from. The book is written in a light, easy-to-read style that is free of the turgid prose common in more “academic” histories. As such, it was both an “interesting read” and a “good read”.

  5. 4 out of 5

    David

    White Cargo presents an interesting but little known history of early colonial America...that White slaves from parts of Great Britain and especially Ireland were used before the trade in Black slaves started. Initially it was an economic decision as it cost more to bring black slaves from Africa than whites from Britain. Also, it was a convenient way for Britain to rid itself of criminals, the poor, and Irish who were technically indentured for seven to fourteen years or even life. But most die White Cargo presents an interesting but little known history of early colonial America...that White slaves from parts of Great Britain and especially Ireland were used before the trade in Black slaves started. Initially it was an economic decision as it cost more to bring black slaves from Africa than whites from Britain. Also, it was a convenient way for Britain to rid itself of criminals, the poor, and Irish who were technically indentured for seven to fourteen years or even life. But most died before finishing their time. Later, because black slaves were for life and cost more, they were treated marginally better. Trade in white slaves dried up after the American Revolution and because of economics...it was then cheaper to buy and own black slaves. This book is loaded with fascinating personal stories because of historical records that still exist. This makes for interesting as well as educational read!

  6. 5 out of 5

    BarbaraNathalie

    I remember learning about indentured servants while in high school, never thinking beyond the assistance given to people who wanted to reach America in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds. So they paid for their passage by working off their seven years to their sponsers. So what, young Barbara Nathalie probably thought. They were lucky to get here, avoiding starvation and the lack of opportunity in the British Isles. After all, they weren't like the blacks who could never even hope for anything I remember learning about indentured servants while in high school, never thinking beyond the assistance given to people who wanted to reach America in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds. So they paid for their passage by working off their seven years to their sponsers. So what, young Barbara Nathalie probably thought. They were lucky to get here, avoiding starvation and the lack of opportunity in the British Isles. After all, they weren't like the blacks who could never even hope for anything better.This book ripped off those blinders that were covering my eyes. In reality, I should have thought further about slavery, even as a teenager; I had read about the slaves in Rome, Greece, Egypt, Macedonia, Babylon by then. I knew that the color of a person's skin did not prohibit the possibility of their loss of rights, of human dignity. Yet it never occured to me that white folks in the days of the great sailing ships could be deposited into the depths of despair in the cargo holds, heading to the Americas, the free new world. Yet arrive here in chains they did and most spent the rest of their lives tied to mounting costs for their keep, never able to pay off their debt, delivering newborns, year after year, into the same plight they found themselves. An interesting point that I discovered in this treatise on white slaverey: Britain planned to make Ireland into a huge plantation site. It's rich soil and availability of potential slaves was an investment they were anxious to make. They weren't quite successful, so the demoralizing annexing of Ireland was not totally satisfying to the Brits. This book also explains the cruelty delivered to white slaves. They were cheaper than black slaves, so the white slaves were more frequently injured, less cared for, and killed. They were less of an investment than the slaves from Africa. They were less valued; more potentially a burden. And like all slaves, they never had the possibility to explore their potential in a life made by themselves.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Riley-Daniels

    White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America was a good resource for my research into the connection between Britain and Barbados. I'm currently piecing together the story of my 8th great-grandfather and his journey from Lord of the Manor to slave on a sugar plantation in Barbados to land owner in the USA. It was quite an adventure, and I am reading lots of books about the white slave trade. As a child, I recall learning about slaves being kidnapped from their native l White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America was a good resource for my research into the connection between Britain and Barbados. I'm currently piecing together the story of my 8th great-grandfather and his journey from Lord of the Manor to slave on a sugar plantation in Barbados to land owner in the USA. It was quite an adventure, and I am reading lots of books about the white slave trade. As a child, I recall learning about slaves being kidnapped from their native lands, shipped in disease ridden cargo holds, traded and sold like animals, and then forced with brutality and whipping to work on plantations. It never crossed my mind that one of my ancestors would have the same fate and arrive at it from Great Britain. (Time for a learning moment: What is the difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain, and England? http://geography.about.com/library/fa... ) This book will help you understand the many layers of slavery and will likely surprise you -- for example, the slave trade was made to look good, and when more labor was needed, it expanded to include all kinds of people being shipped off. My ancestor would have been one of those, and he was one of the 25 people that lived through the cargo hold passage and when he emerged in Barbados was sold on the docks for sugar. The slave trade was a huge money maker. Some of the "bad guys" include founders like George Washington, and they don't come out well in their portrayals, on the other side of the ocean, Sir John Popham and Oliver Cromwell come off worse. I was happy to see that Benjamin Franklin is one of the few good guys. For my purposes there are lots of sources and footnotes that helped me find even more materials to use in my research. I liked the book, and appreciate the research the authors put into writing it. For some it may be a bit like eating sand -- dry. For history buffs and those with a passion for genealogy, it is full of helpful tidbits.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Simon Wood

    WHITE BONDAGE Two journalists, Don Jordan and Michael Walsh, have written an account of what they call "The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America". "Forgotten" is over-stating the case somewhat as a number of books on Colonial-era America and indeed on Slavery have previously covered this subject. Indeed the lengthy and decent bibliography at the end of the book is testament to this, including such books as Edmund Morgan's "American Slavery, American Freedom" and Peter Kolchin's WHITE BONDAGE Two journalists, Don Jordan and Michael Walsh, have written an account of what they call "The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America". "Forgotten" is over-stating the case somewhat as a number of books on Colonial-era America and indeed on Slavery have previously covered this subject. Indeed the lengthy and decent bibliography at the end of the book is testament to this, including such books as Edmund Morgan's "American Slavery, American Freedom" and Peter Kolchin's "American Slavery". What is perhaps novel about Jordan and Walsh's book is that its audience is the general reader, and it covers this issue, as far as possible, separately from the issue of African slavery in the Americas. At heart, the reasons for slavery, in it's purest form (African slavery) and in the form it took with regard to white Britons (Bondage, indentured servitude) was the requirement of those who plundered the land from it's Natives for labour. Without a source of labour the landlords of the New World would have been unable to turn a profit, and in the initial stages of colonization this labour was generally that of white Britons. "Recruitment" came in a manner of forms, labourers were persuaded to indenture them-selves for a period to pay for their voyage, children were kidnapped, and prisoners were offered transportation to the colonies in lieu of the hangman's noose. Another source was Ireland, Cromwell in particular loosened up the new world labour market with infusions of Irishmen and woman during his bloody conquest of that ill-starred Isle. An interesting point that the authors touch on tangentially is the fact that those Britons who were put into bondage in the New World were viewed by the elites of the time as an almost separate race, a feeling that went furthest in the case of the catholic Irish peasants. Their inferior nature is made crystal clear by the rhetoric ("Scum" "Dregs" etc) applied to them. The book focuses primarily on the experience of Virginia and Barbados, though not to the exclusion of other parts of the new world. Unsurprisingly given that the book is written by journalists, there is ample anecdotal material, but not to the exclusion of more general observations and historical background. The experience of those dislocated was horrific: the voyage from Britain was generally a grotesque ordeal. Beatings, abuse and murder were not unusual, their labour was extracted in the most brutal conditions. Those who had indentured themselves for a period of years were often cheated out of their freedom when their "contracts" expired, and almost certainly out of whatever their dues should have been in terms of land and money. It wasn't until the later 17th century that their position began to improve with the exception of those transported for "crimes". Slavery and bondage at that point became to be strongly associated with race and Africa the chief source of it's supply. I had a few doubts about this book before I read it, but there is no attempt on the author's behalf to minimize the plight of African slaves who after all probably out numbered the variety of Britons in bondage by a ratio of about 50 to 1, had far less chance of becoming free and carried the burden of slavery well beyond the point when they were formally freed in 1863. In short, a more than competent but less than comprehensive history, that touches upon many issues regarding coerced white labour in the Britain's North American Colonies in the context of a general account of that era.

  9. 5 out of 5

    H Wesselius

    The indentured servant trade of colonial America is often overlooked and Jordan's White Cargo does an excellent of correcting this oversight. In this well detailed recounting of this barely mentioned past, the nature and origin of American slavery can be seen beyond the color line. Within all the detail, the legal framework which allowed indentured service to become near slavery is shown to provide the foundation when the African slaves first arrived. Two things are missing -- a better explorati The indentured servant trade of colonial America is often overlooked and Jordan's White Cargo does an excellent of correcting this oversight. In this well detailed recounting of this barely mentioned past, the nature and origin of American slavery can be seen beyond the color line. Within all the detail, the legal framework which allowed indentured service to become near slavery is shown to provide the foundation when the African slaves first arrived. Two things are missing -- a better exploration of what separated the indentured whites and blacks apart despite their early class solidarity. Jordan mentioned the aftermath of the Bacon's rebellion as a turning point but doesn't pursued the point in detail. The other missing element is focus. He spends a chapter on Barbados and there is the occasional foray to New England. A strict focus on the Chesapeake Bay area -- the early center of servitude -- would have been better for the reader.

  10. 4 out of 5

    DeadWeight

    Book is dogged by a degree of dangerous white apologism (as should be imagined from the title alone) and some of what the book posits as historical fact is highly contested / sometimes outright false. Still - milled from its inaccuracies and its politics, a shocking depiction of the history of indentured servitude, and thus the roots of modern capitalism.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jael

    Another book I'm reading for my US history paper that I'm writing about Colonial America use of convicts as indentured servants or white slavery. The previous two books I've read on the subject was Emigrants in Chains and Bound for America. I found this book to repeat some of the same things brought up in the other ones, but I would prefer this one over the others in that the depth in which he does to explaining situations. For example, in Bound for America Ekirch stated a case where a convict h Another book I'm reading for my US history paper that I'm writing about Colonial America use of convicts as indentured servants or white slavery. The previous two books I've read on the subject was Emigrants in Chains and Bound for America. I found this book to repeat some of the same things brought up in the other ones, but I would prefer this one over the others in that the depth in which he does to explaining situations. For example, in Bound for America Ekirch stated a case where a convict had murdered his master and the masters wife, nothing else. Jordan not only delves into what caused the man to murder to them, but also accounts the convicts trial and the ripple effect that occurred because of this. White Cargo does not specifically deal with Britain's convicts being sent to Colonial America. He also goes into, the Irish, Scottish convicts being sent, political prisoners, street children, people who were kidnapped and sent to the "new world". Not only that he deals with how England was leading up to transportation and the people who were involved in creating it (you'd be surprised). He delves into the corruption that was prevalent in England at the time and their laws which protected property but not people. Jordan provided much valuable information that I could use for my paper and it was an engaging and thrilling (sometimes horrifying) read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marta

    I thought one of his quotations was odd, so I flipped to the back to check the source, and was ... confused.... because he seems to have based most of his work on 19th century secondary sources and Howard Zinn. And at one point, the "Penguin History of the United States of America." I'm going to find another book about this subject. I thought one of his quotations was odd, so I flipped to the back to check the source, and was ... confused.... because he seems to have based most of his work on 19th century secondary sources and Howard Zinn. And at one point, the "Penguin History of the United States of America." I'm going to find another book about this subject.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Robert Steuckers

    Slaves in American history were surely mainly Blacks in recent history. It was not always the case. Irish people or Catholics in general were generally reduced to slavery in the 17th century and poor Protestant British people got the status of "Indentured servants". The American society at the very beginning of its history was based on slavery or quasi slavery and certainly not on freedom. The Founding fathers spoke about religious freedom but created a society that reduced others to slavery. Th Slaves in American history were surely mainly Blacks in recent history. It was not always the case. Irish people or Catholics in general were generally reduced to slavery in the 17th century and poor Protestant British people got the status of "Indentured servants". The American society at the very beginning of its history was based on slavery or quasi slavery and certainly not on freedom. The Founding fathers spoke about religious freedom but created a society that reduced others to slavery. The book destroys the myth of America as the elected area where pure freedom could reign. it explains also the origins of the anti-slavery movement in Europe, that was a reaction against Barbary pirates, who caught slaves in Southern Europe or even in the British Isles, and against the puritanical (or from disguised puritanism) slavery where also Whites were victims of. The book is useful to get rid of the European sens of guilt, which is totally preposterous.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jurij Fedorov

    INTRODUCTION - IN THE SHADOW OF THE MYTH 7/10 Very passionate intro on White slavery in North America. It's a bit hard to follow all the terms though. It's hard to fully understand what slaves were or how they were captured or found. But it's a high energy intro completely selling you on the book and the main theory. CHAPTER ONE - A PLACE FOR THE UNWANTED Elizabethan adventurers dreamed of an American empire that would give them gold and glory. Others saw the New World as a dumping ground for Englan INTRODUCTION - IN THE SHADOW OF THE MYTH 7/10 Very passionate intro on White slavery in North America. It's a bit hard to follow all the terms though. It's hard to fully understand what slaves were or how they were captured or found. But it's a high energy intro completely selling you on the book and the main theory. CHAPTER ONE - A PLACE FOR THE UNWANTED Elizabethan adventurers dreamed of an American empire that would give them gold and glory. Others saw the New World as a dumping ground for England’s unwanted poor. 7/10 As always I suck at names and it was a bit hard remembering who is who in the nobility and merchant class. I understand they are big people but in audiobooks it's hard to keep track of names but still easy to keep track of clear plots. This chapter jumps from big man to big man telling us about their handiwork, but not really telling us about how people actually lived. Only the laws reveal how common folk may have felt about their life situation. One example of the fast storytelling is that the Roanoke colony is only mentioned in passing while the businessman trying to make the colony work has a whole biography here. Should have been the other way around, but they try to focus on the people and not well-known stories. It's an interesting biography, but he's not the average citizen here so his story doesn't add much personal touch to the setting. CHAPTER TWO - THE JUDGE’S DREAM A highwayman who became Lord Chief Justice planned to colonise America with criminals. He began to empty England’s gaols and set a precedent. 7,5/10 Yet again we follow a man with a big idea. A rich lawyer who became the richest lawyer ever by taking bribes. A man from nobility had a pregnant woman transported to a mansion then threw her newborn into a fireplace. He walked free because of a huge bribe as he gave this lawyer/judge his mansion. This Lord Chief Justice was one of the original planners for the colonies. I looked up this story just very fast online and didn't spot the same conclusions right away. Makes you wish that they had given us sources for all these spicy claims because some of them are just rumors that are not taken as seriously in other modern sources. Still it's hard to really get to know the common people here. Their stories were typically not written down so it's hard to understand who they were or what criminals they were. Yet it's a good chapter as it's simple. There are only a few names main here and it's easy to understand it overall so it's an improvement. CHAPTER THREE - THE MERCHANT PRINCE The mastermind behind the first successful English colony in America was reputedly Britain’s richest man. He kept a fledgling Virginia going and paved the way for the first white slaves. 7/10 I read the 3 next chapters in a row. The audiobook just rushes the title and gets moving so you may miss a title mention at times. I will write down some main points, but often I'll only remember a gist of it. You just have to read the book to get the full facts. Anyhow, this is a bit like the last chapter. A rich man wants to find gold in USA and tells the men to not return without gold. They were desperate to find gold but instead men died with little food yet again, and gold was nowhere to be found. As they started planting tobacco the colony finally started to produce some profit, but now the British common folk knew about the danger of it all. CHAPTER FOUR - CHILDREN OF THE CITY The Virginia Company wanted youngsters to work in the tobacco fields. The burghers of London wanted rid of street children. So a bargain was struck and hundreds of children were transported. 8/10 Children vagabonds are taken to America to "teach them skills". In reality they were basically slaves for a servitude period and most died. This is endlessly fascinating but should have been explained in even greater detail - though that's very hard as there are few to no sources from poor people. The traders were desperate for men as they just kept dying. At the same time children vagabonds crying of hunger was a huge British problem. Both problems needed solving but that would require force. CHAPTER FIVE - THE JAGGED EDGE The New World was a magnet for the poor. To get there, they had to mortgage their labour in advance. They were not to know that they had contracted into slavery and might well die in bondage 8/10 When the men arrived in America they discovered that the masters whipped transgressors and didn't allow slaves to marry the newcoming women. Some slaves were hurt or killed for breaking the laws. And many had to serve extra years. CHAPTER SIX - ‘THEY ARE NOT DOGS’ Virginia was run by planters who pushed through laws that relegated ‘servants’ and ‘apprentices’ to the status of livestock. Notionally they had rights but planters were literally allowed to get away with murder 8/10 I can see I'm running out of characters so I'll try to keep it much shorter now. This and the next chapter are good. Many real stories retold and you finally get a few stories from the point of view of the servants/slaves. This is really great. The writing is still clumsy at times in that the English is a bit too flashy and complicated, but it works fine if you really concentrate on the words. CHAPTER SEVEN - THE PEOPLE TRADE In the 1630s, almost 80,000 people left England for the Chesapeake, New England and the Caribbean, most of them indentured servants. A ruthless trade in people developed in which even a small investor could make money. 8/10 Same as last chapter. Lots of great info about the extremely harsh conditions of the colony. Most servants wanted to go back to England even if they were criminals and wanted for crimes. CHAPTER EIGHT - SPIRITED AWAY Untold numbers were kidnapped or duped onto America-bound ships and sold as servants. The ‘spiriting’ business became as insidious and organised as the cocaine racket today. Even magistrates took a cut of the proceeds. 9/10 Spectacular chapter! This is great! It's like walking into a new world you know very little about. This must be made into a movie for sure. There is so much rich storytelling here and it would make for a perfect horror mystery TV show. I want to read it again now. CHAPTER NINE - FOREIGNERS IN THEIR OWN LAND Ethnic and religious cleansing in Ireland became a model for Native Americans being cleared from the Chesapeake. During the Cromwell era, still more were displaced and Ireland became a major source of slaves for the New World. 7,5/10 This chapter feels a bit biased against the British. I don't enjoy bias, but I'm not sure if the authors tried to support the independence of Catholic Ireland of if they tried to make it a passionate story? I think they are just tacking a side to make the story interesting - which does work. CHAPTER TEN - DISSENT IN THE NORTH Until the 1650s, Scotland fought shy of transporting its unwanted to any English colony. Then religious and political dissent were made punishable by transportation to the Americas. Sometimes more died on the way than ever reached the New World. 7,5/10 Same as last chapter but with Scotland. Both these chapters feel waaaay too short to fully understand the geopolitical factors at play and they admit so much. It's engaging but I'm not really sure what actually happened here. Where did the people go? What happened to them? How did they feel about all of this? You somewhat get it but not fully. CHAPTER ELEVEN - THE PLANTER FROM ANGOLA The idea that Africans were Virginia’s first slaves is revealed as a myth through the story of one who became a planter himself and went on to own whites as well as blacks. 9/10 A story of a Black slave who became slave owner. This is a must-read story. A Black master fights a White planter (also servant employer?) to get his Black slave back. The slave had actually already fulfilled his servitude years, but as the court system is created to support an import of working men and their profit this slave was said to be a lifetime slave. This is one of the cases that created lifetime slavery in America. CHAPTER TWELVE - ‘BARBADOSED’ In the 1640s, Barbados became the boom economy of the New World. The tiny island’s sugar industry would outperform all its rivals in profits - and in its ruthless use of slave labour. 7/10 On Barbados White Irish slaves die in the heat while Black slaves can work in these conditions. Soon the few slave owners on the island create rules and laws to increase their profits creating a full-blown slave state with the only goal of producing a profit. Rebellions appear regularly, but rebels are tortured and killed. CHAPTER THIRTEEN - THE GRANDEES A planter aristocracy emerged in the Chesapeake. Its members dealt in men, land and influence, creating dynasties that dominated America for centuries. But stories of brutality deterred would-be settlers from emigrating. 7/10 An intro to how planters wanted to rebuild a hierarchy, like in Britain, and how huge psychopaths could get into power in that time as the rules and laws were set up to protect industry and property not people. People would buy a lot of slaves in Europe then travel to USA and get land for each person. While in reality they were slaves not single farmers so it's a big profit for only 1 person. CHAPTER FOURTEEN - BACON’S REBELLION The planters’ nightmare of a combined uprising by blacks and whites came true when a charismatic young aristocrat turned an Indian war into a campaign against his own class, the English grandees. Swearing never again, the grandees set out to divide the races. 7/10 USA was close to being created here but the rebellion was put down and races were then split up to make sure White people would not rebel again against slavery. CHAPTER FIFTEEN - QUEEN ANNE’S GOLDEN BOOK Bogus promises of free land persuaded hordes of Europeans to sell up and leave for America. They began a nightmare journey that left some so impoverished they sold their children to pay the fare. But some outfoxed their exploiters. 7/10 Germans travel to America as a book written to market the continent convinced the poor that there is free food there offered by the queen of England. In reality 30-50% die on the ship travel and America is dirt poor so you have to slave away for years until your body gives out and you die. Conditions were miserable. This is just more direct stories about poverty and lies but the whole marketing campaign is some amazing modern trickery and very much worth a read. CHAPTER SIXTEEN - DISUNITY IN THE UNION Scottish clansmen were sold as servants in the Americas while their chieftains were allowed a comfortable exile in France - two different fates for Jacobites after 1715. Merchants made fortunes selling the clansmen in six different colonies. 7/10 Scots lose another civil war vs. England and now England wants them divided. It's preferable to send half of the war prisoners to America. But since it's a deathtrap even life prisoners don't readily agree to it. This chapter feels similar to the last civil war story and I'm not quite sure how to place all of this historically. I'd need to read all of Britain's history to understand the basics of this. CHAPTER SEVENTEEN - LOST AND FOUND The tide of kidnapping continued under the Hanoverians. In two famous instances, victims returned, as if from the dead, to denounce their abductors. One claimed to be heir to an earldom, kidnapped by the man who stole his birthright. 8/10 2 personal stories. I like this chapter. It's based on largely semi-authentic autobiographical tales about 2 different men being kidnapped as children and brought to America as slaves. They later returned to Britain. One tried to reclaim his royal title and property but never finished the trials. The other sued the city government and won his case. But initially they imprisoned him for slander and said his books should be burned. That didn't stop it from becoming popular. CHAPTER EIGHTEEN - ‘HIS MAJESTY’S SEVEN-YEAR PASSENGERS’ After 1718, England subsidised the convict trade and America was deluged with British jailbirds. Paranoia grew, with soaring crime rates and epidemics blamed on convicts. Only employers were happy: a convict servant was half the price of an African slave. 6,5/10 Pretty dry chapter just jumping from example to example without really feeling like a proper overview of a new topic. It can be hard at times to understand what the main point of any one chapter is in this book. It's basically a chronological book and this chapter feels just like another date. British slaves still arrive to America. Britain is very eager to send prisoners away, planters are eager to get this labor. Unfortunately the aristocrats in America hate this new criminal element and feel like they are ruining their culture so they want to ban them. And since this upper class controls half the country they get some say. CHAPTER NINETEEN - THE LAST HURRAH Having won their liberty in the War of Independence, Americans had no intention of allowing their country to serve as a penal colony ever again. Britain had other plans and an astonishing plot was born 7/10 Fine enough ending. USA still doesn't want to take in British prisoners and can now refuse as they are independent. So English merchants try to give prisoners false identifies as regular servants. This doesn't work. As regular Americans discover this trade they get predictably very angry and start hanging the prisoners and forbid any new ones to arrive. But what finally stops White slavery is the economy. People don't have a need to sell themselves as servants because they can find better jobs regionally. So this kind of shipping slavery dries out. White people just get too rich for it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Whitney O'Halek

    This book should be required reading in schools. This book gives and easy-to-follow, accurate, balanced account of indentured servitude and slavery, both black and white, started in 16th century Britain and played out in the American colonies. I learned a great deal from this book (white slaves arrived in America months before African slaves did, and the first person to enslave another for life was a black man enslaving another black man), and I believe everyone should give it a read. It's a lit This book should be required reading in schools. This book gives and easy-to-follow, accurate, balanced account of indentured servitude and slavery, both black and white, started in 16th century Britain and played out in the American colonies. I learned a great deal from this book (white slaves arrived in America months before African slaves did, and the first person to enslave another for life was a black man enslaving another black man), and I believe everyone should give it a read. It's a little back story-heavy on the front end, but all the details come into play throughout the text. Well worth the read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ed Hillenbrand

    Some people talk of hating all people equally, the English of the 17th and 18th century lived it. They kidnapped and sold into slavery their own children! The “Powers That Be” at this time were mean spirited, miserable wretches that in fact did enslave many from the British Isles. This book gives some frightening statistics and the method of operandi of those who committed these heinous crimes, from Cromwell to the meanest street thug. A must read for anyone going to teach about colonial America Some people talk of hating all people equally, the English of the 17th and 18th century lived it. They kidnapped and sold into slavery their own children! The “Powers That Be” at this time were mean spirited, miserable wretches that in fact did enslave many from the British Isles. This book gives some frightening statistics and the method of operandi of those who committed these heinous crimes, from Cromwell to the meanest street thug. A must read for anyone going to teach about colonial America or slavery. And now the teaser: the first recorded slave for life in the colonies was registered by an African., himself a former “indentured servant”.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    Very interesting I didn’t realize this part of our history. Included British and Irish convicts

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    This book is about the falsities of indentured servitude. I remember learning that many whites who could not afford passage to the New World were brought to America through indentured servitude. An employer would pay their way and, in return, the indentured servant would work for their new employer for seven years learning a trade for free. Then, they would be free to go work on their own for a salary. Sounds nice, doesn't it? The reality, vagrants, homeless teens, unwanted children, and poor wom This book is about the falsities of indentured servitude. I remember learning that many whites who could not afford passage to the New World were brought to America through indentured servitude. An employer would pay their way and, in return, the indentured servant would work for their new employer for seven years learning a trade for free. Then, they would be free to go work on their own for a salary. Sounds nice, doesn't it? The reality, vagrants, homeless teens, unwanted children, and poor women (and prostitutes) were kidnapped or sent to the New World to clean up the streets of England. Most of these people didn't survive their seven years. Those that did, would find they owed more time for various reasons. If they did get free, the land they were given was worthless and the didn't have the finances to maintain it. Some poorer families would place their children and toddlers into indentured servitude hoping they would have a better life. They didn't realize they were giving their children a death sentence. Indentured servitude was for whites or blacks, most died in indentured servitude, they could be sold to other masters. Very few had a good life. What another tragic part of our history that most do not know about!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Sullivan

    I came across this book in the course of my volunteer work with building family histories for African Americans off the 1900-1920 censuses in the south US states. So many of the last names (often adopted from their masters when freed) were Scottish or Irish, which was very curious to me. This book is a thorough explanation of why that might be: it explores the founding of America from 1600-1800, as to the various attempts at founding and the people who were treated as property (slaves) to help t I came across this book in the course of my volunteer work with building family histories for African Americans off the 1900-1920 censuses in the south US states. So many of the last names (often adopted from their masters when freed) were Scottish or Irish, which was very curious to me. This book is a thorough explanation of why that might be: it explores the founding of America from 1600-1800, as to the various attempts at founding and the people who were treated as property (slaves) to help them achieve success. I learned about indentured servants in my schooling but thought of them as apprentices who were freed after the 7 years or so. I was so wrong! I appreciate all the sources in this book that go into court proceedings and other records to show what was really happening: indentured servants kept getting more time added to their sentences and were essentially slaves, though by a different name. It was illuminating but very sad to realize how all the founding groups used other people as property and slaves-not just those of a certain color, but whoever they could get their hands on: prisoners, kids kidnapped off the streets, foreigners, the losers of a war, worshippers of a different religion, etc. This is a vital piece of history that shows me the complexity of humanity. I’m so glad I live in a better time period.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Richard Myers

    Great book A very well documented book about the people of Ireland, Scotland and England that were forced to come to America. This book also documents the “indentured people” that came in the 1600’s were treated as slaves and very few remained alive when their indentured time was up. I highly recommended this book to everyone

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jan Stone

    It has taken me three weeks to read about the cruelty and inhumanity of white slavery in the Americas and Caribbean. As the sub title says it's the "forgotten history of white slavery" and worth remembering the cost in more than money, It has taken me three weeks to read about the cruelty and inhumanity of white slavery in the Americas and Caribbean. As the sub title says it's the "forgotten history of white slavery" and worth remembering the cost in more than money,

  22. 4 out of 5

    John Hayes

    Addresses the fact that over 300,000 British came to North America against their will, half died. It shows the plight of poor distressed people being transported. The authors pull no punches.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Garrett Mullet

    In ‘White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain’s White Slaves in America’ by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh, a disturbing and tragic tale is told of indentured servants in Great Britain’s colonies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The importation of black Africans as slaves early in American history gets a lot of attention – and rightly so. But all too often, the narrative seems to be both believed and repeated uncritically, and without closer examination, that black slavery in the co In ‘White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain’s White Slaves in America’ by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh, a disturbing and tragic tale is told of indentured servants in Great Britain’s colonies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The importation of black Africans as slaves early in American history gets a lot of attention – and rightly so. But all too often, the narrative seems to be both believed and repeated uncritically, and without closer examination, that black slavery in the colonies and Antebellum South was the only kind of slavery practiced in America, and certainly the only kind of slavery worth mentioning. Before blacks were brought here en masse, however, the British Isles exported many white undesirables from their shores in a manner and mode actually more alike than different from the African slave trade. Irish and Scots, convicted criminals, vagrants, unattended children, prostitutes and political dissidents – the British both brought them all into the colonies by the hundreds and disposed of them with much the same flippancy and contempt as we look with appropriate horror on in the case of chattel slavery of Africans. Many “indentured servants” were pressed into contracts through lies, false promises, false pretenses, and even against their will with violence and threats of violence. And as ‘White Cargo’ recounts from the historical record, many of those pressed into service were similarly whipped, beaten, abused, poorly fed, poorly clothed, poorly housed, and deprived of what we now regard as basic human rights, even to the point of early, tragic, and painful deaths hardly remarked on or mourned except as asset depreciation and lost investment. All this is very controversial to admit and talk about, of course. Even a cursory glance at other reviews of this book make that abundantly clear. And the reason for this is simple, as I see it. Many social justice warriors today are jealously committed to only recognizing white-on-black oppression, both real and perceived, whether in the present or in centuries past. And to talk about any other historical injustices would distract from black lives mattering, as they see it. So shut up already. But two things can be true at the same time. It can be true that it was awful what was done to black Africans bought and sold and held as slaves here, and also true that black Americans have not always had a monopoly on being mistreated. As it turns out, white people can be awful to white people too. And this is true because people are people, born in sin rather than inherently good. Therefore we as a human race can be relied on to seize any excuse to justify our temptations and sins against one another – including but not limited to distinctions based on race, country or continent of origin, religion and politics, socioeconomic status, or the absence of powerful social connections to which an appeal could be made. Be careful with this work, though. A certain strain runs through it which very much reminds me of Howard Zinn’s ‘A People’s History of the United States,’ and a few reviewers at GoodReads.com have noted that the print copy of this book cites Zinn as a source throughout. As is always the case regardless the author or work, it would be both unwise and dangerous to see our past and present circumstances as nothing more than class struggle pretending at higher ideals. Thereby revolutionaries justify hollow and morally bankrupt calls for the workers of the world to unite in ripping up our founding documents and what vestiges of a free market remain so as to implement Marxism. We cannot afford to keep playing into their hands, and this work might just have been intended for us to do just that. Such cautions notwithstanding, however, there is more than one important and worthwhile take-away to be had here. First of all, people can be awful to people, and find any and all excuses by which to justify their sins. They should not be allowed to do this for either their sake or for ours. And that might not seem like much of a takeaway, but hear me out. The fact of our sinful nature and what to do with it is actually the remarkable thing here. There is nothing especially new or surprising about discovering in our history that people hurt and oppress one another, nor that the strong and rich often prey on the weak and vulnerable when they think they can get away with it. The really rare thing is when there is a turning away from the kind of widespread and longstanding practices which are cataloged here by Jordan and Walsh. That is to say, “indentured servitude” and slavery are entirely normal features of human history in all times and places, mild by comparison to other things which people sometimes do en masse to other people – straight up slaughtering and trying to exterminate their rivals and enemies, for instance. The putting of an end to such practices, however, is very special, and bears closer examination. So why was slavery abolished in Great Britain and America? And why was the practice of indentured servitude stopped? That’s what we should be really curious about. For that matter, if we have similar attitudes and ways of relating to one another creeping up again in our day – which we should actually expect to find, since there is no new thing under the sun, and the nature of man has not changed in all our history since Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden – the necessary question is what has proven to work in the past for defusing and disarming those attitudes, restraining the sinful nature of man more effectively and according to truer and more righteous principles. When we ask these questions and search for their answers, what we find is that it was not from an abundance of Christianity that people treated each other the way we read about in ‘White Cargo’ and other such histories. Rather, it was a deficiency of Christian faith and practice. On the other hand, it was not due to a reduction of Christianity in public life that these practices were abolished. No, it was a surge in Christian conviction and calls to repentance which spurred men of courage and clarity to campaign hard for repeal and emancipation, and to be both heard and joined in their causes by an upswell in righteous indignation that atrocities were being perpetrated by an ostensibly Christian nation and people, in their name and with their acquiescence and blessing. Just so, we should definitely both read and study histories like this. But we should not get sucked in by the grievance industry which is always looking for fresh victims to enlist in Leftism and atheism. Rather, we should always humbly recognize that the history of people is just like the present circumstance of people – messy, and in desperate need of the grace of God. But for that, there we go also. For more assorted musings and reflections on 'White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain’s White Slaves in America' you can check out this episode of The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show podcast. https://thegarrettashleymulletshow.co...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary Catelli

    A history of colonial America's indenture servitude. In which the "servants" were bought and sold as chattel, and their time limit was often nominal, because they would die first (often owing to their masters' neglect), because they would have years tacked on as punishment for this or that, or because their masters simply refused to free them, and either they could not appeal to the courts or the courts backed their masters on specious grounds -- or even didn't pretend they had grounds. Covers the A history of colonial America's indenture servitude. In which the "servants" were bought and sold as chattel, and their time limit was often nominal, because they would die first (often owing to their masters' neglect), because they would have years tacked on as punishment for this or that, or because their masters simply refused to free them, and either they could not appeal to the courts or the courts backed their masters on specious grounds -- or even didn't pretend they had grounds. Covers the first colonies, where the law allowed rigid control of all the workers. Followed by the various kinds -- the abducted children, the convicts, the (often deceived) free-willers, the victims of the "spirits" who, even if caught, were less severely punished than horse thieves, the Irish and the Scots, the big German influx (lured by a hoax "Queen Anne's Golden Book"). . . And the horrific conditions they faced, both crossing the sea and once they land. In Barbados, where there was a large population of black slaves, all observers agreed that the slaves were treated considerably better than the indentured servants. Even if they survived to freedom, they often ended up paupers. Not to mention the crime ensuing from the convicts. And Parliament kept preventing the colonies from passing laws against it.. One American suggested sending rattlesnakes back in return, even though it wasn't fair trade, since the snakes would warn before they struck. The American Revolution ended the import, but as soon as the treaty was signed, there were British plans to resume sending convicts. It actually took some years to forbid it by law, which hardly mattered, given the reception they gave the ships. Only seven were sent, and only two managed to land their cargo. The free-willers trade trailed off for other economic reasons over the next years. Not light reading.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Terry Lloyd

    White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves is a thorough detailed account of the misery and depth of inhumanity metered out to the poor and vulnerable white citizens of Great Britain in the past. It should be noted that slavery in various forms is still present in the UK and throughout the World. Colour should not be a debating point as to which slaves suffer the most. I was once berated by a coloured gentleman that my forefathers had made his slaves. This book does show a more White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves is a thorough detailed account of the misery and depth of inhumanity metered out to the poor and vulnerable white citizens of Great Britain in the past. It should be noted that slavery in various forms is still present in the UK and throughout the World. Colour should not be a debating point as to which slaves suffer the most. I was once berated by a coloured gentleman that my forefathers had made his slaves. This book does show a more balanced view of the situation. Slavery is not just cruel but a thriving business and people of the same colour and race profit from enslaving their own kind. I found the book informative although the subject matter depressing. If you have an interest in white slave history this is a good book to read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    DeWayne Landwehr

    This is a very good treatment of a subject very few people are aware of: the slave trade before black people were imported from Africa. Thousands of Irish and British people were 'transported' to the colonies to depopulate Ireland and empty English prisons. Traditional history has taught us these people were merely 'indentured servants' who came of their own free will, but the reality was not so clear-cut. Many people became essentially slaves for their entire lives, not ever being able to work This is a very good treatment of a subject very few people are aware of: the slave trade before black people were imported from Africa. Thousands of Irish and British people were 'transported' to the colonies to depopulate Ireland and empty English prisons. Traditional history has taught us these people were merely 'indentured servants' who came of their own free will, but the reality was not so clear-cut. Many people became essentially slaves for their entire lives, not ever being able to work themselves out of their servile status. A very enlightening read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    This book explores the white slavery in the early years of America. White slaves continued up until about 1820. This is something you never hear about in history class. The authors present the beginnings of slavery and the attitudes that became part of the American attitudes. A very enlightening book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    GrahamJA

    An excellent book exposing the terrible history of white slavery in the American colonies . This book does not ignore African slavery and does not denigrate that hideous evil. The focus of the book is the despicable trade in child servants and indentured servants in general. It is a sobering expose of kidnap , lies corruption and collusion . A riveting read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Caribbean Lgbt

    American chattel slavery did not begin with a racial hierarchy, it was about financial opportunity - all people were enslaved during the colonial era - whites without means were slaves like any other cargo!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Caitlyn

    This book was very hard to understand. I’ve never had much difficulty reading books before, but I often caught myself rereading the same sentence over and over. I switched over to the audio book but it wasn’t much better.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...