Afro-Brazilian Spotlight

Note from BW of Brazil: The invisibility of Afro-Brazilian authors, subjects, themes, and protagonists is no secret. Go to any bookstore throughout Brazil, small and independent or large chain stores, and you’ll come to the conclusion that the lives of Afro-Brazilians simply don’t matter, or at least matter enough to take up space on bookshelves. […]

via Why representation matters; Jarid Arraes releases book about black Brazilian heroines and immediately breaks sales record for independent publisher — Black Women of Brazil

Bristol Slavery Profits

Blaise Castle HouseProfits

The profits that traders and plantation owners made from the slave trade and African labour could be large. Such profits were not necessarily put back into the business. Instead, many chose to spend their money on home comforts and invested in property. By the mid 1700s, many people who lived in Bristol who were involved in the African slave trade or who owned (but did not live on) Caribbean plantations moved out of the central area of Bristol. They moved to areas such as Clifton that were considered then to be ‘leafy suburbs’.

Some traders and plantation owners moved further out of the city to live in the surrounding countryside, adopting the style of the country landowner. Henry Hobhouse for example, from a slave trading family, acquired land at Castle Cary, in nearby Somerset. The Harfords, whose brass factories provided trade goods to the slave traders, bought property in Cardiganshire, in south west Wales. Caleb Dickinson (who owned a Jamaican plantation and traded in sugar in Bristol), purchased King Weston house in Somerton, Somerset. The Helyar family, who also owned Jamaican sugar plantations, owned Coker Court in East Coker near Yeovil, Somerset. Continue reading

UK Plantation Economy

Advertisement, an estate for sale on NevisThe plantation economy

Land in the Caribbean islands was cheap, but the costs of setting up a sugar plantation were high. Sir Dalby Thomas in 1690 estimated that a 100 acre plantation on the island of Barbados, with 50 enslaved Africans, seven white indentured servants, sugar mill, boiling works, equipment and livestock would cost £5,625 (over £250,000 at today’s values). To recover these costs, the plantations had to produce enough good quality sugar to pay off debts and mortgages and cover the running costs each year. The owners also wanted a profit. Some families, such as the Pinneys of Nevis in the Caribbean and Bristol, were able to build up a fortune based on land, sugar producing and trading.

Enslaved people from Africa were the basis of these sugar fortunes. John Pinney, a plantation owner on the island of Nevis, wrote in the 1760s to his managers “a word respecting the care of my slaves and stock [animals] – your own good sense must tell you they are the sinews of a Plantation and must claim your particular care and attention”. He also wrote that “it is impossible for a Man to make sugar without the assistance of Negroes as to make bricks without straw”. Continue reading

Bristol Business

CoinSpain’s Slavery Contract
From Discovering Bristol [edited]

Spain was building its empire in the [re]discovered lands of the Americas. It needed people to work in the mines and on the plantations that were developing. At first, the local people, AmerIndians, were used as free labour. They had been in the Americas long before the Spanish and other Europeans arrived. The AmerIndians were enslaved and forced to work by the newcomers. But, the AmerIndian population decreased rapidly after the Europeans [started exploiting and murdering them]. The Europeans came with swords and guns, as well as dogs and horses. The AmerIndians had bows and arrows and spears, and were no match for the newcomers. The Europeans brought diseases such as measles and the flu. The AmerIndians were not used to these new diseases, and they died in great numbers.

In 1500, it is estimated that there were about 50 million AmerIndians in the Americas. By 1600, after 100 years of European warfare, disease and forced labour, this number had been reduced to about 8 million. Continue reading

Black Dutch

Who Are the Black Dutch?
From Ancestral Findings

The term “Black Dutch” is something you may encounter in your genealogy research, or maybe you’ve heard it mentioned in your family as being part of your ancestry? But what does it mean, exactly? Who were the Black Dutch? If you’re just getting started on your genealogy adventure, you may not know. This is the explanation you need.

I found it very interesting to learn that the Black Dutch were not one particular race. That is the most important thing to remember. It is a term that is used in historical documents to refer to several different groups. Knowing your ancestral origins and some of your family history will help you put the term “Black Dutch” in context with your own family. Continue reading

Slave Comey

Image result for slavery custom dutiesImport Duty on Slaves [13 May 1789]

Parker moved to fix a duty of ten dollars on each slave imported into the United States. Some congressmen who were sympathetic with Parker’s object preferred a separate bill on slave imports.

Mr. Madison. I cannot concur with gentlemen who think the present an improper time or place to enter into a discussion of the proposed motion; if it is taken up in a separate view, we shall do the same thing at a greater expence of time. But the gentleman says that it is improper to connect the two objects, because they do not come within the title of the bill; but this objection may be obviated by accommodating the title to the contents; there may be some inconsistency in combining the ideas which gentlemen have expressed, that is, considering the human race as a species of property; but the evil does not arise from adopting the clause now proposed; it is from the importation to which it relates. Our object in enumerating persons on paper with merchandize, is to prevent the practice of actually treating them as such, by having them in future, forming part of the cargoes of goods, wares, and merchandize to be imported into the United States, the motion is calculated to avoid the very evil intimated by the gentleman. Continue reading

Slavery and American Policing

A Brief History of Slavery and the Origins of American Policing
Written by Victor E. Kappeler, Ph.D., Eastern Kentucky University

The birth and development of the American police can be traced to a multitude of historical, legal and political-economic conditions. The institution of slavery and the control of minorities, however, were two of the more formidable historic features of American society shaping early policing. Slave patrols and Night Watches, which later became modern police departments, were both designed to control the behaviors of minorities. For example, New England settlers appointed Indian Constables to police Native Americans (National Constable Association, 1995), the St. Louis police were founded to protect residents from Native Americans in that frontier city, and many southern police departments began as slave patrols.

In 1704, the colony of Carolina developed the nation’s first slave patrol. Slave patrols helped to maintain the economic order and to assist the wealthy landowners in recovering and punishing slaves who essentially were considered property. Continue reading