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 →
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 →
I can conceive of no greater calamity than the assimilation of the Negro into our social and political life as our equal.
Attributed to ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
Before the American Civil War and even on the war’s early stages Lincoln said that the Constitution prohibited the federal government from abolishing slavery in states where it already existed. His position and the position of the Republican Party in 1860 was that slavery should not be allowed to expand into any more territories, and thus all future states admitted to the Union would be free states.
This year’s Reparations Issues Forum at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. was simply an awesome event! With Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member, House Judiciary Committee, serving as the Honorary Host, an overflow audience was treated to a series of substantive and powerful presentations calculated to strengthen the Reparations Movement in the Caribbean and the U.S. Congressman Conyers has championed the cause of Reparations in the Congress by consistently introducing HR-40, the Reparations Study Bill, since 1989. He welcomed the speakers and audience, which included several Ambassador from the Caribbean Diplomatic Corp., by restating the importance of “sustaining a dialogue on the legacy of slavery” as a means of achieving meaningful racial justice and reconciliation in America. Continue reading →
SECTION II: Alexander Pires, David Horowitz, and Karl Rahner
Guilt is one of the greatest issues at play in the debate over reparations for slavery and is a strong force on both sides of the argument. Those in favor of reparations proclaim that the United States, and essentially the descendents of slave owners, should feel guilty for the years of kidnapping, bondage, and oppression they forced upon the slaves. To make amends for these acts, the proponents of reparations believe reparations of some monetary sort should be paid to African-Americans today. Those who oppose reparations recognize the guilt in the same way that their opponents do but believe, among other things, that reparations is an attempt to absolve the guilt. Reparations might do more harm than good in terms of helping African-Americans and improving race relations, because it would likely put an end to building the bridges burned by slavery. Continue reading →
David Horowitz on Slavery: “Where’s the Gratitude?”
By Reggie Dylan, 2007
David Horowitz is a right wing, supposedly “intellectual” hit-man in the forefront of the attack on dissent and critical thinking in academia. He is the author of the October 22–26 so-called Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week (IFAW) on campuses around the U.S. and in Israel.
A foundational element in Horowitz’s agenda is his demand that academia rule out of order and suppress the investigation of, or the teaching of, the truth about the horrors of slavery and the present-day oppression of African Americans. This needs to be called out, exposed, and refuted in the course of this “Week.” Continue reading →
40 Acres and a Mule: The Reparations for Slavery Debate Griffin Coop, Nori Henk, Cory Phillips, Theological Analysis Project STH TT 810, 2001
INTRODUCTION: Historical Background and Description
Slavery as a legal institution lasted for about 250 years up until the Emancipation Proclamation of 1865 and for another 100 years, African Americans were subjected to Jim Crow laws of which they were not seen as legally equal until 1965. Initially, reparations were to be paid by giving freed slaves 40 acres of land and a mule, but the bill was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson in 1869 after having passed in Congress. However, the issue was far from being put to rest.
One hundred years later in 1969, the Black Manifesto was published, demanding monetary compensation equaling $3 billion dollars from predominantly white places of worship (Catholic, Protestant and [other] Jews) depending on the predetermined amount that the National Black Economic Development Conference calculated. This request stemmed out of the Civil Rights Continue reading →