History of Slavery Homepage
Slave Trade, Slavery, and Early Antislavery
Recommended Reading: The SLAVE
TRADE: THE STORY OF THE ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE: 1440 - 1870. School Library
Journal: Thomas concentrates
on the economics, social acceptance, and politics of the slave trade. The scope of the book is amazingly broad as the author
covers virtually every aspect of the subject from the early days of the 16th century when great commercial houses were set
up throughout Europe to the 1713 Peace Treaty of Utrecht, which gave the British the right
to import slaves into the Spanish Indies. The account includes the anti-slavery patrols of the 19th century and the final
decline and abolition in the early 20th century. Continued below...
Through the skillful weaving of numerous official reports, financial documents, and firsthand accounts, Thomas explains
how slavery was socially acceptable and shows that people and governments everywhere were involved in it. This book is a comprehensive
study from African kings and Arab slave traders to the Europeans and Americans who bought and transported them to the New World. Despite the volatility
of the subject, the author remains emotionally detached in his writing, yet produces a highly readable, informative book.
A superb addition and highly recommended.
Recommended Reading: Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New
World. Description: Winner
of a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award, David Brion Davis has long been recognized as the leading authority on slavery
in the Western World. Now, in Inhuman Bondage, Davis sums up a lifetime of insight in this
definitive account of New World slavery. The heart of the book looks at slavery in the American
South, describing black slaveholding planters, rise of the Cotton
Kingdom, daily life of ordinary slaves, highly destructive slave trade,
sexual exploitation of slaves, emergence of an African-American culture, abolition, abolitionists, antislavery movements,
and much more. Continued below…
centered on the United States, the book offers a global perspective spanning four continents. It
is the only study of American slavery that reaches back to ancient foundations and also traces the long evolution of anti-black
racism in European thought. Equally important, it combines the subjects of slavery and abolitionism as very few books do,
and it connects the actual life of slaves with the crucial place of slavery in American politics, stressing that slavery was
integral to America's success as a nation--not
a marginal enterprise. This is the definitive history by a writer deeply immersed in the subject. Inhuman Bondage offers a
compelling portrait of the dark side of the American dream.
Uncle Tom's Cabin (Wordsworth Classics),
by Harriet Beecher Stowe (Author). Description: Edited and with an Introduction and Notes by Dr Keith Carabine, University of Kent at Canterbury.
Uncle Tom's Cabin is the most popular, influential and controversial book written by an American. Stowe's rich, panoramic
novel passionately dramatizes why the whole of America
is implicated in and responsible for the sin of slavery, and resoundingly concludes that only 'repentance, justice and mercy'
will prevent the onset of 'the wrath of Almighty God!'.
American Slavery, American Freedom.
Description: "If it is possible to understand the American
paradox, the marriage of slavery and freedom, Virginia is surely the place to begin," writes
Edmund S. Morgan in American Slavery, American Freedom, a study of the tragic contradiction at the core of America. Morgan finds the key to this central paradox in the people and politics
of the state that was both the birthplace of the revolution and the largest slaveholding state in the country. With a new
introduction. Winner of the Francis Parkman Prize and the Albert J. Beveridge Award. Continued below...
About the Author:
Edmund S. Morgan is Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University
and the author of Benjamin Franklin. Morgan was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2000.
Viewing: Slavery and the Making of America
(240 minutes), Starring: Morgan Freeman; Director: William R. Grant. Description: Acclaimed actor Morgan Freeman narrates this compelling documentary, which features a score by Michael
Whalen. Underscoring how slavery impacted the growth of this country's Southern and Northern states; the series examines issues
still relevant today. Continued below...
The variety of cultures from which the slaves originated provided the budding
states with a multitude of skills that had a dramatic effect on the diverse communities. From joining the British in the Revolutionary
War, to fleeing to Canada,
to joining rebel communities in the U.S.
the slaves sought freedom in many ways, ultimately having a far-reaching effect on the new hemisphere they were forced to
inhabit. AWARDED 5 STARS by americancivilwarhistory.org
Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (Hardcover),
by Douglas A. Blackmon. Publishers Weekly: Starred Review. Wall Street Journal
bureau chief Blackmon gives a groundbreaking and disturbing account of a sordid chapter in American history—the lease
(essentially the sale) of convicts to commercial interests between the end of the 19th century and well into the 20th. Usually,
the criminal offense was loosely defined vagrancy or even changing employers without permission. The initial sentence was
brutal enough; the actual penalty, reserved almost exclusively for black men, was a form of slavery in one of hundreds of
forced labor camps operated by state and county governments, large corporations, small time entrepreneurs and provincial farmers.
Into this history, Blackmon weaves the story of Green Cottenham, who was
charged with riding a freight train without a ticket, in 1908 and was sentenced to three months of hard labor for Tennessee
Coal, Iron & Railroad, a subsidiary of U.S. Steel. Cottenham's sentence was extended an additional three months and six
days because he was unable to pay fines then leveraged on criminals. Blackmon's book reveals in devastating detail the legal
and commercial forces that created this neoslavery along with deeply moving and totally appalling personal testimonies of
survivors. Every incident in this book is true, he writes; one wishes it were not so.
Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery. Description: Slavery in the South has been
documented in volumes ranging from exhaustive histories to bestselling novels. But the North’s profit from–indeed,
dependence on–slavery has mostly been a shameful and well-kept secret . . . until now. In this startling and superbly
researched new book, three veteran New England journalists demythologize the region of America known for tolerance and liberation, revealing a place where thousands of
people were held in bondage and slavery was both an economic dynamo and a necessary way of life. Continued below…
Complicity reveals the cruel truth
about the Triangle Trade of molasses, rum, and slaves that lucratively linked the North to the West Indies and Africa; discloses
the reality of Northern empires built on profits from rum, cotton, and ivory–and run, in some cases, by abolitionists;
and exposes the thousand-acre plantations that existed in towns such as Salem, Connecticut. Here, too, are eye-opening accounts
of the individuals who profited directly from slavery far from the Mason-Dixon line–including Nathaniel Gordon of Maine,
the only slave trader sentenced to die in the United States, who even as an inmate of New York’s infamous Tombs prison
was supported by a shockingly large percentage of the city; Patty Cannon, whose brutal gang kidnapped free blacks from Northern
states and sold them into slavery; and the Philadelphia doctor Samuel Morton, eminent in the nineteenth-century field of “race
science,” which purported to prove the inferiority of African-born black people. Culled from long-ignored documents
and reports–and bolstered by rarely seen photos, publications, maps, and period drawings–Complicity is a fascinating
and sobering work that actually does what so many books pretend to do: shed light on America’s past. Expanded from
the celebrated Hartford Courant special report that the Connecticut Department of Education sent to every middle school and
high school in the state (the original work is required readings in many college classrooms), this new book is sure to become
a must-read reference everywhere. THOMAS LEGION AWARD WINNER.