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

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NYU Press, Mar 8, 2008 - History - 320 pages
6 Reviews

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’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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WHITE CARGO: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Two British journalists unravel a significant history of indentured servitude in the New World.Before the 18th century, when Southern tobacco grandees and West Indian sugar planters imported Africans ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - elimatta - LibraryThing

It's good to see another addition to the few books on the transportation of convicts to North America. But like its predecessors, this book pretty much ignores the law. It describes all white forced ... Read full review

Contents

In the Shadow of the Myth
11
A Place for the Unwanted
21
The Judges Deam
33
The Merchant Prince
47
Children of the City
75
The Jagged Edge
89
They Are Not Dogs
99
The People Trade
113
Barbadosed
177
The Grandees
193
Bacons Rebellion
205
Queen Annes Golden Book
213
Disunity in the Union
227
Lost and Found
233
His Majestys SevenYear Passengers
247
The Last Hurrah
271

Spirited Away
127
Foreigners in Their Own Land
137
Dissent in the North
155
The Planter from Angola
169

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About the author (2008)

Don Jordan is an award-winning television director and writer who has worked on dozens of documentaries and dramas. He lives in London.

Michael Walsh spent twelve years as a reporter and presenter on World in Action and has won several awards for his work. He is now a producer and writer living in London, specializing in political and historical documentaries.

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