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White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America Hardcover – 5 Apr 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (5 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845961951
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845961954
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 572,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Briskly written by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh, White Cargo is harrowing reading" (Daily Telegraph)

"An eye-opening and heart-rending story" (The Times)

"A fascinating account of Britain's troubled relationship with its biggest colony" (Metro London)

"This book will certainly make readers re-evaluate all the recent appeasement and hype about apologising for the slave trade" (Val Hennessey Daily Mail)

"A terrible tale, very well told" (Tribune)

Book Description

A revealing account of how thousands of Britons lived and died in bondage in Britain's American colonies --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G.I.Forbes on 15 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the story of the 300,000 plus British and Irish citizens who were either forcibly deported or went as indentured servants to slavery at the tobacco or sugar plantations of Maryland,Virginia or the Caribbean Islands in the 17 and 18 centurys.
Those forcibly deported included unwanted children,nerdowells,criminals,the Irish and the kidnapped to become chattels to be sold at will by their masters.Most suffered extreme cruelty and died at an early age.The system stopped after the American War of Independence in 1776.
Well written and researched with a few illustrations plus good notes and bibliography.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A.D. Powell on 24 May 2008
Format: Paperback
Table of Contents
Introduction: In the Shadow of the Myth

Chapter 1: 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.

Chapter 2: The Judge's Dream: A highwayman who became Lord Chief Justice planned to colonise American with criminals. He began to empty England's gaols and set a precedent.

Chapter 3: The Merchant Prince: The mastermind behind the first successful English colony in America was reputedly Britain's richest man. He kept a fledging Virginia going and paved the way for the first white slaves.

Chapter 4: 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.

Chapter 5: 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 die in bondage.

Chapter 6: `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.

Chapter 7: The People Trade: IN the 1603s, 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.

Chapter 8: Spirited Away: Untold numbers were kidnapped or duped onto America-bound ships and sold as servants.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By S Wood TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. L. O Doibhilin on 10 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an unusual book which tackles an overlooked aspect of British history. It should be compulsory reading for all who wish to understand not just British but New World history too
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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful By son of servants on 13 May 2007
Format: Hardcover
White Cargo is an eye-opener and rivetting. I give it five stars first because it has an astonishing new take on slavery that is unbelievable at first but becomes more and more credible as the story unfolds. My second reason is that it is also a real page turner that I couldn't put down. The main claims are that the first slaves in America were white, not black, that white slavery existed in fact though not in name for the entite colonial period and that whites outnumbered blacks in the slave gangs for much of the time. This knocks on the head the accepted story that slavery began with a shipload of Africanms in 1618. Apparently these Africans joined white men, women and children from England who were already enslaved and all were treated with equal brutality. Only much later were larege numbers of blacks brought in and enslaved.

It is a book that may well cause outrage among the politically correct by equating white with black suffering. We are schooled to think only of black bodies whipped and branded and treated as chattels in the New World, not of it happeninhg to hundreds of thousands of whites. However Jordan and Walsh havw unearthed a wealth of evidence that English paupers, orphans, vagrants and convicts were also shipped to Virginia in chains to be auctioned like cattle and treated no better than the Africans. Why have we never heard of this grim chapter in the history of American slavery? Is it more shameful to enslave your own race than another's?
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