Skip to comments.A King the Pillar of the Slave Trade
Posted on 07/31/2021 7:30:12 AM PDT by ProgressingAmerica
And now for more history that the progressive professors don't want you to know.
In the book The Wrong of Slavery, the Right of Emancipation, and the future of the African race in the United States (Recently released as an open source public domain audiobook), the following is written: (page 85)
Since so small a proportion out of the whole export was directed to the United States, it is evident that the demand for slaves at that time could not have been great. Nor do we find, throughout the Report, any allusion to a direct trade by slavers from the African coast to the Continental colonies. Of course it existed, but evidently not to a large extent. The public opinion, as well as the legislation, of the colonies had uniformly been against it. (footnote 1)(footnote 1) The agency of the British Government in fastening slavery upon the Continental colonies is well known. Bancroft has placed it distinctly on record: —
"The inhabitants of Virginia were controlled by the central authority on a subject of vital importance to themselves and their posterity. Their halls of legislation had resounded with eloquence directed against the terrible plague of negro slavery. Again and again they had passed laws restraining the importation of negroes from Africa; but their laws were disallowed. How to prevent them from protecting themselves against the increase of the overwhelming evil was debated by the King in Council, and on the 10th day of December, 1770, he issued an instruction, under his own hand, commanding the governor, 'under pain of the highest displeasure, to assent to no law by which the importation of slaves should be, in any respect, prohibited or obstructed.' In April, 1772, this rigorous order was solemnly debated in the Assembly of Virginia. They were very anxious for an Act to restrain the introduction of people the number of whom already in the colony gave them just cause to apprehend the most dangerous consequences. * * * Virginia resolved to address the King himself, who in Council had cruelly compelled the toleration of the nefarious traffic. They pleaded with him for leave to protect themselves against the nefarious traffic, and these were the words: —
"The importation of slaves into the colonies from the coast of Africa hath long been considered as a trade of great inhumanity, and, under its present encouragement, we have too much reason to fear, will endanger the very existence of your Majesty's American dominions. We are sensible that some of your Majesty's subjects in Great Britain may reap emolument from this sort of traffic; but, when we consider that it greatly retards the settlement of the colonies with more useful inhabitants, and may, in time, have the most destructive influence, we presume to hope that the interest of a few will be disregarded when placed in competition with the security and happiness of such numbers of your Majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects.
Deeply impressed with these sentiments, we most humbly beseech your Majesty to remove all those restraints on your Majesty's governors of this colony which inhibit their assenting to such laws as might check so very pernicious a commerce."
"In this manner Virginia led the host who alike condemned slavery and opposed the slave-trade. Thousands in Maryland and in New Jersey were ready to adopt a similar petition; so were the Legislatures of North Carolina, of Pennsylvania, of New York. Massachusetts, in its towns and in its Legislature, unceasingly combated the condition, as well as the sale, of slaves. There was no jealousy among one another in the strife against the crying evil; Virginia harmonized all opinions, and represented the moral sentiment and policy of them all. When her prayer reached England, Franklin, through the press, called to it the sympathy of the people. Again and again it was pressed upon the attention of the Ministers. But the Government of that day was less liberal than the tribunals; and, while a question respecting a negro from Virginia led the courts of law to an axiom that as soon as any slave sets his foot on English ground he becomes free, the King of England stood in the path of humanity, and made himself the pillar of the slave-trade. Wherever in the colonies a disposition was shown for its restraint, his servants were peremptorily ordered to maintain it without abatement." — Bancroft's History of the United States, vol. vi. pp. 413, 414, 415.
"The English Continental colonies," says Bancroft, "were, in the aggregate, always opposed to the African slave-trade. Maryland, Virginia, even Carolina, alarmed at the excessive production, and consequent low price, of their staples, at the heavy debts incurred by the purchase of slaves on credit, and at the dangerous increase of the colored population, each showed an anxious preference for the introduction of white men; and laws designed to restrict importations of slaves are scattered copiously along the records of colonial legislation. The first Continental Congress which took to itself powers of legislation gave a legal expression to the well-formed opinion of the country by resolving (April 6, 1776) that "no slaves be imported into any of the thirteen United Colonies."
This used to be more widely known, hence why the race card couldn't have been played against the country until the progressives succeeded in removing the entire Founding from the history books. George Bancroft was a prominent and well-known historian in his day with his books widely read.
Relegated to the dust bin by historians with a seething hatred, Bancroft is exactly the kind of historian we all need resurrected and taught once more. Not really for this one item, but for the larger body of his work that seeks to accurately capture the Founding Fathers for who they really were instead of denegrating them at every opportunity.
George Bancroft is the anti-Zinn.
Thanks for the reminder.
By 1972 more black Africans had come to the United States on purpose than were ever brought as slaves. Buy now that number is 5 times more than were ever brought as slaves.
Thank you for posting this. The way the British crown forced slavery on the Colonies has been erased from history by those wishing to demonize the South.
By demonizing the South, Marxists seek to discredit the Founders and the Constitution as tainted by slavery.
Patriots here on FR who constantly throw the South under the bus are only serving as useful idiots to the Marxists.
Ping for later.*
Very interesting post — I have wanted to see something like this for ages and thank you for digging it up.
The motives of the colonials who wanted to stop importation of more African slaves are mixed, but clear (surplus of slaves already, fear of whites being overwhelmed demographically, changing patterns of agriculture, Slave-owning elites who would not want their slave capital to be devalued by adding supply; same group wouldn’t want arriviste competitors getting in on the slave game, etc.).
I’m very interested in a deeper exploration of the Crown’s motives in forbidding colonial non-importation laws. The quoted petition alleges purely venal motives: highly placed cronies made big profits from the slave trade. (As an aside: Could the authors have expected the King to be swayed by clothing a naked accusation of money-grubbing in transparent sycophancy? I know that slavish humility and implying advisors were really at fault was the required formula, but this was a ham-handed). Were King and Council concerned about the broader effects of allowing American colonial non-importation laws (e.g., in Caribbean sugar colonies?); encouraging the overall emancipation movement?; the empowerment of colonial elites by letting them take the initiative on setting crown policy on such a major issue; horse-trading support on other issues with various Earls of Smerl?; other aspects I can’t come up with at the moment?
I don’t doubt that cronyism and venality were involved, since this was after all, raw politics. It’s just that decisions rarely rest on simple reasons alone. That doesn’t change the facts that your material demonstrates.
The Brits like to crow about having abolished slavery in 1833 but the 1833 law only applied to the British isles, the Caribbean colonies and South Africa but not the remainder of Africa or the Asian colonies.
British East Africa (roughly the same area as is modern Kenya) had slavery until 1904, British Malaya (the Malay peninsula and modern Singapore) until 1915, and the British government in India allowed indentured servitude among the natives until 1917. British Burma until 1926, and British Hong Kong was still practicing a form of slavery limited to young women used as domestic servants until the 1930s.
The (white) Australians practiced de facto slavery of the Aborigines until the middle of the 20th Century. It wasn’t chattel slavery in that they weren’t openly sold in markets but they were confined and held against their will, sometimes in chains, and always restrained by financial means. And the practice was only ended because Aussie labor unions finally gained the political clout to have it ended so that the Aboriginal labor wouldn’t be unfair competition to them.
The Brits deserve credit for 1833.
But we also deserve credit. For 1770, 1772, 1775, and any other year these laws were passed. And any veto that prevented these laws from becoming finalized, well the Brits deserve credit (I mean scornful) for that too.
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