Slavery In America

February 26, 2019

Slavery In America

by

R.E. Prindle

 

Let’s get something straight about the different forms of slavery that have existed in the United States. In the first place no one has clean hands, just as in Africa, even Negroes had slaves in the US and elsewhere in the New World, even in Haiti. Whites owned chattels in the South, Northern Whites mined Europe to work in their factories as wage slaves to keep labor costs minimal.

Slavery in the US, other than sex slavery that is still tolerated today, had three forms: chattel slavery, indentured slavery and wage slavery.

Indentured slavery was part and parcel of US history from its very beginning. Indentured slavery was White men ‘owning’ White people according to contract. A person for whatever reason indentured himself for a period of years after which he was supposed to be freed. There were many ways for his master to increase the period. During the period of his indenture he was another man’s slave. At the same time adults and children were shanghaied from the streets of London and England for sale in the colonies.

These Whites usually described as indentured ‘servants’ were slaves in fact.   Many, many indentured ‘servants’ worked cheek by jowl with the Negro chattel slaves in the fields. In that manner White women bore many Negro children thus diluting the African blood.

Chattel slavery of Negroes was legal in every English colony, there were no exceptions. In certain States such as Massachusetts and Connecticut chattel slavery was not commercially viable and it fell into disuse. After 1812 Chattel slavery was discontinued at varying times by the various States.  Chattel slavery existed in Northern States nearly to the beginning of the Civil War. Nor did the Emancipation Proclamation pertain to any chattel slaves in slave holding States that were not in rebellion. Thus, only Negro slaves in the deep South were affected by Emancipation.

Now, just as chattel slavery was not viable in States like Massachusetts and Connecticut it did not suit the manufacturing economy of the North otherwise chattel slavery would have existed North of the Mason-Dixon line.

The basis of slavery was providing the producers with labor. Slavery was a labor problem. In the agricultural South, especially in the cotton belt, slavery was the best labor mode possible because the laborers were tied to the land and couldn’t migrate.

Providing for the slaves was the Producers responsibility, hence food, clothing and shelter was provided as a cost of doing business. There were no Negro chattel slaves that went hungry. Conditions might vary but the slaves had to be cared for. If you read in the Negro slave narratives, available on the Internet, you will be amazed at what you find.

One ex-slave didn’t regret slavery that much because he said the you never went hungry in those days. If wanted food you culled a hog from herd, killed it, roasted it and ate it. Whether that was universal or not the chattel slaves did not go hungry or unclothed.

In the North where producers wanted labor at the lowest possible cost they had to resort to wage slavery. The industrialists worked their wage slavery. The industrialists worked their wage slave harder than any chattel slave. The wage slaves worked in horrible conditions for twelve hour a day seven day a week for a pittance. The wage slavers provided nothing but that pittance. Where possible they resorted to using children, young children, and women and paid them even less than a pittance.

The wage slaves then were on their own lookout for food, clothing and shelter. All those indefensible shanty towns. In all cases they were less well off than the Agricultural slaves. The Negroes definitely had it better.

While the chattel slaves were required by law to a certain level of benevolence, the wage slave had no protections whatever. If in desperation they resisted exploitation by trying to organize they were shot down dead. They were blacklisted and were unemployable. Hence a reason for armies of hoboes roaming the land.

The ‘Saints’ from New England, the Holy Abolitionists whose sea captains bought in Africa and sold in the New World, that is North and South America and the Caribbean were also those who sought cheap White labor from European countries. The principle was to have as many different nationalities and languages as possible in order to make it difficult to combine for better wages and working conditions. Slavery was slavery and conditions were harsher for wage slaves than for chattel slaves.

Thus Negroes have no more to complain about than Whites. Slavery was part of the woof and warp of the fabric of American society.

Lincoln freed certain of the slaves in 1860 and then came Henry Ford to ameliorate the conditions of the wage slaves. Lincoln was murdered for his role in ending chattel slavery and Henry Ford has been a victim of horrible character assassination for his role in ameliorating wage slavery. Most likely the reason that good men are hard to find.

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