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Thread: The 'overlooked' Irish slave trade.

  1. #1
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    Default The 'overlooked' Irish slave trade.

    We are all aware of the horrors of the African slave trade to America and it is well documented through history lessons and film,however the Irish slave trade is practically overlooked.
    I say 'overlooked' as people tend to look towards the famine as of vast historical importance and i believe this is partly to blame for the lack of attention given to the Irish slave trade.

    ---------

    By 1637 a census showed that 69% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves, which records show was a cause of concern to the English planters. But there were not enough political prisoners to supply the demand, so every petty infraction carried a sentence of transporting, and slaver gangs combed the country sides to kidnap enough people to fill out their quotas.

    Although African Negroes were better suited to work in the semi-tropical climates of the Caribbean, they had to be purchased, while the Irish were free for the catching, so to speak. It is not surprising that Ireland became the biggest source of livestock for the English slave trade.

    In the 12 year period during and following the Confederation revolt, from 1641 to 1652, over 550,000 Irish were killed by the English and 300,000 were sold as slaves, as the Irish population of Ireland fell from 1,466,000 to 616,000. Banished soldiers were not allowed to take their wives and children with them, and naturally, the same for those sold as slaves. The result was a growing population of homeless women and children, who being a public nuisance, were likewise rounded up and sold. But the worse was yet to come.
    In 1649, Cromwell landed in Ireland and attacked Drogheda, slaughtering some 30,000 Irish living in the city. Cromwell reported: “I do not think 30 of their whole number escaped with their lives. Those that did are in safe custody in the Barbados.” A few months later, in 1650, 25,000 Irish were sold to planters in St. Kitt. During the 1650s decade of Cromwell’s Reign of Terror, over 100,000 Irish children, generally from 10 to 14 years old, were taken from Catholic parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In fact, more Irish were sold as slaves to the American colonies and plantations from 1651 to 1660 than the total existing “free” population of the Americas!

    But all did not go smoothly with Cromwell’s extermination plan, as Irish slaves revolted in Barbados in 1649. They were hanged, drawn and quartered and their heads were put on pikes, prominently displayed around Bridgetown as a warning to others. Cromwell then fought two quick wars against the Dutch in 1651, and thereafter monopolized the slave trade. Four years later he seized Jamaica from Spain, which then became the center of the English slave trade in the Caribbean.

    On 14 August 1652, Cromwell began his Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland, ordering that the Irish were to be transported overseas, starting with 12,000 Irish prisoners sold to Barbados. The infamous “Connaught or Hell” proclamation was issued on 1 May 1654, where all Irish were ordered to be removed from their lands and relocated west of the Shannon or be transported to the West Indies.

    Although the Africans and Irish were housed together and were the property of the planter owners, the Africans received much better treatment, food and housing. In the British West Indies the planters routinely tortured white slaves for any infraction. Owners would hang Irish slaves by their hands and set their hands or feet afire as a means of punishment. To end this barbarity, Colonel William Brayne wrote to English authorities in 1656 urging the importation of Negro slaves on the grounds that, "as the planters would have to pay much more for them, they would have an interest in preserving their lives, which was wanting in the case of (Irish)...." many of whom, he charged, were killed by overwork and cruel treatment. African Negroes cost generally about 20 to 50 pounds Sterling, compared to 900 pounds of cotton (about 5 pounds Sterling) for an Irish. They were also more durable in the hot climate, and caused fewer problems. The biggest bonus with the Africans though, was they were NOT Catholic, and any heathen pagan was better than an Irish Papist.

    The planters quickly began breeding the comely Irish women, not just because they were attractive, but because it was profitable,,, as well as pleasurable. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, and although an Irish woman may become free, her children were not. Naturally, most Irish mothers remained with their children after earning their freedom. Planters then began to breed Irish women with African men to produce more slaves who had lighter skin and brought a higher price. The practice became so widespread that in 1681, legislation was passed “forbidding the practice of mating Irish slave women to African slave men for the purpose of producing slaves for sale.” This legislation was not the result of any moral or racial consideration, but rather because the practice was interfering with the profits of the Royal African Company! It is interesting to note that from 1680 to 1688, the Royal African Company sent 249 shiploads of slaves to the Indies and American Colonies, with a cargo of 60,000 Irish and Africans. More than 14,000 died during passage.

    (Bibliography at bottom)
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/HUMANITY/SLAVES.TXT

    Links..
    http://www.giftofireland.com/IrishSlaves.htm

    After what went on in Ireland i was horrified to read these comments by Martin McGuiness...
    However I was not horrified to see that the BBC completely ignored the slave trade from Ireland as it is what i have come to expect from the British media who like to portrat Britain as a place that fought against slavery.

    Mr McGuinness said he found it hard to believe that slavery was ever acceptable and that it was significant to the history of Ireland.

    "There were many people who were involved, either as opponents of slavery or as traders with slave colonies," he said.

    "We need to face the fact that many Irish people became rich on the proceeds of black slavery."


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7080934.stm
    Abstinence makes the Church grow fondlers.

  2. #2

    Default Re: The 'overlooked' Irish slave trade.

    And you've 'overlooked' the fact that slave owners on Monserat were indeed themselves Irish. The slaves even had an uprising on St Pats day because they knew the owners would be off-guard. A selective bit of posting there st33ve, I expected better from you.


    " In most of the world, Thursday is an Irish holiday, commemorating the patron Saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, who converted the Irish to Christianity. But in the small island nation of Montserrat, the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, St. Patrick's Day has become a celebration of the many diverse aspects of its Irish and African heritage.

    This heritage can be traced back to the 1630s when Irish Roman Catholic planters brought African slaves to Montserrat to work the sugar cane fields.

    "Unless you factor the past in, you've left out a piece of the puzzle," says Montserratian Ann Marie Dewar. For her and many Montserratians, St. Patrick's Day primarily celebrates the March 17, 1768 Afro-Montserratian slave uprising against the nation's Irish planters.

    Though the St. Patrick's Day revolt was aborted, the martyrdom of these rebels continues to serve as an inspiration to the island's people, challenged by severe natural disaster for the past 20 years."



    http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/2005/03/18/day.shtml

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The 'overlooked' Irish slave trade.

    You're an idiot.

    The Presbyterians who lived in Ireland were not the same as the Irish 'papist' people who were sold off by Cromwell.

    The Irish people did not sell themselves as slaves, what a foolish comment.

    Were the black Africans also to blame for becoming slaves?

    Are you disputing the fact that these Irish people were sold to the West Indies and other places?
    Do you think they deserved it?
    Abstinence makes the Church grow fondlers.

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    Default Re: The 'overlooked' Irish slave trade.

    from 1641 to 1652, over 550,000 Irish were killed by the English and 300,000 were sold as slaves,
    Are you on about the Cavanaugh Plantation who bought the 'Irish slaves' board and passage or am I way off base ?

  5. #5

    Default Re: The 'overlooked' Irish slave trade.

    Quote Originally Posted by st333ve
    You're an idiot.

    The Presbyterians who lived in Ireland were not the same as the Irish 'papist' people who were sold off by Cromwell.

    The Irish people did not sell themselves as slaves, what a foolish comment.

    Were the black Africans also to blame for becoming slaves?

    Are you disputing the fact that these Irish people were sold to the West Indies and other places?
    Do you think they deserved it?
    Sorry St33ve, you're obviously more knowledgeable about this part of history than the Montserratians themselvews eh? Even though Montserrat itself was acknowledged as being a bothole for wealthy Irish catholic families, who wanted to advoid persecution.

    Well how about this one then from Akenson..

    His thesis suggests that despite the fact that the Irish experienced English imperial oppression, when given the chance, they behaved no better as slave holders than their English neighbors. "Do unto others as they have done unto you!"

    He begins with a nod to his Canadian lecture audience by noting the Irish presence in Ontario as a lead in to the case of Montserrat. Irish was the dominant ethnic group in early British Canada and contributed to an ethos which marked that province even today, "... a civilized, gentle place, the kind of world that the Irish might have created, the earth around, had they had a bit more power" (p. 5). That is about the last kind word about the Irish as civilizers in the pages that follow. Montserrat was not Canada


    http://www.h-net.msu.edu/reviews/showrev.php?id=3009

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    Default Re: The 'overlooked' Irish slave trade.

    I'm not ignoring anything, the upperclasses in Ireland were involved in slavery the majority of them were not Irish but i have absoloutly no problem admitting that some were.
    This does not disprove anything i am stating, British laws in Ireland allowed for slavery and it was their ships and colonies which were taking the salves.
    Because some of the upperclass were Irish, did not make it any easier for those in the West Indies, nor did it pass the buck.
    These Irish slave traders did not create the policy or organise the slave trade, they just benefited from it.
    Abstinence makes the Church grow fondlers.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The 'overlooked' Irish slave trade.

    Quote Originally Posted by A guy called Dave
    And you've 'overlooked' the fact that slave owners on Monserat were indeed themselves Irish. The slaves even had an uprising on St Pats day because they knew the owners would be off-guard. A selective bit of posting there st33ve, I expected better from you.


    " In most of the world, Thursday is an Irish holiday, commemorating the patron Saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, who converted the Irish to Christianity. But in the small island nation of Montserrat, the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, St. Patrick's Day has become a celebration of the many diverse aspects of its Irish and African heritage.

    This heritage can be traced back to the 1630s when Irish Roman Catholic planters brought African slaves to Montserrat to work the sugar cane fields.

    "Unless you factor the past in, you've left out a piece of the puzzle," says Montserratian Ann Marie Dewar. For her and many Montserratians, St. Patrick's Day primarily celebrates the March 17, 1768 Afro-Montserratian slave uprising against the nation's Irish planters.

    Though the St. Patrick's Day revolt was aborted, the martyrdom of these rebels continues to serve as an inspiration to the island's people, challenged by severe natural disaster for the past 20 years."



    http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/2005/03/18/day.shtml
    Whats your point?
    Originally black slaves were sold on by black slave traders.
    Does that make it any less horrific or the crimes of the European Superpowers any less reprehensible?
    I dont think so.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The 'overlooked' Irish slave trade.

    Quote Originally Posted by A guy called Dave
    Quote Originally Posted by st333ve
    You're an idiot.

    The Presbyterians who lived in Ireland were not the same as the Irish 'papist' people who were sold off by Cromwell.

    The Irish people did not sell themselves as slaves, what a foolish comment.

    Were the black Africans also to blame for becoming slaves?

    Are you disputing the fact that these Irish people were sold to the West Indies and other places?
    Do you think they deserved it?
    Sorry St33ve, you're obviously more knowledgeable about this part of history than the Montserratians themselvews eh? Even though Montserrat itself was acknowledged as being a bothole for wealthy Irish catholic families, who wanted to advoid persecution.

    Well how about this one then from Akenson..

    His thesis suggests that despite the fact that the Irish experienced English imperial oppression, when given the chance, they behaved no better as slave holders than their English neighbors. "Do unto others as they have done unto you!"

    He begins with a nod to his Canadian lecture audience by noting the Irish presence in Ontario as a lead in to the case of Montserrat. Irish was the dominant ethnic group in early British Canada and contributed to an ethos which marked that province even today, "... a civilized, gentle place, the kind of world that the Irish might have created, the earth around, had they had a bit more power" (p. 5). That is about the last kind word about the Irish as civilizers in the pages that follow. Montserrat was not Canada


    http://www.h-net.msu.edu/reviews/showrev.php?id=3009

    If I'm idiot, then at least I'm not a blinkered one

    But Akenson is. He's an Orangeman.

    In his book he pronounced it as a big revelation that Irish people could abuse their fellow man. He spent hundreds of pages refuting a claim that no one had ever made.

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    Default Re: The 'overlooked' Irish slave trade.

    The death rate in those carribean plantations would have been extremely high. The heat was so intense only the strongest Africans could actually survive. Thats not to mention disease. The plantation owners didnt need to be cruel, working there would have been a death sentance as surely as being sent to a Gulags in Siberia 300 hundred years later.

    On another point, the O'Driscolls of West Cork were famous slave traders and prirates up intil the 18th century. They were so wealthy that Cape Clear island, where they kept their wealth was actually the authentic Treasure Island. It was not uncommon to capture and sell "english" planters to Moorish traders who used to sail up the western european coast. Salvery was a fact of life everywhere until the 19th century. It was even vouched for in the Bible(one of St. Pauls letters).
    "They take away our freedom in the name of liberty"

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The 'overlooked' Irish slave trade.

    St333ve

    Just wan tto highlight a few points.

    1637
    1641 to 1652
    1649
    1650
    1651 to 1660

    Hell the latest date I could find was 1680 to 1688

    1688 thats, wait for it 320 years ago.

    I agree that its a terrible story and a sad reflection on the time.

    BUT

    It has no relevance with any nation, political establishment or political party today.

    So you do you let it affect your thinking and political views today ???

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