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White Slaves - America's First and Forgotten

Updated on June 4, 2012
Ships voyage to america often lost half their slaves to death.
Ships voyage to america often lost half their slaves to death.

History tends to be documented by view points of one side involved in historical events. It’s not easy researching the past, people document their results on their own bias opinion of their findings. Resulting in certain events in history getting lost in translation to be forgotten.

The arriving settlers of the new world now present day America had brought with them white slaves in profound numbers. White slaves were transported in by the thousands from Europe. Close to one half of the new world colonial settlers were white slaves. During the 17th century colonial America had an extensive operation of white slavery with the British.

These people were known as “the surplus poor” from the streets and towns of Europe. Sending into slavery men, women, and children were picked up like trash off the streets and sent to spend their remaining life as disposable work.

In 1690 Richmond Virginia slave ownership of whites out number African black slaves in staggering numbers. Around this period black slaves were not highly sought after in the slave route from Europe do to the expense and time of travel from Africa to Europe.

The word kidnapped is kid-nabbed, the stealing of white children for enslavement.
The word kidnapped is kid-nabbed, the stealing of white children for enslavement.

In 17th century Australia entered into the route which formed the 1723 Waltham act producing numbers in the hundreds of thousands sending convicts to be in enslaved in America. Our history has called this "indentured servitude" to justify this act of by saying it was a punishment for a crimes these men committed. This continued through the eighteen century giving rise to kidnapping of Anglo-Saxons being handed in to slavery as well.

History may be forgotten to the majority of modern day society; however time will always reveal the things that are hidden from us. If more people in today society knew that America's most extensive slave trade operation was white slavery.

Would this change today’s ongoing discrimination with people and the color of their skin?


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Not often do we hear about white slavery or indentured servitude. The Irish in the slums , the Scottish in the mines , or the Chinese in the railroad tunnels of the west . I actually found a document in my family history of indentured labor by my ancesters who allowed the labor of thier own children to be exploited , along with many more like this . And this is in the early twentieth century . Great topic !

    • bill yon profile image

      bill yon 

      6 years ago from sourcewall

      The Irish was also enslaved by America and Britain, forced breeding between the irish and african slaves was common. At this time Northern Europeans was supposed to be superior than every other tribe on the earth. White Slavery went away because African Slaves was becoming the dominant population, this was seen as a threat. So the powers that be incorporated the white slaves into society to gain the numbers needed to become the majority.The Japanese and the Chinese was also enslaved for a period of time the asian americans built the railroads.History is written by the powerful as well as the bible only what the powerful ones want the general public to know is what the general public knows. Other countries know more about America's true history than Americans. I learned this when I was based in Germany for a year. History is basically half truths.

    • d.william profile image


      6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Great hub. I just heard on the news a few days ago that for the first time in our history, the white race is no longer the dominant factor.

      With the new Plutocratic government in the U.S., after november 2012, there will again be just two classes in this country. The wealthy and their servants (slaves) and color will not matter, only class status.

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 

      6 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      My great grand father often told me a story of how his father was sold as a slave in slave auction and i would ask myself what happened to him, did he make the journey or he died on the way and if he did make the journey, did he extend the family linage wherever he went? I never knew slave trade was live in Western countries, do Western authors just shy away from this topic?

    • Emmanuel Kariuki profile image

      Emmanuel Kariuki 

      6 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Your hub is an eye opener. I never heard of white slaves in all my learned life, and I thought I had heard all there was about slavery. I will need to read more about this, and thanks for sharing. I will share too so others know this.

    • pagesvoice profile image

      Dennis L. Page 

      6 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

      Voted up, interesting and awesome. I am confident this history piece you have written has most assuredly educated many of your readers. Although I was aware of white slavery I never realized how extensive it was. Thank you for the lesson.

    • cruelkindness profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from an angle view.

      Diana Grant - I concur, I do recall my parents and their parents telling history they learned being slightly different. My father would relay new findings of information to his father about facts he read or heard to be different about the historic event. I have done the same myself, starting the conversation with "did you know...). Hmmm..... I'm sure the fact has never been changed from generation to generation... I'm glad they didn't have gossip back in history...

    • Diana Grant profile image

      Diana Grant 

      6 years ago from London

      It seems that facts are not facts - everything is relative, and history gets rewritten from a different perspective every generation

    • cruelkindness profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from an angle view.

      Gypsy Willow - Thank you for reading this hub, Its crazy how much of history is distorted especially learning history of ones own country in public education systems they try give such justification for their own and everyone else in the world is not as great.

      Thank you for your comment

      Cruelkindness (Subliminally Thoughtless)

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      I enjoyed reading and learning from your hub. In Australia the early slave settlers were felons and it was considered a " stain " to be descended from them. Now people are proud of it! History is a very important subject but it is obviously difficult to get a true unbiased view of many subjects as you have just proved.

    • kj force profile image


      6 years ago from Florida

      There is so much about history that has been hidden and now schoool systems are considering eliminating history as a subject,due to controversial issues ? come on..half of society doesn't remember 911..obviously it isn't a priority..which brings me to history good or bad what has it taught us? very interesting article..kudos for touching on this subject !

    • CJWood71 profile image

      Christopher J Wood 

      6 years ago from Florida, USA

      Very informative hub on a subject that gets little to no mention in the history books. I had heard bits and pieces on the subject over the years and now would like to find out more.

    • ChrisIndellicati profile image


      6 years ago from New York, NY

      Great Hub! I had already done some research into this. The reason they don't teach you this in school is because the want everyone to be fighting amongst themselves over race issues when the real issue is and always has been, class! Voted up, interesting and useful :)

    • skagitqg75 profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Hello. The Native Americans were and still are like I'm outta here. They should've felt that way. America is their native land.

      Poor whites are still considered unworthy and continue to prey on the ones... Felons?

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      6 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      This is a very good hub. Thank you for all the information you gave that many people have never known about. Why don't they teach us in school about this? That bothers me. Voting this up!

    • Diana Grant profile image

      Diana Grant 

      6 years ago from London

      I never thought about this, so thanks for directing my attention to it. And the comments by Theophanes are very thought-provoking too.

      The terrible thing is that slavery is still continuing in the modern world - people disappear, and are not found again. Occasionally someone in the UK gets arrested for people-trafficking, or forcing vulnerable people to work in appalling conditions without pay, but, on the whole, the world seems to turn a blind eye, because the West wants to keep in with certain countries,even when they know there are serious human rights abuses going on there. I myself have written about forced marriage (including a poem on the subject) - it is just another form of slavery

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 years ago from Dubai

      Interesting and insightful. Great hub.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very interesting and I'd like to see more on this topic. Could you change the all-bold text though; it's annoying to read and unnecessary

    • cherrycrime26 profile image

      January Moon 

      6 years ago from NY, Now Living in Atlanta Ga

      This was quite a history lesson for me, of course our history books have been geared towards mind control and lies, great info, voted up.

    • skagitqg75 profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Poor whites are still considered unworthy and continue to prey on the ones... Felones? Is there a rest button the white ' majority'?

    • Theophanes profile image

      Theophanes Avery 

      6 years ago from New England

      Eh, we only got white slaves because the Native Americans had this really irritating tendency to escape into the woods and never return. SIGH. Also you can't forget about the tunnels under Portland Oregon that were used to Shanghai clueless barflies. There's nothing quite like sitting down to sip at a nice Knock-Out drink only to find yourself falling through a trap door in the floor and onto a mattress a floor below, only to be led to a cell where you are kept until you can be sold to some ship to China that needs a crew. And the creativity of the captors! Taking your shoes while spreading the halls outside your cell with broken glass and rusty nails... Peachy. Anyway, I did like your article. Got to love someone that sees the weird details in history that no one knows about.

    • bryanbaldwin profile image


      6 years ago from Los Angeles

      This is something I knew nothing about, thanks for sharing.


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