Read any good books lately?

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17th century white male slavery by fellow Europeans

Postby Hermes » Dec 20th, 2017, 6:33 pm

Yesterday's bad weather I had some time to kill and I took oasis in the Cloverdale PublicLibrary. A reference title caught my eye as it appeared scholarly: Without Indentures


http://catalogue.spl.surrey.bc.ca/ipac2 ... dex=PALLTI

https://www.amazon.ca/Without-Indenture ... merReviews

I read the introductions to two of these books by the investigator in USA about slavery in 17th century UK and USA. It was in genealogy section and it was mostly lists of names. I was aware of the black enslavement of fellow blacks. We all know about American (and previously English) enslavement of black Africans. I was aware of the huge role of Arab enslavement of blacks. And I was aware of Viking (pagan) and Middle Eastern (Muslim) raids of Europe to capture slaves. But, except for Cromwell's enslavement of Irish prisoners, I didn't know about the enslavement of Britons by fellow Britons.

Disturbing just to see the 5000 names of youths. Names affect me more than numbers. The author provided the details: where they were kidnapped, where they went to go work in Maryland and Virginia, name of the ship and the captain etc. And this research dealt only with two destination states.

I felt a strong emotional identity I have not before. Intellectually I can understand a black man's anguish thinking that huge numbers of his ancestors had been enslaved, but I had never seen it in black and white about my own people, culturally and ethnically. 'Race' and the religion of my upbringing (Protestant) does make a difference when I saw that list. Humanity is not the same as one's own 'tribe'. It looked like a monument to misery of as if my own flesh and blood had their sovereignty destroyed. Even if their lives improved (but did they?) it was without consent. It was coercion. It was wholesale violence by the State. Against my people by my people.

The atrocity is that King James I permitted a law that allowed ship captains, judges and others to profit in this by shanghaing young men and boys who were 'vagrants and beggars'. Don't believe the spinning by choice of words by one Amazon reviewer. While some were 'as young as eight years old' - this is misleading. Most were young to middle teenagers. I would not excuse it if they were 35. But my point is 'don't lie or bend the truth to make a point'. The books stands on its own merits without stretching the history. The author doesn't claim the kids were tortured (though some died on the sea journey). And he reprints a court document of two slaves, one boy and one girl pleading for clothing. But it was unquestionably slavery.

Just the list, Five thousand names is good enough to make the point.

Unemployed? You get caught and you become a slave. Note that this was not people charged with real criminal offences and being sent to the colonies. It also wasn't indentured labour where a poor person signs a contract to work for X years in exchange for clearing a debt etc. This was slavery of fellow countrymen (er, boys) for minor offences sanctioned by the English Crown - just 400 years ago.

Oddly while the author distinguishes ethnicity in some of his tables, he doesn't tally the sexes. But I scanned the lists. Going by the names they were at least 95% males.

In 1699 (the peak year) there were 677 children and youths, all of them white - kidnapped into slavery and taken to Maryland and Virginia to work as slaves. LEGALLY. Their ages were sometimes falsified because by law they would have to work seven years instead of four if under a certain age (12 or 14, I forget). English boys, Scots, Irish and also from a US state the name of which escapes me right now.

Example years...

1. 1663 - whites 76, blacks 0, indians 1
2. 1664 - whites 102, blacks 0, indians 0
3. 1694 - whites 36, blacks 14, indians 1
4. 1702 - whites 41, blacks 50, indians 0

An amazing and disturbing revelation about the wealthy and powerful abusing their own people. I also want to know why the word 'boy' is not in the title, when overwhelmingly they were male youths. You can bet women's groups would make a big deal out of it (and rightfully so) if 98% of these slaves had been female.

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Re: Read any good books lately?

Postby Queen K » Dec 20th, 2017, 6:54 pm

Interesting stuff Hermes. I believe the Irish were treated extremely harshly in their slavery too.
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Re: Read any good books lately?

Postby Lady tehMa » Dec 21st, 2017, 9:26 pm

Just finished "The Man of Cloud Nine" by Adam Dreece. Canadian author, I was gifted this copy by my best friend back in November. I was drawn into the story and found myself immersed - really quite well written and compelling. Corporate espionage and a character similar to Steve Jobs, set in the (not too distant?) future . . .

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Re: Read any good books lately?

Postby ferri » Jan 10th, 2018, 4:33 pm

Today I finished reading: The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

This book is for people that like old Alfred Hitchcock movies! It was one of those hard to put down books. :D Here's the blurb from Amazon:

For readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts, to be published in thirty-six languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.

It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.
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Re: Read any good books lately?

Postby Lady tehMa » Jan 14th, 2018, 10:10 pm

I have discovered a new series and am loving it! I've read "Midnight Riot" by Ben Aaronovitch. Oddly enough, it seems to have another title "Rivers of London". It is book one in a series that is . . . unique. On the first page, you know how some books will have reviews from columnists or other authors? Here's the first one I saw
Midnight Riot is what would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the fuzz. A hilarious and keenly imagined caper.
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Re: Read any good books lately?

Postby Catsumi » Jan 14th, 2018, 10:25 pm

I'm just getting into "You Must Change Your Life" the story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin by Rachel Corbett.

I didn't know that one of my favorite poets and favorite sculptor were friends. This is about their lives and how they came to interract. Seems like a good read 20 pages in.
nothing wrong with being open minded as long as your brains don't fall out.

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