The Underground Railroad was a secret network of safe houses that organized by people who helped runaway men, women and children slaves. From the years 1780 until the beginning of the Civil War in 1861 enslaved individuals would run away in hopes to receive help from the free and reach their way up into the northern part of the United States. Many historians have approached this topic in several perspectives. Daniel O. Sayers “The Underground Railroad Reconsidered” provides an overview of the Underground Railroad as a long-term of African-American defiance and marronage. It analyses the political economic impacts across the slave owning sectors, the slave’s culture and the influence of religion on the Underground Railroad.
The first major group of European dealers in West Africa was the Portuguese, followed by the British and the French. ”African sellers often kidnapped slaves and brought them to markets on the coast. At these markets, European and American purchasers traded materials such as cloth, iron, guns, alcohol, and decorative items that were helpful to the merchants in turn for purchasing slaves. Most frequently, slave sellers were found to be men, and they used their expanded wealth to improve their prestige. They used this to their advantage to contact themselves, through marriage, to other wealthy families in their kingdom.
Important Leaders of the Underground Railroad Throughout history, racial inequity has been an issue. In the 19th century, the rights of African Americans were the most prominent racial debate. Many U.S. citizens who were against slavery made their opinion heard by working on the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was not an actual railroad, it was a system of anti-slavery activists that helped slaves escape to freedom (Altman). The people who worked on the Underground Railroad, commonly known as conductors, “faced considerable danger, as "slave stealing" was a serious crime, punishable by fines, branding, and/or imprisonment” (Altman).
It is arguable that Fugitive Slave Act decreased abolitionist activity because it provided incentive for Northerners to comply with it. Federal commissioners who determined whether a person was truly free or not was paid a double fee whenever they decided someone a fugitive. Not only that, but any Northerners caught helping blacks, runaway or not, faced the risk of a thousand dollar fine and up to a year in jail. But, as argued by historian Lincoln Austin Mullen, in his article Fugitive Slave Laws (1793 and 1850), “Northern reaction to the law was swift and angry.
Slavery and agriculture went hand in hand throughout history but were especially connected during the antebellum period with the increase of sectional tension. Some slaveholders became preoccupied with the fear of slavery being eliminated. This differed greatly from the view presented by James Henry Hammond, depicting the strength of the South, concealing any vulnerability he felt at that time from the public eye. However, when masters wrote in private, their fear of lacking authority over slaves in the present as well as in the future becomes much more
The individuals who were slaves were "captured in warfare, some were debtors, others were criminals" (Clark, 16). The slavery was temporary and never passed down to the child. As well as, the slaves can work into their freedom, and the slaves can get married into the family that held them. There were bad parts to this type of slavery as well because some slaves were sacrificial death, woman and children were in demand for labor or even any sexual purpose. Even though this is bad on its own the Triangular Trade is deemed much worse for multiple reasons.
Slavery in America, particularly in the Southern region, was heavily depended upon due to the high demand for labor. Historically, slaves were primarily blacks but race did not become an issue until 1650, when Virginia and Maryland claimed that infidel (non Christian) slaves could be enslaved for life. Following this claim, non-whites became a target for slavery. In 1739, a group of rebellious slaves paraded towards Georgia and Florida, and killed several whites at Stono, South Carolina. After these white killings, slave codes were implemented to end rebellion and restrict mobility.
The incident had caused an uproar because the cargo and falsified evidence were justification to send the incident to court, but it’s captured by slavers endangered the lives of freemen. From the outside perspective of those who were not on the ship, but the officials in control varied their opinion. One opinion coming from the British and French naval and colonial officials, the other coming from British and French diplomatic officials. The Neirsee Incident outlined in the novel, Inhuman Traffick, expands on the differing beliefs of colonial and diplomatic officials where one follows the standard protocol for slave freedom, and the other tries to free those who are
In 1775 Equiano travelled to the Caribbean and to set up a new plantation society on the coast of Central America. Equiano did everything to create a comfortable condition of the enslaved people that was brought to work on the plantation. Because at one point Equiano was badly mistreated. A slave trader tried to enslave him, but Equiano managed to escape in a
Firstly, in Figure 2 it is shown the triangle system, the British ships would leave Europe and carry trading materials to Africa to trade what they owned for slaves or they would just kidnap them for slavery. Then they would set sail to America and place the Africans up for auction to work on fields or at master’s home to clean and take care of children (house slaves). The raw materials were then sent to Europe, causing Europe to be economically more advanced and have more power. The conditions the slaves were in while on board were unpleasant, they would travel for 2-3 months and it was estimated 300-400 or more in each ship. The men were shackled in slave shackles together below deck all cramped up (shackles shown in figure 3), while the women and children were above deck and some women were singled out and turned into ship ‘whores’.
That started Native/Colonist tension, and other notable war between these two was the Yamasee War (fought in South Carolina from 1715–1717). Later on the colonists went on to abuse of another group of people, this time the Africans. The first Africans were brought to Jamestown in 1619 (as slaves) but slavery didn’t really boom until the mid 1680’s when black slaves outnumbered white servants. Black slaves helped build the economic foundations of this nation of ours, and without them the colonists may have not flourished as they did. Even when they were ‘freed’, they were mistreated.
First off, you were treated like trash; by being either separated from your family or traded off to slave owner after slave owner. A slave would be punished for many things. Any form of resist or attempting to run away would result in some kind of punishment to break the slave’s will. Slaves would get in trouble for talking too much, disobeying, and not working hard enough. Slave owners had many punishments for slave it rarely depends how serious the crimes were.
Following the example of the French, Spanish, Dutch, and Portaguese, the English began shipping slaves from Africa to Virginia and Maryland in 1660. The English asserted their dominance over the Africans by capturing them in large numbers, "tight-packing" them onto ships, and forcing them to work until they died. Although they did not intentionally murder a large number of Africans like they did Native Americans, they did view the Africans as property and treated them without any regard for their lives. An example of this horrendous treatment is the selection process the Africans went through before even boarding the ship. When discussing the physical inspection the slaves had to endure Nash writes, "it was also part of the psychological assault meant to strip away self-respect and self-identity" (Nash 123) he reveals that every form of dehumanizing the Africans was planned out and executed.
Many people remain unfamiliar with the biological and cultural ties that exist between African Americans and Native Americans. European colonial expansion and racial constructs led to slavery, expulsion, and wars that brought three different races to collide and compete for the same limited space. With European colonial expansion, free and enslaved Africans ran away to Native American lands for refuge. These encounters led to an increased population of mixed-race people attempting to redefine a new identity for the Americas. Africans, Indians, and some Europeans would form alliances that for decades contributed to fighting colonial domination.
Although, back then was a completely different story. The Interesting Story of the life of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano shows not only the struggles of being a newcomer in America, but also the difficulties he had to persevere coming over. Slaves were considered property, and not humans, so they often received harsh treatment which sometimes even were serious injuries or death. “While we forgot our misfortunes in the joy of being together, but even that small comfort was soon to have an end”, Olaudah says and he is one of the many slave siblings that were torn apart by the selling and buying of slaves (Jefferson 57). This had to be devastating for him and his sister because not only are they thousands of miles away from home and family, but they were also torn from the little family they had left.