In his article, Ellis wrote: This is also evidenced by the crossover of interest in Irish slavery with Holocaust denial, another dogma driven predominantly by racism. It also served as the primary source for the most radical of all these articles, so bad that practically every sentence contains an overt lie: The first slaves in America were whites, the claim is usually made — which is false; and treated even worse than black slaves — false again. If I help you pay your rent one month and we agree that in return you'll speed a week pulling weeds in my field, that is indentured servitude. While we've all heard at some point that slavery in America began not with Africans but with whites from Ireland, history tells us a very different story.
For example, the total number of people who migrated from Ireland to the Americas before the American Revolution is legitimately estimated as , The implication is that slaves were either African or Irish, black or white, didn't really make a difference. The substitution of the victims of actual atrocities committed against African slaves with Irish victims. The online sharing of these articles accelerated at a furious pace, which we can see graphically by looking at the popularity of search terms such as Irish slaves on Google Trends. Historian Liam Hogan traces the first juxtaposition of the Zong massacre with Irish suffering to , when James Mullin, chair of the New Jersey-based Irish Famine Curriculum Committee and Education Fund, wrote a lurid article blurring the lines between the history of African enslavement in the British Americas with the history of Irish colonial indentured servitude. This began as soon as they stepped off the boat. We don't even have to go back to the s to find indentured apprenticeships in America. Librarian and historian Liam Hogan has done a substantial amount of work tracking down the origins of the mythology that tries to misrepresent indenturement as slavery to promote a white nationalism agenda. This body of alt-history literature is characterized by many more errors than just this one disingenuous word substitution. This gave them a ticket to cross the ocean, but to pay for it, they entered a contractual obligation to work for nothing more than room and board for a period of time, usually four to seven years. From there, it took off. Several online articles about "Irish slaves" have inflated the number to 1, While we've all heard at some point that slavery in America began not with Africans but with whites from Ireland, history tells us a very different story. The far-right conspiracy website InfoWars, for instance, substituted the African victims of the Zong massacre with Irish victims. And once the week is over, you're on your own again. That Irish people were enslaved after the Cromwellian invasion of Ireland in The article on Globalresearch. Know all men that I, Thomas Millard, with the Consent of Henry Wolcott of Windsor unto whose custody and care at whose charge I was brought over out of England into New England, doe bynd myself as an apprentise for eight yeeres to serve William Pynchon of Springfield, his heirs and assigns in all manner of lawful employmt unto the full ext of eight yeeres beginninge the 29 day of Sept From the s onwards racism was pressed into the service of Irish nationalism. Rhode Island's online magazine Newport Buzz republished the Daily Kos article in March of , again triggering a spike in online interest in Irish slaves and fueling open racism with flagrant misinformation. In Ireland, Africa, and in the Caribbean, Irish people benefitted from the African trade, as slave merchants, factors, investors, and owners. The date is correct, when it appeared in both a British Guiana newspaper called Daily Argosy and in the Popular Science Monthly magazine, referenced below. In his article, Ellis wrote: The majority of these entered into indentured servitude in the Americas for a set number of years willingly in order to pay their way across the Atlantic, but at least 10, were transported as punishment for rebellion against English rule in Ireland or other crimes, then subjected to forced labour for a given period. But while you're pulling weeds, you're still your own person with your private life and the same rights as anyone else. But whatever the reason some believe in it, or wherever you may have heard about it, the idea of the first slaves in the Americas having been white Irish is one about which you should always be skeptical.
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Irish Slave Trade
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