1776 Slavery



       If the founders of the American Revolution were so smart and were for freedom, liberty, and no cruel and unusual punishment; then why did they allow slaves?
       There was "indentured servitude", which was a deal with a business owner (newspaper, carriage maker,...) or tradesman (silver smith, horse show maker,...) to work and learn the profession/trade for a number of months or years.  No pay, and free food and shelter.  
       Benjamin Franklin, newspaper owner, scientist, and proposed to be nominated to be the first president of America.  Was an indentured servant; he labored and learned the newspaper trade while young.
       
       CONDITIONS OF PEOPLE IN AFRICA

       People in Africa did not have clothes, sometimes couldn't get enough food, and sometimes didn't have shelter.  There were stories of cannibalism, lions and tiger eating people.  Continued stories of cannibalism throughout the decades till the 1960's when a report of a jar of pickled fingers from Africa found at an airport.  So people in colonial times thought they were giving people from Africa a better life.  They would get clothes, regular food and shelter.  And at times learn to read.  The workers in exchange for food and shelter, had to be taught to read somehow.  And had to be taught the English language, so the colonialists must have done that for them.  
       It takes some time to get money circulating in a society, a new kingdom or country.  Have to make enough coins for everyone, then have to figure out a way to distribute them:  Paying solders and businesses needed by a king or new government, then it gradually goes to the citizens.  But many farms didn't make money, didn't sell grains and vegetables, and the land was free.  So there wasn't a lot of money to pay workers and buy products; they traded instead of used money.  The farmers who made money selling to others, were able to buy slaves, or as they called them servants.  
       
       SLAVES BROUGHT OVER IN CHAINS?

       Chains were most likely expensive back then, hand made, and took a lot of hand ax chopped firewood to melt the rocks containing iron, and much time to make each chain link.  The money to buy chains would have cut into the profits of a slave businessman (or trader - did they trade for food or land?).  They would have to compete against slave shippers who didn't use chains.  And chains would hurt the moral of the slaves, promised free food, shelter and clothes.  
       If slaves were chained to the bottom of a boat hull, they would have to be released every six to eight hours for bathroom breaks.  Or the boat would smell too much for the slave capturing*/escorting workers to go down in the galley - hull to feed them and give them water so they would survive.  If no bathroom breaks, then the wood bottom of the boat would have started to rot from pee, and insects (worms?) and bacteria would start to eat the moist wood, and the ship would have sunk.  If chained, each slave would have to be released, unlocked (locks, handmade, must have been expensive too) every 6 ton 8 hours.  4 to 3 times a day, if 50 slaves in a boat, then 150 (3x50) to 200 (4x50) times a day to be unlocked.  And another 150 to 200 times a day to be locked up again.  Total 300 to 400 times a day for locking.  Too much work.  The ships workers would have a high percent quit rate.     

 
*Were people captured in Africa by slavers?  The Africans could probably run faster then the ones trying to capture them, especially if carrying chains and nets(?) to hold them.  They wouldn't know what a gun was, so you couldn't threaten them.  So they must have been promised better lives, a better country to go to.  More food, no lions and tigers to eat them.  Clothes to keep bugs from biting them; and provide what the colonists thought was dignity.  The slave businessmen that promised better things than they had in Africa, must have been more successful than any that captured and chained them (if there were any like that?).    

   

  






















posted 7/6/2015




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