Complicity, How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery, by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank of The Hartford Courant – A Comprehensive Review by Gene Kizer, Jr., Part Ten, Chapter Six: New York’s Slave Pirates, Part One

A Comprehensive Review of
COMPLICITY
How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery
by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank
of The Hartford Courant
Part Ten
Chapter Six: New York's Slave Pirates
Part One
by Gene Kizer, Jr.
SLAVE-Pict-Beginning-of-Chap-Six p120 44K

At the end of this article beneath the notes I have cited is "Actual Citation from Book," Complicity's notes from Chapter Six. The picture come from page 120.

NEW YORK CITY was the slave trading capital of the planet along with Boston in the 1860s as the War Between the States raged.

New York was "the hub of an international illegal slave trade that, like the latter-day traffic in drugs, was too lucrative and too corrupt to stop."1

Slave ships were built, sold and outfitted in New York "with crates of shackles and the supersized water tanks needed for their human cargo." Officials

uncaring or bribed, look the other way as slave ships sailed from New York harbor under the flimsiest of disguises. The traffickers relied on fake owners, forged documents, and, most shamefully, the American flag's guarantee of immunity from seizure by foreign nations.2

The trade was so flagrant and accepted that "New York newspapers reported the names of ships leaving for slave voyages." The New York slave trade went on until the 1880s:

During the peak years in 1859 and 1860, at least two slave ships left from New York every month, according to one cautions estimate. Most could hold between 600 and 1,000 slaves. So in each of those years, News York ships might have carried as many as 20,000 new Africans into bondage.3

As previously stated, slave traders were much more brutal than slave masters because slave traders did not have to live with their slaves. All they did was drop them off and collect their money.

Most of the illegal slave trading in the 1860s and beyond was with "Spanish-controlled Cuba, one of the last open slave markets in the Western Hemisphere."4

In August 1860, the U.S. Navy intercepted the Erie that was "sailing suspiciously close to the mouth of the Congo." It was flying an American flag but when boarded officers found "900 newly purchased Africans." Half were children already in bad shape and 30 would die in the next two weeks before they could be delivered to Liberia, "the sanctuary and dumping ground for slavery's refugees."5

The Erie and her crew were sent back to New York, where they had started, to face charges.

A second ship at the same time and place as the Erie, the Storm King, was seized with

620 Africans, half of them children. The next month the Cora loaded with 700 Africans, was captured. All three were New York ships.6

The Erie's captain was Nathaniel Gordon, "son of a Portland, Maine, sea captain and a seasoned slave trader."

Most slave ship captains "hailed from the North, especially New England, which had dominated American shipping since colonial times."7

In the 1850s, "the coffee plantations of Brazil were a market." U.S. diplomats "reported that Gordon had landed 500 slaves near Rio de Janeiro, then burned his ship to escape capture."

Most captains did not have as long a career as Gordon. Their biggest threats were the diseases of the African coast, and slave insurrection.

In 1820:

[T]rafficking in slaves was made an act of piracy and a capital crime for U.S. citizens, though the law was hardly a deterrent. For the next four decades, prosecutions for piracy were rare, and convictions were nonexistent.8

Gordon was prosecuted and it took two trials but he was convicted and hanged on February 21, 1862 "despite a petition for mercy signed by 11,000 sympathetic New Yorkers." He was "the first and only American ever executed for participating in the African slave trade."9

The illegal New York slave trade involved all kinds of subterfuge such as switching "from legitimate merchant vessel to slave ship and back again" as well as "duplicate sets of ownership papers, and even duplicate captains and crews---one American and one foreign."10

Illegal slave ships blended easily with New York's legitimate commerce, and "official indifference" encouraged it. A captain who was arrested then released in New York to go to Rio "to gather information for his defense" never returned and bragged "'You don't have to worry about facing trial in New York City. . . . I can get any man off in New York for $1,000.'"11

The British were the most determined to stop illegal slave trading --- probably because of their enormous guilt in establishing the slave trade worldwide and carrying it on for over a century and a half --- but American slave ships were protected from the Brits. The British were not allowed to board ships flying the American flag.

Funny how New York and New England liberals hate the Confederate battle flag but it never flew over slave ships like the American flag did.

The American flag flew over New York and New England slave ships for over 200 years.

The Confederate battle flag was always a soldiers flag carried on some of the bloodiest battlefields in history by hungry, often barefoot Confederate boys defending their homes from the Northern invasion.

In truth, the Confederate battle flag is one of the greatest symbols of valor and virtue in all of history. The victories achieved under it against a more numerous, better armed enemy make it as glorious as any great flag in the annals of war.

Britain abolished slavery in its colonies in 1833 then "begun to negotiate treaties that gave its vaunted navy the right to police the slave trade. By the 1850s, the only holdout that mattered was the United States," which did not allow the Brits to detain American ships. Only the American navy could do that.12

The U.S. Navy did assign a squadron that was never any larger than five ships to patrol thousands of miles of African coast:

In the two decades before the Erie was seized, the U.S. Africa squadron had caught exactly two ships actually loaded with slaves. British commanders complained that their U.S. counterparts let blatant slave ships pass unchallenged.13

In 1862, Lincoln signed a treaty that was approved by the Senate in secret because of fear of a backlash. It allowed the Brits to board and search American ships.

American diplomats did complain about Britain because it "allowed its own merchants to export goods to Africa that they knew supported the slave economy."14

Britain's behavior was worse than that.

It appears they were running a con game that allowed them to continue slave trading at least to a degree:

[W]hen its navy captured slave ships, Britain didn't always return the "liberated" slaves to Africa. Often it delivered them to years of indentured labor on plantations in its Caribbean colonies.15

Slave traders went to New York when they couldn't get away with slave trading in other places:

In June, 1860, one of [John Albert] Machado's whalers, the Thomas Watson, aroused such suspicion while outfitting for an African voyage in new London, Connecticut, that customs officials there denied it clearance. So the Thomas Watson sailed to New York and left from there. Months later it landed 800 slaves in Cuba.16

There was an entire industry that supported the illegal slave trade in New York in the 1860s:

It included ship fitters, suppliers, recruiters of crews, and bribed marshals and customs agents. Ship owners and captains accused of violating slave trade laws often were defended by Beebe, Dean & Donohue, leading admiralty lawyers with offices at 76 Wall Street.17

Horace Greeley's New-York Daily Tribune in June, 1861, two months into the War Between the States, complained that "'the slave-traders in this city have matured their arrangements so thoroughly that they almost invariably manage to elude the meshes of the law. Now they bribe a jury, another time their counsel or agents spirit away a vital witness. . . . Fortunately, however, a new class of men [Lincoln appointees] now have direction of affairs, and a stop will be put to this iniquitous complicity with crime. . . . To effect this it will be necessary to purge the courts and offices of these pimps of piracy, who are well known, and at the proper time will receive their desserts.'"18

Greeley was a virtue signaling hypocrite who shows that the press in 1860 in New York was as big a fraud as it is today.

During President Trump's administration the New York Times won a Pulitzer Prize for the Russia Hoax which turned out to be a lie paid for by the Democrat Party and its operatives.

The racist New York Times birthed another fraud, the 1619 Project, with its primary theme that the American Revolution was fought because the British were about to abolish slavery.

There is no evidence whatsoever for that absurd claim. Not a letter, statement, document, speech, nothing. The American Revolution was fought because the colonies were fed up with being controlled and taxed by Great Britain like Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence.

It was worse for the South in 1860. Southerners were paying 85% of the taxes while 80% of the tax money was being spent in the North.19 South Carolinians stated in one of their documents:

The Southern States now stand exactly in the same position towards the Northern States that the Colonies did toward Great Britain. The Northern States, having the majority in Congress, claim the same power of omnipotence in legislation as the British Parliament.20

That address ends with "No man can, for a moment, believe that our ancestors intended to establish over their posterity, exactly the same sort of Government they had overthrown."

The hypocrite Greeley in slave-trading New York published a long emotional editorial entitled "The Right of Secession" on December 17, 1860, the day South Carolina's secession convention convened. Greeley was known for saying that our "erring sisters should be allowed to depart in peace."

This was before he realized that an independent South with 100% control of King Cotton and committed to free trade would bury the North economically.

In "The Right of Secession," Greeley writes:

--- We have repeatedly asked those who dissent from our view of this matter to tell us frankly whether they do or do not assent to Mr. Jefferson's statement in the Declaration of Independence that governments "derive their just powers from the consent of the governed: and that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government," &c., &c. We do heartily accept this doctrine, believing it intrinsically sound, beneficent, and one that, universally accepted, is calculated to prevent the shedding of seas of human blood. And, if it justified the secession from the British Empire of Three Millions of colonists in 1776, we do not see why it would not justify the secession of Five Millions of Southrons from the Federal Union in 1861. If we are mistaken on this point, why does not some one attempt to show wherein and why? . . . ---we could not stand up for coercion, for subjugation, for we do not think it would be just. We hold the right of Self-Government sacred, even when invoked in behalf of those who deny it to others . . . if ever 'seven or eight States' send agents to Washington to say 'We want to get out of the Union,' we shall feel constrained by our devotion to Human Liberty to say Let Them Go! And we do not see how we could take the other side without coming in direct conflict with those Rights of Man which we hold paramount to all political arrangements, however convenient and advantageous.21

Horace Greeley and those like him are cowardly dishonorable men.

Three months after writing this, with the Northern economy collapsing all around him, he wanted war like the rest of the North.

So much for his preventing the "shedding of seas of human blood." Greeley got 750,000 dead and a million wounded and he didn't care a damn.

The slave trade in 1861 in New York "had grown so brazen that anyone who read a New York newspaper would have known how it worked."22

New York ships "sailed to Rio de Janeiro or, later, Havana, where they might take aboard a second captain and crew" whom they would list as passengers.

When on the African coast "came a sudden switch in nationality. Just before or even while slaves were being loaded, the foreigners would declare themselves owners and commanders of what---moments before---had been a U.S. vessel."

The American crew "made the return voyage as working passengers on the now-foreign slave ship" or they returned on a ship that "was the slave ship's accomplice."23

Abolition "threatened entire national economies that were still dependent on slave labor." At this point "the illegal slave trade became more profitable and, if possible, more horrific" because ships "grew larger, able to stow close to 1,000 Africans chained in pairs between their narrow decks."24

Some slave traders built steam ships but "those new vessels led to new kinds of suffering on the centuries-old Middle Passage. The hot boilers could cause skin ulcers. Water-distilling machines that malfunctioned could poison an entire cargo of slaves."25

Wooden vessels became disposable and would often be destroyed so there was no evidence.

The profits were enormous:

In 1861, a British diplomat estimated that a single successful voyage might yield a 250 percent profit to the owners of an average slave ship. The asking price for slaves in Africa at that point was about $50, while the selling price in Cuba was more than $1,000. The diplomat's calculations included deductions for bribes fixed at $120 per slave, $25,000 for the vessel, and $30,000 for the crew. Captains were probably paid close to $4,000, enough to make a man rich.26

Slave traders counted on 10% of the slaves dying though that number could be higher:

On its way to Cuba in 1857, one of the largest New York slave ships, the Haidee, lost 200 of its 1,100 slaves.27

 

Next Week:
A Comprehensive Review of
COMPLICITY
How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery
by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank
of The Hartford Courant
Part Eleven
Chapter Six: New York's Slave Pirates
Part Two
(Click Here to go to last week's blog article:
Complicity, How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery, by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank of The Hartford Courant - A Comprehensive Review by Gene Kizer, Jr., Part Nine, Chapter Five: Newport Rum, African Slaves, Part Two)
NOTES:
(Scroll down for:
Complicity, Actual Citation from Book)

1 Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank, Complicity, How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery (New York: Ballantine Books, Copyright 2005 by The Hartford Courant Company), 121.

2 Ibid.

3 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, 122.

4 Ibid.

5 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, 121.

6 Ibid.

7 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, 122.

8 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, 123.

9 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, 123-124.

10 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, 124.

11 Ibid.

12 Ibid.

13 Ibid.

14 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, 125.

15 Ibid.

16 Ibid.

17 Ibid.

18 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, 125-126.

19 Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr., It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War (Washington, DC: Regnery History, 2020), 111.

20 The Address of the People of South Carolina, Assembled in Convention, to the People of the Slaveholding States of the United States, December, 1860.

21 "The Right of Secession," The New-York Daily Tribune, December 17, 1860 in Howard Cecil Perkins, ed., Northern Editorials on Secession (Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1964), 199-201.

22 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, 126.

23 Ibid.

24 Ibid.

25 Ibid.

26 Ibid.

27 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, 126-127.

 

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Actual Citation from Book

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