10 Common Slavery Myths


Hey, Cypher here. There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the institution of slavery, especially here in the United states. These myths often serve pernicious political purposes that can be highly detrimental to a proper conception of history, so here are ten of those myths debunked in no particular order. Since they aren’t in a particular order, each one is fairly different from the other so you should stick around because the list goes all over the place. Just as an aside, I’m going to be focusing mostly on the U.S, because this is where the myths serve their most malignant political purpose. If you are someone who is offended by these facts… Check my sources. As per usual, they are in the description. It is a common meme going around the internet. Anytime a Black Lives Matter issue comes up, I’ll see people putting these up on Facebook. Well, these are all wrong. White slaves did exist but not in the American colonies. Mostly on the Barbary coast where Muslim corsairs would capture and enslave Whites. In the New World, the closest whites got to being enslaved was indentured servitude. Indentured servitude is a system in which one is forced to labour for a limited period of time. Sometimes there were cruel bosses, but there were many more laws protecting against cruel masters of indentured servants than slaves and there was, in fact, a legal difference. Also, sometimes people were sentenced to indentured servitude for crimes they had committed. Their contracts could even be sold by owners, but generally these contracts would only be for five to twenty years Slavery indentured servitude was not some might call indentured servants sentenced to life slavery But that would be like calling a modern prisoner sentenced to life a slave That’s just weird. This myth tends to focus on the Irish who did in fact suffer tremendously under English rule some could be said to have been put into serfdom But that was in the old world in the new one the closest they came to slavery was indentured servitude And it was generally voluntary not coerced nor were they treated more brutally than black slaves the invention of slavery Predates history itself while it is generally incorrect to say that ancient persian and Egyptian States practice slavery, We know from their records that slavery existed in Surrounding States Furthermore there is archaeological evidence that shows it was a common practice throughout the world and nearly every place in the world Had slavery at some point in its history or prehistory chattel slavery as in the practice of hereditary race-based enslavement was something that was practiced throughout the middle East an Asian step for Centuries prior to 1492 [n Fact much of Islamic States practiced it until the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1918 and some well after that the last African country to abolish slavery was Mauritania, and it happened in 1981 and it is still a problem for many countries Several countries, especially Mauritania still have prominent illegal and De facto Slavery since the government is unwilling to enforce its mandates against slavery many people still hold slaves today European empires such as the Greeks and Romans Had practiced slavery and were crucial to their economies the only real reason why they stopped was that the system of serfdom? implemented after the Roman Empire made slavery kind of unnecessary for a while no black man was the first slave owner in America as Internet memes are apt to say the person they’re referring to was an Angolan indentured Servant [Naydon] Anthony Johnson who in turn came to own indentured Servant contracts after he earned his freedom he even had the first written record of Refusing to accept the end of an indentured contract thereby making the man named John Kaiser a legal slave But there had been slaves in that colony since before the Kaiser lawsuit in 1655 African slaves were sold in 1634 there and I’m not referring to indentured servants either. I mean straight-up slaves This is normally meant to show that slavery in the new world was colorblind But that doesn’t show it in the slightest it had been racially based since the second voyage of Columbus Spanish Colonies had been practicing chattel slavery for over a century Including in Florida it took a while for the racism to build up in the English colonies But it did so regardless of who owned the slaves The Civil War was not initially fought to end slavery Abraham Lincoln was very clear in 1862 by stating if I could save the union without freeing any slave I would do it and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone. I would also do that The emancipation proclamation was not an easy decision on his part [for] there were slave states fighting for the union, but it was prompted by people like John C Fremont declaring slaves emancipated under Their own authority as Military governors it also gave a crucial purpose to the Union’s fight as people were becoming more and more disillusioned [of] the Civil war Instead the North Fought to keep the union intact Ending secession was their chief motivation of course the reason for secession in the first place is a bit different oh boy is this a thorny issue I’ve done an entire episode on the causes of the Civil war But it is absolutely undeniable that slavery was a chief motivation for secession in every document proclaiming Secession slavery is explicitly mentioned This is part of lost cause revisionism they try to say that slavery was a minor factor and that the North had been trampling over the rights of the south as Independent states they bring up the tenth amendment to the constitution which states that any power expressed by the Constitution would instead be given to the states rather than the federal government they call out that there was a tremendous Difference in culture and that terrorists were choking farmers these were all factors for sure but not the most important one Lincoln being elected was and the South’s fear of his position on slavery made them secede Everything else is peripheral to this one problem. If you want more on that go watch the episode that I mentioned before In 1860 the time of the last census before the Civil war Roughly 36 percent of freeman in the south owned slaves That would seem insignificant since they were in the minority overall but as one article pointed out men is roughly the same percentage of Americans with college degrees right now [it] is not an insignificant number Furthermore the Southern Social system was entirely dependent on their peculiar institution So even if they were not slave owners most were heavily entrenched in a way of life That was absolutely dependent on slavery I’ve heard this from actual graduate students hell, Karl Marx made a similar argument in dust capital it’s that tired Marxist terminology of wage slavery ”We have been paid in two weeks and We want our wages.” ”wages. You want to be waste slave answer me that.” ”costs not but what makes way slaves” ”Wages I want you to be free” But this is a false equivocation as I pointed out in class back then when one possesses different legal rights It is impossible to say those same people are equal slaves had far less legal rights than white Factory workers in some States They had no rights whatsoever [if] a factory owner whipped their workers They could be sued or even jailed for assault as a side myth busting Americans were far more likely to sue each other prior to world war one than ever since Lawsuits were extraordinarily common in comparison to today and that myth needs to go away because it is perpetrated by big businesses and benefits them only anyways there were many business practices such as Chaining workers to their factory position that were decidedly cruel, but that is nothing compared to what many slaves Experienced now it is also a myth that all slave owners were cruel and abusive For many slavery was not as unpleasant as movies like to make it out to be after all one had to keep slaves controlled and love is often a far more potent force of coercion than fear the various acts of Rebellion that were prevalent throughout the history of Slavery had to be curtailed Somehow and many Masters were kind to their slaves But the peculiar institution had a corrosive effect on anyone involved It is true that there were slaves who were forced to work for the confederacy There is no record of slaves voluntarily working for the confederacy save for one particular instance Towards the end of the Civil war the Confederate congress passed a bill [that] allowed for a slave regiment to be created It was supposedly voluntary but then again so was their conscription act and conscription by no stretch of the definition can be defined as Voluntary in either case the regiment that was created never saw action and was a divisive issue for the confederates in General The Columbian slave trade was created by Europeans and the place that they received slaves was in West Africa But unlike what is commonly conceived they did not just go raiding inland with nets to grab up unsuspecting tribesmen the African slave [trade] was Predicated on Africans selling other Africans it was a system already in place Before Columbus arrived to take the first slaves to the new world in 1498 like most slave Institutions. It was created by capturing prisoners during warfare Europeans had no need to kidnap Africans like they show in movies all the time Africans were already doing that for them they developed an entire economy around that trade this Devastated western Africa which has yet to recover from the economic circumstances imposed by the transatlantic slave trade that doesn’t Vindicate Europeans for their slave trading of course two wrongs don’t make a right let alone How europeans would encourage the trade through their economic incentives and political maneuvering in Africa? It was a lucrative business after all it just means that Africans were active participants [in] the trade and not only victims of it First of all slavery is still an ongoing issue many countries throughout the world have Clear slavery and not just coerced labor like Chinese factory workers. I mean chattel slavery still exists We weren’t allowed to be reporting on slavery. It’s a practice the government tries to hide from outsiders But as we would find slavery is everywhere in Mauritania If you know where to look it is illegal worldwide But practiced anyways in a number of countries so slavery has not ended Furthermore abolishment of slavery was not an invention of white people the qin dynasty were the first recorded Abolitionists, they are the reason why we called that country China, *Donald Trump repeating the word china* and the first Chinese emperor was an abolitionist Slavery fluctuated throughout world history the idea that slavery is inherently wrong does not originate in Europe nor is it particularly unique their Abolition was also motivated by slave Revolts slaves were not just docile servants But often actively opposed their own enslavement slave Revolts happened throughout the Modern period One of which culminated in the liberation of Haiti long before most European countries Abolish slavery even when they were forced into the most wretched conditions possible aboard ship on the middle passage there were around 250 shipboard slave Revolts it was such a problem that slave ships often had Barricades to defend themselves against such revolts. There’s also a kind of disgusting side to claiming that whites freed the slaves *sarcastic tone* For how wonderful it is that the captors freed the captives? How nice of them to just decide on their own volition to stop oppressing people? This is a particularly pernicious myth, because it makes slaves Objects rather than actors in their own right as well as completely forgetting the western powers were Particularly egregious when it came to the abolition of slavery ALL of these myths need to be stopped

Slavery’s Scar on the United States


If you’ve ever spent an entire lunch hour
just staring at a map of the United States – what, people do that right? – you’ve
probably noticed this one line that seems to run right across the middle of the country. Why is that line there? Well to figure that out, we’re going to
have to go back to the beginning. When the United States gained independence
and the founding fathers got together to write a Constitution, it was pretty much assumed
that slavery was going to naturally die out… soon. Let me be clear, not because of any altruistic
reason or movement towards equality. But because it simply wasn’t profitable. That’s right, even 200 years ago, all anyone
cared about was their bottom line. But because it was dying out and because the
US wanted to at least appear to be on the right side of history, they wrote it into
the Constitution that the importing of slaves would be allowed only until 1808 – at which
point it was made illegal. Although that didn’t really stop it either
for reasons I’ll get to later. Slavery was up to the states, they could decide
whether to abolish or allow it. And coincidentally, it had been abolished
in the northern states. Again, not because racism was over, but because
it was simply more trouble than it was worth, literally. So let’s take a look at a map and see what
the South was really worried about. The problem with looking at modern maps like
this in order to explain slavery is that it isn’t an accurate representation of what
the US was going through. So let’s take a look at what the US looked
like in 1813. We had just started a war with Great Britain,
had bought the Louisiana Territory a few years earlier, and had 18 states. 9 free, shown in blue, and 9 slave in red. At this point, there were just over a million
slaves in the United States, and only 7 million people total, so about 16% of the population. And slavery had just become profitable. When the Constitution was written, slaves
were really only used for one crop. And it’s not the crop you’re thinking
of. It was tobacco. And sugar in the Caribbean, but sugar doesn’t
grow so well in the United States, so tobacco. The crop you were thinking of, cotton, was
extremely unprofitable. This is what cotton looks like, those seeds
are not easy to remove. It took one slave an entire day to pick the
seeds out and process one pound of cotton. To put that into perspective, an average cotton
t-shirt weighs half a pound, so a slave could make enough cotton to make two shirts a day. You obviously didn’t have to pay them wages,
but you did have to house and feed them, which was extremely difficult on only two shirts
a day. So really, slavery was on its way out, at
least until Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin, easily one of the most important inventions in history. Because it kept slavery alive. Now, instead of one slave making one pound
a day, they could make 50 pounds. It’s pretty easy to justify the cost of
keeping slaves when their profitability increases fifty times over. From the time the cotton gin was invented
until the Civil War, the number of slaves in the United States quintupled. From just under 700,000 in 1790 to nearly
4 million in 1860. So even though the importing of new slaves
was banned in 1808, that law was passed before slavery was profitable, so while a combined
US and British naval task force gave it their best college try, the trade continued. Thanks Eli Whitney. But let’s go back to the map. Tobacco and cotton were the big products in
the south and the main economic driver of slavery. You couldn’t grow those in the north, you
could really only grow corn and wheat, which you needed animal labor for, not human. So nobody really wanted to expand slavery
northwards. But we did have all of this fun new land to
the west, which most people estimated would take several hundred years for America to
expand into. As a wise man once said, if there’s one
thing we’re worse at than not murdering each other, it’s predicting the future. Anyway, after the Louis and Clark expedition,
it was pretty much figured out that the land wasn’t going to be very useful when it came
to cash crops… but it was pretty useful in the fur department. By 1817 we had evened the teams up to ten
on ten with Mississippi and Indiana. But fast forward to 1819. At this point we had agreed to jointly occupy
the Oregon Country with the British, further leading to the genocide of the buffalo, beaver,
and… some people. We uhhh… permanently borrowed Florida from
Spain, which wasn’t very useful for cash crops either. And we added Alabama and Illinois, bringing
us to 22 states. But now we had a problem. It was becoming pretty obvious to the south
that the space left for the US to expand into wasn’t very useful for slavery. And while the US House of Representatives
is apportioned by population, the Senate makes every state equal. At this point there were 22 slave-state senators
and 22 free-state senators. The Senate was what kept slavery at least
legally safe. So they wanted to maintain that equality. So in 1820, they struck a deal known as the
Missouri Compromise. Which legally mandated what the US had already
sort of been doing… *always two there are* a free state, and a slave state. The next two territories up to bat statehood
were Missouri and Maine, AND no new slave states would be admitted above this line. 36 degrees, 30 minutes latitude. This is Slavery’s Scar on the United States. Roll Credits. Before we get too deep into the compromise,
those of you with a keen eye might have noticed that Maine was already colored blue in the
1813 map. Was it already a state? Yes, but it was part of Massachusetts. Which is why it’s part of the expansion
in Fallout 4. But they wanted to break away and become their
own state, how did they come up with the name for this state? Well first, you have to understand that very
few people lived in Maine proper, they mostly lived on islands off the coast. And anyone who lives in or grew up in Hawaii
will understand that when you live on an island, the part of the country that’s on the continent
is known as the “Mainland”… and that’s how they came up with the name. Maine. Not very creative but… still interesting…
right? So back to the map. In 1837, Arkansas and Michigan were added,
whatever, but the real interesting addition to this map is Texas, which got its independence
from Mexico in 1836. And while it really, really wanted to be part
of the United States, the United States didn’t want it, because it’s divorce with Mexico
was extremely messy and anyone who has dated a recent divorcee knows that it comes with
a lot of baggage, not least of which is trouble with the ex. But I’ve talked about Texas enough in my
previous videos… so I don’t really want to give them too much screen time now… Not to mention, you can’t really grow anything
in Texas. So while Texas did have slaves, they were
mostly ranching country. Anyway, in 1846 Florida and Iowa were added…
and then in 1848 Wisconsin and… oh for.. fine. Texas was added. But wait, what happened to all that Texas
territory that went up into Wyoming? Well, Texas was a slave state, and that was
above the line. So the cut it off and gave it to what would
become Oklahoma. Which is why Oklahoma has a panhandle… there… I finally answered it… you happy? But we had also gained all of this new territory
from Mexico that year. Unfortunately, it’s not very good for growing
any cash crops… or anything else for that matter. In fact, the US had pretty much state-ified
all of the good cotton growing land. So in 1850, when California became a state,
they ran into a new problem. They had thought about dividing California
in two, California and Colorado, which I talked about in a previous video. But California didn’t really want to be
divided up… So instead they decided that California had
to send one free- senator and one slave- senator. *always two there are* Which was difficult
because there really wasn’t much slavery going on there. California is good farming land for fruits
and vegetables, not really for anything where slavery would be profitable. But they went with it… at least until 1854. Kansas and Nebraska were up for statehood,
but both of them were above the magic line. One was good for growing corn, the other for
wheat. Again, not really suited for slavery crops. So they did away with the compromise and instead
decided that the people IN that state should decide whether they are free or not. An idea known as Popular Sovereignty. The problem with this, of course, was that
suddenly, Kansas was being flooded with people from other states, slave owners and abolitionists,
hoping to sway the vote one way or another. Which, if we’re going to talk about the
actual start of the Civil War, this is where the fighting began, in what became known as
Bleeding Kansas. In 1860, Kansas decided to become a free state,
and their constitution passed the House, but was stalled in the Senate over the issue of
slavery. Four months later, the Civil War started. Which, by the way, is why Washington DC now
looks like this… rather than like this. But this also happened to coincide with Lincoln
taking office, and it’s a commonly held belief that he is why the Confederacy broke
away. But Lincoln never campaigned for abolition
and never said anything about wanting to free the slaves. It’s kind of the 1860 version of people
saying Obama wants to take your guns. Lincoln wants to take your slaves… despite
all evidence to the contrary. In fact, a year into the war, Lincoln wrote
a letter saying “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and
if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing
some and leaving others alone I would also do that.” That last one, coincidentally is what he ended
up doing with the Emancipation Proclamation. It only freed the slaves in any area in active
rebellion. So the slave states which were loyal to the
Union, occupied Tennessee, and the Union occupied areas of New Orleans and Virginia were able
to keep their slaves. It wasn’t until the war was ended and the
Thirteenth Amendment was passed that slavery ended completely. So was the Civil War about slavery? Yes. And to say otherwise is simply wrong. For the North, it was about preserving the
union and ending a rebellion. But for the South, it was a last ditch effort
to keep slavery because it was becoming increasingly obvious that western expansion was eventually
going to end it for them. The Civil War was not inevitable. That saying is part of the Lost Cause myth,
which tries to explain it away as part of the growing pains of the United States…
and they were just acting out. You know, like a teenager. It’s the end of slavery that was inevitable. So while even people like Robert E Lee acknowledged
that… actually, I’ll let him speak for himself. “The blacks are immeasurably better off
here than in Africa, morally, physically, and socially. The painful discipline they are undergoing
is necessary for their further instruction as a race, and will prepare them, I hope,
for better things. How long their servitude may be necessary
is known and ordered by a merciful Providence… This influence, though slow, is sure. … While we see the course of the final abolition
of human slavery is still onward, and give it the aid of our prayers, let us leave the
progress as well as the results in the hands of Him who, chooses to work by slow influences,
and with whom a thousand years are but as a single day. Although the abolitionist must know this,
must know that he has neither the right nor the power of operating, except by moral means;
that to benefit the slave he must not excite angry feelings in the master.” So to paraphrase, slavery will end eventually
*now don’t be hasty* but it’s not our place to end it before God wills it. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during
this instructional transition. Also, in order to benefit the slave, you shouldn’t
anger the master. Yeah, this goes out to all the people who
think that Robert E Lee was one of the good ones and didn’t actually fight for slavery. So the next time someone tries to tell you
that the Civil War was fought over state’s rights or that the Civil War was inevitable,
hopefully now, you’ll know better. Hey guys, tomorrow is my one year anniversary,
so stay tuned for a video with some special announcements. But if you enjoyed this video or you learned
something make sure to give that like button a click. If you’d like to see more from me I put
out new videos every Sunday, so make sure to emancipate that subscribe button. Also make sure to follow me on facebook and
twitter, and join the conversation on the reddit. But in the mean time if you’d like to watch
one of my older videos, how about this one?

Stamped from the Beginning: Ibram X. Kendi on the History of Racist Ideas in U.S.


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org,
The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We’re joined today by historian Ibram X.
Kendi, professor of history and international relations, founding director of the Anti-Racist
Research and Policy Center at American University. He just left the University of Florida at
Gainesville. He is the author of the National Book Award-winning
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. If you could take us through your thesis,
Professor Kendi, as you raise the profile of five figures through history, right through
today, Angela Davis, and talk about their role in our history? IBRAM X. KENDI: Sure. And so, the thesis for the book actually came
about through researching for the book, which I think is a good thing. And that was, I ended up entering into this
history of racist ideas believing this common idea that, really, the sort of origins, the
cradle, of racist ideas is ignorance—are ignorance and hate, and that ignorance and
hate leads to racist ideas, and it’s these people who have these racist ideas who are
the people who institute racist policies, like slavery, segregation and even massive
incarceration. And so, the more I sort of studied this history,
the more I contextualized the development of these ideas in their historical moment,
and, more importantly, the more I distinguished between the producers of racist ideas and
the consumers, and decided to study the producers, the more I found that people were producing
racist ideas to justify existing racist policies. In other words, racist policies were becoming
before racist ideas. And those racist policies were emerging out
of self-interest. And so, you had economic, political and even
cultural self-interest driving the creation of racially discriminatory policies, and then
the need to justify those policies led to the development of racist ideas, and then
those racist ideas and their circulation—or, more so, consumption—led to our ignorance
and hate. And so I chronicle this history through five
major characters. And the first character is Cotton Mather,
who was a Boston theologian, who, at the time—he lived from the 1660s to the 1720s—race or
racial ideas were largely theological ideas, because theological ideas were largely scientific
ideas. And so, he was involved in popularizing many
of the early theological ideas justifying or making the case for black inferiority. By the emergence of the United States, the
racial discourse became more secular, and particularly through the role of Thomas Jefferson. And Thomas Jefferson died on the eve of the
abolitionist movement—Thomas Jefferson being the second major character in the text—and
that abolitionist movement was largely spearheaded by William Lloyd Garrison, who of course was
the third major character. And W.E.B. Du Bois was the fourth major character. He, of course, was one of the sort of fathers
of civil rights and black power. And the last major character, that covers
the last 50 years, where mass incarceration, in particular, became front and center, was
Angela Davis. AMY GOODMAN: And so, talk about, from Cotton
Mather to Angela Davis, how they embodied your idea of how racist policies and ideas
develop. IBRAM X. KENDI: So, in the case of Cotton
Mather, Cotton Mather was involved in probably the first great American debate over race,
which was whether black people could become Christians. And slaveholders who were also Christian made
the case that black people were too barbaric. Cotton Mather, being a major Boston theologian,
being a major minister wanting to have a new group of people to proselytize to, made the
case that they can be Christianized, because their souls have the capacity to be white,
even though their bodies are black and inferior and worthy of enslavement. And so, this debate, he made this case for
this debate because he wanted to open up the sort of reins on the church to be able—particularly
the Puritan church, to be able to proselytize to black people. So he had this sort of hidden self-interest,
this hidden cultural self-interest, that led to his idea. And, you know, Thomas Jefferson, as many of
you would understand, I mean, he was a slaveholder who, of course, wanted to create ideas that
allowed him to continue slaveholding. And, you know, all the way up to sort of Angela
Davis. Angela Davis, I chronicle as, you know, this
major anti-racist theorist, because I really sort of show the debate, really, between racist
and anti-racist ideas. And I show, particularly within the realm
of criminal justice, that, you know, all of these ideas justifying law and order, justifying
the war on drugs, justifying tough on crime, and now justifying police being exonerated
for killing black lives, that Angela Davis was long at the forefront of challenging those
ideas by challenging the racist ideas that were underlying them. AMY GOODMAN: You write very poignantly in
the prologue to Stamped from the Beginning, “I somehow managed to write this book between
the heartbreaks of Trayvon Martin and Rekia Boyd and Michael Brown and Freddie Gray and
the Charleston 9 and Sandra Bland, heartbreaks that are a product of America’s history
of racist ideas as much as this history book of racist ideas is a product of these heartbreaks. Young Black males were twenty-one times more
likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts between 2010 and 2012, according
to federal statistics.” And you go on to say, “The under-recorded,
under-analyzed racial disparities between female victims of lethal police force may
be even greater. Federal data show [that] the median wealth
of White households is a staggering thirteen times the median wealth of Black households—and
Black people are five times more likely to be incarcerated than Whites.” Talk more about this. IBRAM X. KENDI: Sure. Well, Amy, this is—I mean, since the beginning
of the United States, since the beginning of colonial America, there has been what’s
called racial disparities, as you just outlined, racial disparities where black people were
more likely to be poor, black people were more likely to be killed by the police, black
people were more likely to be imprisoned. And so the question becomes: Why? Why is it that black people are on the lower
end of these racial disparities? Why does racial inequality exist in this country? And really, the racial debate has largely
been trying to answer that question. And really, Stamped from the Beginning chronicles
that long racial debate trying to answer that question. And really, there’s been three positions,
and those positions still persist to this day. The first position states that it’s because
black people are inferior. The reason why so many more black people are
being killed by the police is because black people keep acting recklessly before the police. If black people would act better, then this
would not be a problem. So they principally state that there’s something
wrong and inferior about black people. This is what I call the segregationist position. On the other side of the debate has been the
anti-racist position. The anti-racist position states that the racial
groups are equal. There’s nothing wrong or right about black
people or any other racial group of people. So, because the racial groups are equal, it
must—these disparities, these inequities must be the result of racial discrimination. So they spend their time challenging racial
discrimination. And then the third position, which is called
the assimilationist position, actually argues both. Typically and historically, they’ve stated
that, yes, there is racial discrimination, but there’s also something wrong and inferior
about black people. And so, they’ve sought to civilize and develop
black people at the same time they were challenging racial discrimination. AMY GOODMAN: So talk about where Black Lives
Matter fits into this picture, the organizing from the grassroots up, and where you see
it going. IBRAM X. KENDI: Yeah, I think it fits precisely
into this picture, because I think Black Lives Matter activists have made the case that the
problem is the criminal justice system, that the problem is racist policing, that the problem
is the laws that are being created that make the case that there’s something wrong with
the people as opposed to the environment that these people—the lack of jobs and resources
these people are being faced with. And so, I’m hoping, and I’m sure many
people are hoping, that Black Lives Matter and many other activists, anti-racist activists,
who have been inspired by Black Lives Matter, and other types of activists will recognize
the anti-racist position, which is that either the racial groups are equal or they’re not. And if you believe that the racial groups
are not equal, that there’s something wrong or inferior about black people, that that’s
a racist idea. And so you cannot continue to imagine that
this nation is post-racial at the same time that you don’t believe that the racial groups
are equal, that you’re championing policies that actually discriminate against black people. AMY GOODMAN: Talking to historian Ibram X.
Kendi. His book won the National Book Award, Stamped
from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. And you talk about overall racial inequities,
from everything from wealth to health. Certainly, when we look at what’s happening
right now in the Senate, though the healthcare bill has been put off for the moment, now
opposed by nine Republicans, who run the political spectrum, feeling that regulations—like,
what, Senator Paul of Kentucky—have to be stricter, that Medicaid and other healthcare
policies and safety nets have to be dismantled, to those who feel that this is way too stringent. But always at the bottom of this you have
the most vulnerable in society. So talk about from wealth to health, Professor
Kendi. IBRAM X. KENDI: So, I mean, from wealth, I
mean, the Great Recession, some have made the case, was one of the largest losses of
black wealth in American history, one of the largest losses of Latino wealth in American
history, that when we have these major economic catastrophes, you know, those people who are
the most sort of underprivileged are most likely to lose out. But I think the healthcare debate and, really,
argument, I think, is even more indicative, you know, of what we’re talking about. I mean, the Affordable Care Act led to 11
percent more black and Latino people becoming insured, which is a dramatic sort of development
within black America, within Latino America. And so, more—it eliminated these massive
disparities—or, I mean, eliminated—reduced these disparities between racial groups that
are uninsured. And so, you know, to think about a new healthcare
bill that’s going to reduce the number of people who—I’m sorry, increase the number
of people who are uninsured, I mean, many of those people are probably going to be black
or Latino, and then, therefore, we’re going to have an increase in these disparities. And then what racist ideas will say is, “Well,
it’s those black people’s fault. It’s those Latinos’ fault. You know, they should be working harder. There’s something wrong with them.” And so, they’ll create racist ideas to justify
those disparities. And I should also say that, you know, I think
one of the most consequential manifestations in this country that black life does not matter
is the disparity between how long black people live. I mean, white people are more like three-and-a-half—have
a lifespan of three-and-a-half years in this country. And I think, you know, many of these things
sort of result in that, including people having access to healthcare. AMY GOODMAN: You’re writing a new book on
how to be an anti-racist, which will be released next year. Can you give us a little preview? IBRAM X. KENDI: So, you asked about the—Amy,
ask the question again? I’m sorry. AMY GOODMAN: I was just saying, you’re writing
a new book, How to Be an Anti-Racist. IBRAM X. KENDI: Oh, yes. AMY GOODMAN: Give us a preview. IBRAM X. KENDI: Sure. So, I mention in the prologue of Stamped from
the Beginning that, you know, before I could chronicle anyone else’s racist ideas, I
first had to come to grips with my own. And so, really, in How to Be an Anti-Racist,
I want to sort of chronicle my journey, my personal journey, of really, you know, being
raised and consuming many racist ideas to seeking to become somebody who is an anti-racist. And so I begin the book with a speech that
I gave in high school, in which I uttered all of these racist ideas, all of these things
stating that there’s something wrong with black people. And I take readers through my own personal
journey, while simultaneously revealing many of the concepts of what it means to be an
anti-racist. AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Ibram X. Kendi, can
you tell us the origins of your name? IBRAM X. KENDI: Sure. So, Ibram is—was given to me by my parents. It means “exalted father.” It’s a derivative of Abraham. Came up in a Christian church—I mean, a
Christian family. My parents were part of the black theology
movement in the early ’70s. And my last name, Kendi, my wife and I, when
we wed in 2003, we decided to choose a name together. And so, Kendi is a Meru, in Kenya, name that
means “loved one.” AMY GOODMAN: And you unveiled this at your
wedding to your family and friends? IBRAM X. KENDI: Yes. Yes. AMY GOODMAN: Well, Ibram X. Kendi, I want
to thank for you being with us, professor of history and international relations and
founding director of the Anti-Racist Research and Policy Center at American University. He’s just leaving the University of Florida
at [Gainesville]. He’s the author of Stamped from the Beginning:
The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which is winner of the 2016 National
Book Award. This is Democracy Now! When we come back, we look at a lawsuit in
Washington against the Washington, D.C., police for their treatment of protesters at the inauguration
of President Trump. Stay with us.

Slavery – Crash Course US History #13


Hi, I’m John Green, this is Crash Course U.S.
History, and today, we’re going to talk about slavery,
which is not funny. Yeah, so we put a lei on the eagle to
try and cheer you up, but let’s face it, this
is going to be depressing. With slavery, every time you think, like,
“Aw, it couldn’t have been that bad,” it turns
out to have been much worse. Mr. Green, Mr. Green! But what about – Yeah, Me from the Past, I’m going to stop you right
there, because you’re going to embarrass yourself. Slavery was hugely important to America. I mean, it led to a civil war and it also lasted what,
at least in U.S. history, counts as a long-ass time,
from 1619 to 1865. And yes, I know there’s a 1200-year-old church
in your neighborhood in Denmark, but we’re not
talking about Denmark! But slavery is most important because we still
struggle with its legacy. So, yes, today’s episode will probably not
be funny, but it will be important. [Theme Music] So the slave-based economy in the South is
sometimes characterized as having been separate from
the Market Revolution, but that’s not really the case. Without southern cotton, the North wouldn’t have been
able to industrialize, at least not as quickly, because
cotton textiles were one of the first industrially products. And the most important commodity in world trade
by the nineteenth century, and 3/4 of the world’s
cotton came from the American South. And speaking of cotton, why has no one mentioned
to me that my collar has been half popped this entire
episode, like I’m trying to recreate the Flying Nun’s hat. And although there were increasingly fewer slaves
in the North as northern states outlawed slavery, cotton shipments overseas made northern
merchants rich. Northern bankers financed the purchase of
land for plantations. Northern insurance companies insured slaves
who were, after all, considered property, and
very valuable property. And in addition to turning cotton into cloth
for sale overseas, northern manufacturers
sold cloth back to the South, where it was used to clothe the very slaves
who had cultivated it. But certainly the most prominent effects of
the slave-based economy were seen in the South. The profitability of slaved-based agriculture,
especially King Cotton, meant that the South
would remain largely agricultural and rural. Slave states were home to a few cities, like
St. Louis and Baltimore, but with the exception
of New Orleans, almost all southern urbanization took place in the upper
South, further away from the large cotton plantations. And slave-based agriculture was so profitable
that it siphoned money away from other economic
endeavors. Like, there was very little industry in the
South. It produced only 10% of the nation’s manufactured
goods. And, as most of the capital was being plowed into
the purchase of slaves, there was very little room for
technological innovation, like, for instance, railroads. This lack of industry and railroads would
eventually make the South suck at the Civil
War, thankfully. In short, slavery dominated the South, shaping
it both economically and culturally, and slavery
wasn’t a minor aspect of American society. By 1860, there were four million slaves in
the U.S., and in the South, they made up one
third of the total population. Although in the popular imagination, most plantations
were these sprawling affairs with hundreds of slaves, in reality, the majority of slaveholders
owned five or fewer slaves. And, of course, most white people in the South owned
no slaves at all, though, if they could afford to, they
would sometimes rent slaves to help with their work. These were the so-called yeoman farmers who
lived self-sufficiently, raised their own food, and
purchased very little in the Market Economy. They worked the poorest land and, as a result,
were mostly pretty poor themselves. But even they largely supported slavery,
partly, perhaps, for aspirational reasons, and partly because the racism inherent to the system
gave even the poorest whites legal and social status. And southern intellectuals worked hard to
encourage these ideas of white solidarity
and to make the case for slavery. Many of the founders, a bunch of whom you’ll remember,
held slaves, saw slavery as a necessary evil. Jefferson once wrote, quote, “As it is, we
have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither
hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is on one scale, and self-preservation
in the other.” The belief that justice and self-preservation
couldn’t sit on the same side of the scale
was really opposed to the American idea, and, in the end, it would make the Civil War inevitable. But as slavery became more entrenched in
these ideas of liberty and political equality were
embraced by more people, some southerners began to make the case
that slavery wasn’t just a necessary evil. They argued, for instance, that slaves benefited
from slavery. Because, you know, because their masters fed
them and clothed them and took care of them
in their old age. You still hear this argument today, astonishingly. In fact, you’ll probably see asshats in the
comments saying that in the comments. I will remind you, it’s not cursing if you
are referring to an actual ass. This paternalism allowed masters to see themselves
as benevolent and to contrast their family-oriented
slavery with the cold, mercenary Capitalism
of the free-labor North. So yeah, in the face of rising criticism of
slavery, some southerners began to argue that the
institution was actually good for the social order. One of the best-known proponents of this view
was John C. Calhoun, who, in 1837, said this
in a speech on the Senate floor: “I hold that, in the present state of civilization, where two races of different origin and
distinguished by color and other physical differences
as well as intellectual, are brought together, the relation now existing in the slave-holding states
between the two is, instead of an evil, a good. A positive good.” Now, of course, John C. Calhoun was a fringe
politician, and nobody took his views particularly
seriously. Stan: Well, he was Secretary of State from
1844 to 1845. John: Well, I mean, who really cares about
the Secretary of State, Stan? Danica: Eh, he was also Secretary of War from
1817 to 1825. John: All right, but we don’t even have a Secretary
of War anymore, so… Meredith: And he was Vice President from 1825
to 1832. John: Oh my god, were we insane?! We were, of course, but we justified the insanity
with Biblical passages and with the examples
of the Greeks and Romans, and with outright racism, arguing that black
people were inherently inferior to whites. And that not to keep them in slavery would
upset the natural order of things. A worldview popularized millennia ago by my
nemesis, Aristotle. God, I hate Aristotle. You know what defenders of Aristotle always
say? “He was the first person to identify dolphins.” Well, ok, dolphin identifier. Yes, that is what he should be remembered
for, but he’s a terrible philosopher! Here’s the truth about slavery: It was coerced labor that relied upon intimidation
and brutality and dehumanization. And this wasn’t just a cultural system, it
was a legal one. I mean, Louisiana law proclaimed that a slave
“owes his master… a respect without bounds,
and an absolute obedience.” The signal feature of slaves’ lives was work. I mean, conditions and tasks varied, but all
slaves labored, usually from sunup to sundown,
and almost always without any pay. Most slaves worked in agriculture on plantations,
and conditions were different, depending on
which crops are grown. Like, slaves on the rice plantations of South
Carolina had terrible working conditions, but they labored under the task system, which meant
that once they had completed their allotted daily work,
they would have time to do other things. But lest you imagine this is like how we have
work and leisure time, bear in mind that they
were owned and treated as property. On cotton plantations, most slaves worked
in gangs, usually under the control of an overseer,
or another slave who was called a “driver.” This was back-breaking work done in the southern sun
and humidity, and so it’s not surprising that whippings – – or the threat of them – were often
necessary to get slaves to work. It’s easy enough to talk about the brutality of slave
discipline, but it can be difficult to internalize it. Like, you look at these pictures, but because
you’ve seen them over and over again, they don’t
have the power they once might have. The pictures can tell a story about cruelty,
but they don’t necessarily communicate how
arbitrary it all was. As, for example, in this story, told by a
woman who was a slave as a young girl: “[The] overseer… went to my father one morning
and said, “Bob, I’m gonna whip you this morning.” Daddy said, “I ain’t done nothing,” and he
said, “I know it, I’m going to whip you to
keep you from doing nothing,” and he hit him with that cowhide – you know
it would cut the blood out of you with every lick
if they hit you hard.” That brutality – the whippings, the brandings,
the rape – was real, and it was intentional, because, in order for slavery to function,
slaves had to be dehumanized. This enabled slaveholders to rationalize what
they were doing, and it was hoped to reduce
slaves to the animal property that is implied
by the term “chattel slavery.” So the idea was that slaveholders wouldn’t
think of their slaves as human, and slaves
wouldn’t think of themselves as human. But it didn’t work.
Let’s go to the Thought Bubble. Slaves’ resistance to their dehumanization
took many forms, but the primary way was by
forming families. Family was a refuge for slaves and a source of
dignity that masters recognized and sought to stifle. A paternalistic slave owner named Bennet H. Barrow
wrote in his rules for the Highland Plantation: “No rule that I have stated is of more
importance than that relating to Negroes
marrying outside of the plantation… It creates a feeling of independence.” Most slaves did marry, usually for life, and,
when possible, slaves grew up in two-parent
households. Single-parent households were common, though,
as a result of one parent being sold. In the upper South, where the economy was
shifting from tobacco to different, less labor-intensive
cash crops, the sale of slaves was common. Perhaps one-third of slave marriages in states
like Virginia were broken up by sale. Religion was also an important part of life
in slavery. While masters wanted their slaves to learn
the parts of the Bible that talked about being
happy in bondage, slave worship tended to focus on the stories of Exodus,
where Moses brought the slaves out of bondage, or Biblical heroes, who overcame great
odds, like Daniel and David. And, although most slaves were forbidden to
learn to read and write, many did anyway. And some became preachers. Slave preachers were often very charismatic
leaders, and they roused the suspicion of
slave owners, and not without reason. Two of the most important slave uprisings
in the South were led by preachers. Thanks, Thought Bubble. Oh, it’s time for the Mystery Document? We’re doing two set pieces in a row? All right.
[buzzing noise] [music] The rules here are simple. I wanted to re-shoot that, but Stan said no. I guess the author of the Mystery Document. If I am wrong, I get shocked with the shock
pen. “Since I have been in the Queen’s dominions
I have been well contented, yes well contented
for sure, man is as God intended he should be. That is, all are born free and equal. This is a wholesome law, not like the southern
laws which puts man made in the image of God
on level with brutes. O, what will become of the people, and where
will they stand in the day of judgment. Would that the 5th verse of the 3rd chapter
of Malachi were written as with a bar of iron, and the point of a diamond upon every
oppressor’s heart that they might repent of this
evil, and let the oppressed go free…” All right, it’s definitely a preacher, because
only preachers have read Malachi. Probably African American, probably not someone
from the South. I’m going to guess that it is Richard Allen,
the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal
Church? [buzzing noise]
DAAAH, DANG IT! It’s Joseph Taper, and Stan just pointed out
to me that I should have known it was Joseph
Taper because it starts out, “Since I have been in the Queen’s dominions…” He was in Canada. He escaped slavery to
Canada. The Queen’s dominions! All right, Canadians, I blame you for this,
although, thank you for abolishing slavery
decades before we did. [electric sounds] AHHH! So, the Mystery Document shows one of the
primary ways that slaves resisted their oppression:
by running away. Although some slaves like Joseph Taper escaped
for good by running away to northern free states, or even to Canada, where they wouldn’t
have to worry about fugitive slave laws, even more slaves ran away temporarily, hiding out
in the woods or the swamps, and eventually returning. No one knows exactly how many slaves escaped
to freedom, but the best estimate is that a thousand
or so a year made the journey northward. Most fugitive slaves were young men, but the
most famous runaway has been hanging out behind
me all day long: Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman escaped to Philadelphia at
the age of 29, and over the course of her life, she made about 20 trips back to Maryland
to help friends and relatives make the journey
north on the Underground Railroad. But a more dramatic form of resistance to
slavery was actual, armed rebellion, which
was attempted. Now, individuals sometimes took matters into
their own hands and beat or even killed their
white overseers or masters. Like Bob, the guy who received the arbitrary
beating, responded to it by killing his overseer
with a hoe. But that said, large-scale slave uprisings
were relatively rare. The four most famous ones all took place in a
35-year period at the beginning of the 19th century. Gabriel’s Rebellion in 1800 – which we’ve
talked about before – was discovered before
he was able to carry out his plot. Then, in 1811, a group of slaves upriver from
New Orleans seized cane, knives, and guns, and
marched on the city before militia stopped them. And in 1822, Denmark Vesey, a former slave
who had purchased his freedom, may have organized
a plot to destroy Charleston, South Carolina. I say “may have” because the evidence against him
is disputed and comes from a trial that was not fair. But regardless, the end result of that trial
was that he was executed, as were 34 slaves. But the most successful slave rebellion, at
least in the sense that they actually killed some
people, was Nat Turner’s in August 1831. Turner was a preacher, and with a group of
about 80 slaves, he marched from farm to farm
in South Hampton County, Virginia, killing the inhabitants, most of whom were women
and children, because the men were attending a
religious revival meeting in North Carolina. Turner and 17 other rebels were captured and
executed, but not before they struck terror into the
hearts of whites all across the American South. Virginia’s response was to make slavery worse,
passing even harsher laws that forbade slaves from
preaching, and prohibited teaching them to read. Other slave states followed Virginia’s lead and, by
the 1830s, slavery had grown, if anything, more harsh. So, this shows that large-scaled armed
resistance was – Django Unchained aside – not just suicidal, but also a threat to loved
ones and, really, to all slaves. But, it is hugely important to emphasize that
slaves did resist their oppression. Sometimes this meant taking up arms, but usually
it meant more subtle forms of resistance, like intentional work slowdowns or sabotaging
equipment, or pretending not to understand instructions. And, most importantly, in the face of systematic
legal and cultural degradation, they re-affirmed
their humanity through family and through faith. Why is this so important? Because too often in America, we still talk
about slaves as if they failed to rise up, when, in fact, rising up would not have made
life better for them or for their families. The truth is, sometimes carving out an identity as a human being in a social order that is constantly seeking to dehumanize you, is the most powerful form of resistance. Refusing to become the chattel that their masters believed them to be is what made slavery untenable and the Civil War inevitable, so make no mistake, slaves fought back. And in the end, they won.
I’ll see you next week. Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan
Muller. The script supervisor is Meredith Danko. Our associate producer is Danica Johnson. The show is written by my high school history
teacher Raoul Meyer and myself. And our graphics team is Thought Cafe. Every week, there’s a new caption to the Libertage,
but today’s episode was so sad that we couldn’t
fit a Libertage in… UNTIL NOW!
[Libertage Rock Music] Suggest Libertage caption in comments, where
you can also ask questions about today’s video that
will be answered by our team of historians. Thanks for watching Crash Course, and as we
say in my home town, don’t forget to be abolitionist.

"Towards a New Past: the Legacies of British Slave-ownership" by Professor Catherine Hall



okay it's really wonderful to see you all and I'd like to thank my department Steven Conway and our vice provost David Price very much for your introductions and so and I also want to say that it's particularly gratifying to see people here who have helped us with this project this project as you will hear has been a very collaborative one and I can see quite a number of people sitting here who've given us information and shared research with us so many thanks to all of you in his autobiography a sort of life published in 1971 the renowned novelist Graham Greene recounts how as he grew older he became increasingly interested in his forebears he realized that far from being exceptional in his sense of difference from his solidly bourgeois family he was one of a long line of rebels the ancestor he felt closest to was his father's father William who had been sent to the family estates innocent kicks age 14 after emancipation to assist his brother Charles in the management of the plantations two years later Charles died and William aged 16 had to take on the task decades later Greene's grandfather recalled this as the most cheerful careless and happy period of my life as Greene describes it the memories of Mount misery with its head buried in the clouds of the green wastes of sugarcane the black sands of DFA of the little church outside Christchurch outside which his brother lay under a gray slab of stone were powerful enough to draw back the middle-aged man from the family life at British Bedford with eight children and enough money to live on in reasonable comfort grandfather William left England in search of his dream of him as a young planter cheerful careless and happy he died infant kits not long after graham greene's summoned up this memory long forgotten as he reflected on his family history in his later years Greene's great-grandfather Benjamin Greene was a Barry sent Edmonds Brewer who had acquired estates instant kits and montserrat in the 1820s he was an active supporter of the west india interest and through his newspaper the Barry and Suffolk Herald he engaged in a servic polemics with the leading abolitionist Thomas Clarkson when slavery was abolished in the British Caribbean Mauritius and the Cape his share of the twenty million paid in compensation to the slave owners was just over four thousand pounds he had claimed for the loss of his property two hundred and fifteen enslaved men and women on his estates of Turtle Island and Phillips instant kiss six enslaved men and women on the island of Montserrat his eldest son Benjamin buck Green Graham Greene's great uncle was census in kits to manage the properties before emancipation they continued to be profitable up to the 1840s Benjamin but Greene actively participated in the fractious debates over the retention of protection for the for the West Indian sugar planters but by mid-century the family's business interests were moving to the Indian Ocean and the post slavery economy of Mauritius he was later to become the governor of the Bank of England Graham Greene's identification with his grandfather was perhaps associated with his frustrated romantic nature his unsuited nurse to a domesticated familial life and his memories of the Caribbean greens own powerful depictions of the closing years of Empire in his fiction the disillusioned colonial officials and whiskey sodden priests may be read as one of the legacies of a long history of connection between metropolitan and colonial worlds between slave owners and those they enslaved but Green does not mention slavery in his reminiscences its traces however are to be found in as he describes them colored greens that he encountered innocent kids the mixed heritage descendants of his white forebears and enslaved or free black women the descendants of the enslaved continue to experience across the generations a powerful connection with the traumas of their ancestors the descendants of slave owners on the other hand have for the most part forgotten and erased their slave owning past our project about which I'm speaking this evening is about putting that passed back into British history the legacies of British slave ownership project as you've heard concerns the legacies of the slave owners the marks that slave ownership has left on British society we are very well aware that exploring the legacies of ownership in no way encapsulate the legacies of slavery as a whole far from it most of the work which has been done in recent years on the legacies of slavery has been centrally concerned with the enslaved for very obvious reasons our preoccupation with ownership stems from concerns as historians of Britain and our recognition that slave ownership in the Anglophone Caribbean is a peculiarly British responsibility the men and it was initially man who left Britain for the West Indian islands from the 16th century sometimes associated with the military sometimes the younger sons of the gentry seeking a fortune sometimes penniless Scots sometimes themselves indentured these were the men who if they were successful became the enslavers established plantations and flourished alongside King sugar the absent EES those lived in the Metropole enjoying the fruits of their ill-gotten gains figure in accounts of the 17th and 18th centuries Christopher Codrington with his endowment of All Souls library or the legendary William Beckford with his gothic folly font Alabi yet they were rarely remembered once the heyday of slavery was over after 1833 and abolition the slave owners abandoned that identity often together with their estates and recreated themselves are simply metropolitan men members of the elite unsullied by connections with slavery what is more they were extraordinarily successful in erasing their pasts in collective memory a systematic survey of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography that pantheon of people who have made modern Britain includes hundreds of people who themselves owned enslaved people or who were closely related to people who did yet not only is their slave ownership not acknowledged many of them are presented as the victims of emancipation their family fortunes wrecked by the decline of the plantations the project on which we've been working for the last three years and which we shall be working on for the next three is to reinstate ownership into modern British history forgetting is a crucial factor in the creation of a nation ernest renan told his audience at the Sorbonne in 1882 unity is always affected by means of brutality there is much to be forgotten silences and evasions are part of the stuff of history both in terms of what archives exist what are kept and how that material is interpreted the history of empire has been a particularly difficult history to tell full as it is of conquest violence and terror as an Laura Sola has argued the colonial histories of the European empires possess unruly qualities sometimes they are safely sequester on the fringes of national histories sometimes they erupted into the heartlands disturbing stories of unity and progress sometimes they are entirely absent as if empires were simply not there not least she suggests they raise unsettling questions about what it means to know and not know simultaneously about what is implicit because it goes without saying or because it cannot be thought or because it can be thought and is known but cannot be said disavow and dastan she a ssin have been crucial mechanisms facilitating avoidance and evasion to place the slave trade and slavery of the new world properly back into british history people in the silences speaking what was unspeakable building what on what has already been done and identifying what more there is to do requires the collective efforts of many our work is part of that much bigger collaborative effort towards a new past one which is both more inclusive and more honest part of the inspiration for our particular project has come from Eric Williams in capitalism of slavery his classic text published in 1944 Williams argued that the profits of the triangular trade were reinvested in British industry where they supplied part of the huge outlay for the construction of the vast plants to meet the needs of the new productive process and the new markets he never suggested that slavery caused the Industrial Revolution it must not be inferred he wrote that the triangular trade was solely and entirely responsible for the economic development the growth of the internal markets the plowing of the profits from industry to generate still further capital and achieve a still greater expansion played a large part but he did argue that the triangular trade gave a triple stimulus to British industry Quotes the negroes were purchased with British manufactures transported to the plantations they produce sugar cotton indigo molasses the processing of which created new industries in England while the maintenance of the Negroes and their owners on the plantations provided another market for British industry New England agriculture and Newfoundland fisheries Williams insisted as CLR James had done in the black jacobins and long before the development of post-colonial scholarship or new Imperial history the Metropolitan Colony were inextricably linked the history of the one inexplicable without the other the wealth derived from from slavery Williams demonstrated was embedded in the social cultural and political fabric of 18th century Britain in public schools and Oxbridge colleges in the town and country houses with their connoisseurs collections amongst the landed and in the membership of the financial and commercial elite the alderman of the city the House of Commons and the House of Lords but after 1783 he believed the West Indian slave economy was in decline and by the 1830s the slave owners had become a regressive and archaic fraction Williams thesis on the connections between slavery and industrial capitalism has been subjected to decades of critique but recently the studies of in EcoRI Pomerance Pat Hudson and others have reinforced his findings these arguments have been critical to us and our findings to have substantially confirmed while extending his claims over the last three years the lbs team which has comprised my co-investigators Nick Draper whose book the price of emancipation provided our starting point and Keith McClelland who as you will hear has been centrally engaged with building the encyclopedia encyclopedia that we're demonstrating this evening Rachel Lang our administrator map maker and genealogist x los been me chin who replaced her for a year while a baby was born and gave us tremendous support particularly on our public engagement activities and Katie Donington whose PhD on the hibbett family a tea plant a merchant family operating between Jamaica and London is on the very edge of completion have been working on the Forgotten legacies of the slave owners and their descendants our project as I've said before is a collaborative one driven by the understanding that individual labor could not produce the pro sapa graphical work that is at the heart of our research it was important to establish a systematic investigation of the scale and significance of the legacies of slave ownership in Britain after emancipation Williams utilized a large number of examples of slave owning families and other historians have produced excellent case studies of particular families such as the Gladstone's or the la Sol's but working individually it would be impossible to do the kind of work that we have been able to do furthermore we needed the skills of economic political and cultural historians to build a full picture of the multiple legacies of these men and women our project began with the compensation records the records of the claims made by slave owners for compensation in the wake of emancipation a listing was provided for Parliament of the successful claimants Daniel O'Connell the great Catholic Emancipator who was also a committed abolitionist have requested this underlying this list are the meticulous records kept by the commissioners appointed to process the claims and Nick Draper built a database of the claims which gave us our starting point a complete census of the slave owners at this time there are more than 46,000 individual claims that we have recorded on our database but our major concern is with the three thousand absentee roughly 6% of the overall population of slave owners who received money they got between 40 and 50 percent of the 20 million about 8.2 million equivalent to about 40 percent of total state expenditure in 1834 there was six hundred and seventy thousand enslaved men and women of whom forty-seven percent were in Jamaica some of the absent Eve's received very large amounts for example John Gladstone who got over a hundred thousand pounds for his property in two thousand five hundred and eight enslaved men and women in British Guiana and Jamaica others especially women owned much smaller numbers of enslaved people John Adams would the owner of Mary prince whose history the only narrative we have on of an enslaved black woman was published as part of the abolitionist campaign made several claims on one he received 39 pounds for three enslaved people in Antigua just over half of the claims were for less than 100 pounds 84 percent less than 500 pounds in the 78 percent of the cases where we know the sex of the awardee 41 percent were women 59 percent men the compensation was for the people it represented part of what was divided defined as the value of the enslaved men and women who had now been freed it was not associated with the land which the owners kept we have found incidents of slave ownership across Britain there is a heavy concentration in the great slaving cities of London Liverpool Glasgow and Bristol but there were also clergy across the country retired West Indians in spa towns such as Cheltenham and lamington the sons of military men living in such unlikely places as Sheffield merchants in Newcastle widows and daughters living on annuities in small towns there were a disproportion number of claimants in Scotland the direct legacy of those Scots who went to the Caribbean seeking their fortunes not all of those who receive compensation were directly involved in the ownership of plantations and people mortgagees annuitants and trustees all felt figure substantially in the records we have organized our work across strands investigating commercial and financial political cultural historical physical and imperial legacies our findings are now publicly available in the encyclopedia of slave ownership which has had literally thousands and thousands of hits today and our findings will come out in the collectively authored book which we are producing and where which up which will appear next year my task this evening in what's left of my time is to tell you briefly something of those findings and also tell you about the second phase of our research which has just begun first then the work that we have done the slave owners we suggest played an important part in the shaping of modern British society as agents but also subjects of the new world they have acted as a lens for us pushing us to rethink the notion of the decline of the West India interest by the 1830s that became something of an orthodoxy following the work of both rockets and Williams we have tracked the impact West Indian proprietors were able to have economically politically and culturally in the period after emancipation and trace the continuities in the physical and cultural fabric of Britain far from surviving as an archaic fragment with their political power demolished and their wealth undermined by emancipation they were able to mobilise sufficient influence to secure major concessions in return for their acceptance of abolition in addition to their share of the sum of the 20 million they also benefits benefited substantially from the system of a quote apprenticeship which meant that although formerly free those previously enslaved were compelled to work on the estates of their masters for a further period of four to six years since compensation marked the acceptance of the view that the institution of slavery had been legally and politically sanctioned by the state and that the nation British taxpayers must bear the cost of the losses to the slave owners those erstwhile slave owners saw no reason to assume individual guilt for the part they had played in maintaining the institution once abolition was enacted they joined the chorus celebrating Britain's moral superiority and castigating other less progressive slave owning nations the absentee slave owners represented between five and ten percent of the British elite between the 1810s and the 1860s many were linked in intricate networks of family and sociability unsurprisingly family has proved crucial to our research with marriage and inheritance as key mechanisms for the transmission of property after emancipation as Nick Draper has established wealth continued to be created in the West Indies particularly British Guiana where owners successfully adapted to the new conditions of labour on their plantations many of the slave owners were not able to keep up with the sweeping changes in the British economy associated with the explosion of overseas trade the so called swing to the east the investment in the new colonies of white settlement the consolidation of the City of London as the center of global capital flows the emergence of the joint stock company new systems of communication and the birth of the free trade nation but many others adapted to this new world order selling their plantations transferring human and financial capital generated in slavery to the new industrial and commercial economy contributing significantly to the growth of merchant banking and investment in marine insurance and railways the decline of British proprietorship in the West Indies is thus a neglected aspect of the shift from land to commerce and industry that was a feature of this mid 19th century period the abolition of slavery meant a shift in the balance of Empire the British West Indies especially Jamaica once the jewel in the crown became increasingly defined as problematic and unproductive attention shifted to India and the East and to the new colonies of white settlement youngest sons who had headed for the Caribbean now found their opportunities in Australia New Zealand Canada and South Africa Henry Kingsley abandoned his family's long term interest in Barbados and shoes chose New South Wales for his unsuccessful colonial careering compensation money flowed into new ventures such as the Australian agricultural company and the development of South Australia and British Columbia the Caribbean was no longer seen as a place to make a fortune and was a neglected sidelined in favor of more wealth producing economies slavery was something to be regretted and forgotten expunged insofar as was possible from public memory after 1833 the West Indians were able to leave behind the identity of slave owner and sought to ensure their place in the reconfiguration of the ruling elite which was part and parcel of the age of reform determinedly not part of a residual formation in a time of real realignment when emergent groupings were claiming dominance they declared themselves as modern men part of the new world between 1828 and 33 new rights for dissenters Catholic emancipation parliamentary reform a coercion act for Ireland the abolition of slave and new forms of government for India together marked a historic settlement across nation and Empire a new hegemony was in process dependent on an alliance between the landed aristocracy and sections of the middle class committed to an expansion of laissez-faire and a reforming state government was to be by consent if possible at home reliant on force and Dominion in the Empire including Ireland in the Metropole public opinion had an increased weight with the power of the press increasing rapidly and more meritocratic systems of appointment began to slowly displace the patronage that had operated for generations slave owners and their descendants were more likely to be Tories than Whigs but they belong to the elite which affected these changes and sometimes benefited from them William Gladstone and Henry Goulburn in the House of Commons Charles Trevelyan in the expanding colonial and civil service Cardinal Manning in the resurgent Catholic Church Captain Frederick Marriott and Charles Kingsley authors who were amongst the first generation to be able to make a substantial income from writing were just some of the many former slave owners or their descendants who established themselves as influential men in the reconfigured public world at the same time as Keith McClelland has demonstrated those members of the West India interest who remained in Parliament fought hard on the issues of apprenticeship the retention of protection for West Indian sugar and the introduction of indenture they lost on the first to though they were able to delay the equalization of duties for a significant period they were successful however in representing labor as the problem at the heart of the economic and social issues in the Caribbean and indeed in representing themselves as the victims of economic decline some of the slave owners most notably John Gladstone Williams father had seen the writing on the wall and had started to reorganize their estates before 1833 Gladstone's efforts to inaugurate the use of in Indian indentured labour on his Guyanese estates had limited success in the 1820s but were to provide one of the basis for the large-scale adoption of the system by the 1840s the former slave owners insistence on the need for new labor was a key factor in the institutionalization of new forms of coerced labor in the Empire facilitated by the liberal state which was also busy regulating labor at home through the new pour law and fact reacts slave owners and their descendants were also active agents in the remaking of race as a hierarchical category one slavery no longer fixed the African as inferior other legitimation for his or her subordination had to be found in the debates over race in the mid nineteenth century and the shift from the ascendancy of abolitionist humanitarian discourse to a harsher version of stadia Theory envisioning the civilizational process as glacially slow historians novelists and trouble writers with slave owning origins played a significant part they utilized their eyewitness experience to make claims as to the veracity of their characterizations of racial difference in the process they also rewrote the history of British involvement in colonial slavery the Mariette family provide a brief case study exemplifying some of these general processes that I've been talking about Joseph Marriott was a leading London merchant and ship owner with interests across the Caribbean and North America he and his two sons were active pro-slavers until the moment of emancipation Joseph's father Thomas was of Hyuga know descent and initially a Presbyterian minister in Suffolk before becoming a presbyterian in 1758 Thomas published the art of healing in Latin which was subsequently produced in a popular English edition his experiments in his later years practicing as a doctor in Northern Ireland before moving to Bristol involves plying his non paying patients with enormous doses of drastic medicines in attempts to determine what he thought of as proper levels the Irish laboring poor could be the subject of his experimentation perhaps a lesson that did not go unnoticed by his son who became a slave owner Sam Joseph blan chose a mercantile career and married in Boston cementing his links with North America developed through shipping and sugar remember they'd moved to Bristol he was established enough in marine insurance by 1811 to become the chairman of Lloyd's a prominent member of the Society of West Indian planters and merchants he became the agent representing the interests of planters in Trinidad from 1805 he later acted as agent for Grenada like many absentees he spent time on his plantations in the Caribbean but by the early 1800s was settled in London living in great George Street and with an elegant country house in Wimbledon which was well known for its garden he was one of the most articulate of the absentee slave owners with properties in Trinidad Grenada Jamaica and st. Lucia in 1807 he petitioned Parliament against the abolition of the slave trade and while an MP he spoke vociferously in defense of the trade and of slavery and against the equalization of East Indian and West Indian sugar he published numerous pamphlets most notably his thoughts on the abolition of the slave trade and civilization of Africa in 1816 which was part of a long-running controversy with the leading abolitionists James Stephen and Zachary Macaulay as an MP he was something of a mom of maverick never attached to either weeks or Tory's strongly opposed to what he described as the new but delusive and dangerous doctrines of free trade hostile to Catholic emancipation but prepared to vote for a measure of parliamentary reform at his death in 1824 he was said to be worth half a million his sons were expected to continue the work of the family business both in the commercial and political sense Joseph and Charles this is the third the second Joseph both went into the mercantile house which also had banking interests Joseph the eldest born in Grenada in 1790 became his father's partner on coming of age and on his father's death in 1824 he became the head of the house in 1826 he entered the House of Commons representing Sandwich as an independent of his father had before him he was slightly more liberal than his father appropriate to the new times supported Catholic and Jewish emancipation and the repeal of the test acts and was in favor of some measure of parliamentary reform at the same time he became a member of the newly streamlined West India committee when it was formed in 1829 and Storch staunchly defended planta interests there attempting to modify the more extreme of Trinidadian demands in 1830 before emancipation he claimed quote that the case of the West India planters is not one of mere distress but of absolute annihilation and he supported the West Indians in their petition against the precipitate abolition of slavery asserting that abolitionists were guilty of circulating the grossest counters against the proprietors he should read twitter today in 1831 he started he followed in his father's footsteps again becoming the agent for Grenada in the House of Commons he strongly denied Thomas fol Buxton's claimed that his father had admitted that slaves were dying off quotes like rotten sheep in Trinidad providing as evidence a letter from his brother Charles who was managing the family estates and asserted that the system was working well Frederick the second son who was to become well known as the novelist Captain Marryat was also actively involved in the defense of slavery prior to abolition he had gone to sea as a midshipman in 1808 when he was 16 and was in the Navy during the Napoleonic Wars fighting in the east and west indies and burma glorying an adventure and danger in 1819 one of his early caricatures engraved by his friend Cruikshank represented africans as ugly savages he left the Navy in 1830 and turned to writing novels as a new source of income supplementing his West Indian inheritance the year before abolition he published Newton Forster an explicit defense of slavery an intervention in the national debate over emancipation and compensation he stood unsuccessfully for the House of Commons that same year at the height of debates over reform aiming to represent ships commerce and colonies asked for his position on abolition he said he detested slavery as heartily as any man could for few pro-slavers would admit to being positively in favor of the institution by the 1830s though it was commonplace to argue that slavery was a necessary step on the road to civilization he could never consent he continued using well tested pro-slavery arguments to give his whole attention to the Negro across the Atlantic while he knew that his own countrymen was dragged into slavery and the wife and children of his bosom were left to Pine in wretchedness and want he would redress that grievance and protect the British seaman before he thrust his philanthropy on the African Agora mariette continued to campaign for the west india interest and early the following year wrote a passionate appeal in the metropolitan magazine which he edited begging parliamentarians not to abolish slavery the Negro was not quote a slave to the oppression of the white he maintained but to his own ignorance his own ferocity and to his own ineptitude to value the blessing of civilization Joseph and Charles Marriott received compensation money of over forty thousand pounds for 700 enslaved men and women in Trinidad Grenada Jamaica and st. Lucia both continued their active involvement with the business but Joseph left it in 18-49 and went to live in Merced win' mansion an imposing establishment near Swansea not far from the ironworks in which his firm had invested an example of the fruits of West India fortune going to a new and vital sector of the industrial economy the iron furnace had been leased to George crane in 1837 and was subsequently developed by Joseph Marriott and his partner Sir Charles price under the name of the in aschedule in iron company dealing in both coal and iron the Welsh iron industry as Chris Evans has demonstrated have benefited from a surge of investment between 1760 and 1800 and become Britain's premier arm making region I'm making required a heavy outlay of capital and Wales could not provide it but West Indian riches nourished Welsh industry the ANU schedule an Iron Company had its most prosperous period in the early 19th century and was the site of the invention of the hot blast method it changed hands several times but only ceased production in 1941 and is now the site of an industrial theme park first while slave owners were collectors and connoisseurs and compensation money went into the buying of books and artworks Joseph enjoyed putting some of his money into collecting China as did his mother while brother Frederic collected antiquities and curiosities as they were called drawn from his travels across the Empire including a boy from Burma who he presented to the Duke of Sussex finding it difficult to discover information about China and porcelain Joseph went with his friend and partner price on a tour of the principal collections and manufacturers on the continent he subsequently wrote a history of pottery and porcelain medieval and modern which was published in 1850 replete with many illustrations and color plates as he noted in his introduction the survival of pottery was a valuable aid to historical research whether learning of the domestic manners of nations or the geographical limits of ancient empires his connoisseurship in this field which had long been one associated with the aristocracy and royalty was a symbol of his genteel status art was to stand outside of use and purpose not like iron the domain of these setting the discourse of taste our Simon give Conde argues prized open the class system the commercial aspects of life could be quarantined off in the celebration of the aesthetic Joseph Marriott noted in his book how the elegant products of Josiah Wedgwood had sadly been displaced by cheap imitations for the mass market market activities could be constitutive of cultural refinement but only when regulated by the culture of taste the listing of private collections in Britain at the end of his book included many aristocratic names alongside those of former slave owners his own collection once again the fruits of family money was sold at auction in 1867 while some former slave-owners integrated themselves into the British elite or settled for the army leaving behind their West Indian connections others found new opportunities as we've seen in the colonies of white settlement Joseph Marriott's six sisters had each been left 20,000 pounds by their father and one of them Augusta married Sir Henry Young the son of a Trinidad colonial administrator who himself became governor of South Australia brother Charles remained in the family business as a West Indian merchants and gave evidence to the Select Committee on sugar and coffee planting in 1848 his son Charles however abandoned the Caribbean collection and left Britain for Australia in 1852 the Marriott's were a family of writers as well as collectors Joseph xenia had published his numerous pamphlets and was a very fair poet according to his granddaughter Florence Joseph Jr wrote on China and porcelain his youngest brother wrote trouble books on Scandinavia his sister on the history of lace and a book called nature and art none of them he achieved the success however of their brother Frederick who was an extremely popular writer publishing his novels serially and establishing a wide range of readership ranging from Carlisle mill and McAuley to the new reading public he was unrepentant in writing for a mass audience seeing it as his duty for they required instruction we are educating the lower classes he insisted aiming to counteract sensational literature and unstamped publications full as they were of ribaldry libel and obscenity challenging the nefarious views of demagogues and Chartists Authority and hierarchy was central to Captain Marryat thinking whether in class gender or racial terms once the battle over emancipation had been and compensation one captain Marriott abandoned his defense of slavery abolition was now represented as a triumph all Britons were united in their pride in the anti-slavery nation this in no way affected however his denigration of Africans or of philanthropists he continued to put his naval experience to work creating tales of ordinary lads learning to be men through war and adventure and writing in praise of empire in the two most popular written in the early 1830s mr. midshipman easy and Peter simple he celebrated the glories of British history and the Navy as the protector and pride of England his boy heroes were simple swashbuckling lads who saw life as a series of adventures and who were part of a triumphalist narrative celebrating authoritarian and anti egalitarian values laced with patriotism and martial valor war was a lark but all would turn out right in the end marriage family and property would be secured Marriott's nationals story told how Britain's imperial power was based on white men's valiant deeds and actions across the globe for Joseph Conrad his adventures were enthralling he was the enslaver of youth these enthralling adventures however systematically racialized others particularly Africans Peter simple caricatured abolitionists and ridicule ridiculed free blacks distorting their speech passion izing their claims to freedom the slave trade was abhorrent only practiced by the Spanish and the French midshipman easy featured an African only partially rescued from savagery by his encounter with Europe in Mary its view it was clear that Africans would never be anything other than other Mariette was a great friend of Dickens and a well known figure in London's literary scene in eighteen thirties and fourties friendly with Cruikshank and Harrison Ainsworth enjoying company and theatricals in the late 1830s he traveled in North America and published his journal like Dickens his encounter with african-americans increased his prejudices he failed to condemn slavery and concluded that northern blacks would never have the same intellectual power as white people since the race are not formed for it by the Almighty he could not abide fanatical abolitionists and was deeply disturbed by miscegenation and the specter of democracy he hoped that his book would expose its dangers if I have in any way assisted the cause of conservatism I am content he wrote Percival King written after his American sojourn presented his most brutal picture of racial antagonism a pious recognition of the horrors of the foreign slave trade and the ways in which white Americans could black the lives of Africans was juxtaposed with a terrifying picture of black cruelty the British however were represented as untouched by any such history this was disavowal silences and evasions are indeed part of the stuff of history in his later years Mariette tired of London life and invested in a farm in Norfolk where he lived with his children his farming ventures were unsuccessful his West Indian income was failing and he needed money but he'd run out of naval fields and lost in the popularity stakes to Dickens so turned to children's fiction ranging across the Empire in his titles constituting English identities that depended on a variety of native and denigrated others massaman ready his first effort reworked the Swiss Family Robinson and told our model colony headed by a patriarch with a deferential old seaman and a grateful African young woman serving the family Dickens loved bitch famous he infused I have been chuckling and grinning and clenching my fists and becoming warlike for three whole days Mary its next novel settlers drew on his Canadian experience untold of the domestication or defeat of Indians while the mission presented a terrifying picture of African barbarity these were books to feed Imperial Minds and inspire settlers with the will to conquer continuing the family traditions Captain Marryat daughter Florence traveled the Empire married into the Indian Army and wrote 75 popular novels alongside sketches of garrison life in India and the life and letters of her father a work which effectively obfuscated the family's debts of slavery the Marriott family reconfigured themselves over three generations an 18th century minister and physician his son a major slave owner his sons merchants iron masters and writers employed in the military and across the Empire this Victorian family was simply part of the British elite with interests in property in heavy industry and in print they defended slavery till the last possible moment and then adapted to the new times slavery might be dead and forgotten but racial hierarchies lived on while engaging with groups around the country who've been interested in our work we have been asked again and again for material on the slave owners in the period before emancipation our new project the structure and significance of British Caribbean slave ownership 1763 to 1833 takes up this challenge thanks to a grant from the ESRC and the AHRC we have been fortunate in adding Christy Warren James Dawkins Hanna yang and Katie Donington again to our existing team we have set ourselves an ambitious target to systematically analyze slave ownership and its consequences for Britain across that period we will establish patterns of ownership across the four thousand plus estates and its consequences for the development of Britain this time the sources we are using will enable us to collect material on the lives of the enslaved once again our data will be made publicly available so that by 2016 we should be able to provide a spectacular research tool in our encyclopedia our particular focus as a research team will be on the absentees and their legacies once again tracing their commercial political and cultural presence and impact on Britain and allowing us to re-examine the relationship between slavery Empire and the early Imperial nation the encyclopaedia opens up innumerable research possibilities for the descendants of both the enslavers and the enslaved demonstrating the connected history that we share albeit always embedded in unequal relations of power this is the new past that we are aiming for a past which Rhian scribes slavery in slave ownership in British history and recognizes its legacies in the present thank you teeth will show the demonstrate database to you in a few moments but I wanted just to pause and amplify a couple of things that Kathryn had said in the course of that remarkable lecture that she's just given that I think are worth reiterating in relation to your understanding of the database what it represents and what it doesn't represent as Kathryn said this has been a collaborative project not only within the team but externally and we've been consistently struck by the generosity of people with their time and information to contribute with no tangible return to themselves to the effort that we're making many of you are in the room who've helped on this many are not but we thank all of you as you'll see there are two basic types of information in the database and it's importantly understand the difference between those two the first is a digitization of the slave compensation records and then the second is the structure that would build on top of that which is the biographical analytical material that deals with each of the lives of the absentee slave owners we claim who make claims for the completeness in the database as far as the first of those is concerned in other words the digitization of the compensation records provides a complete picture of British slave ownership at its very end in a particular point in time but the database is incomplete in three important respects the first is the obvious one which is the know process for graphic database of this scale will ever be complete there's always more to know about particular individuals their activities and their operation it's simply human to process and that will improve over time but will approach but never reach complete knowledge the second way in which the database is incomplete Katherine is also alluded to this doesn't represent our conclusions this is the raw material from which we are then building the argument that we're making about slave ownership that raw material may lend itself to other purposes but the database itself is only one of the products of the work that we're doing and the at least is important to that as that is the additional synthesis there so what out of all these extraordinary stories that we've retrieved and the book that will be produced within the next twelve months will be a tent to frame the so what question in our minds and thirdly as captain's also say the database doesn't represent any way in Sacopee doesn't represent the history of slavery or even slave ownership because it omits consciously it omits the experience of the enslaved people and that's why in the second phase of the project were committed to reintegrating as far as we can those histories which are truly lost into the work that we're doing on history of the estates so incomplete though it is we're being committed to getting this into the public domain we want to go into the public domain now for variety of reasons the first is that we're making large claims about the importance of slave ownership those large claims will become more explicit as we go forward and it's important to us that the evidence is available for other people to test those claims the second reason for putting this out in the public domain is that the public can make better use of it in some cases than we can this will support new work regional work local work family work that we can't possibly do ourselves there's no way that we can attempt it and that work will be greatly enriching of what is understood already Derrick Williams thesis took place at the level of the macroeconomy the systemic economy and in his case a handful of case studies but everywhere we turn in the encyclopedia we can find evidence that reiterates his basic contention that slave wealth wealth from slavery is permeating Britain and it takes place by definition at the systemic level and it takes place at specific sites specific locations because we've cities for the institutions within those cities the third reason for making available now is that it can be and will be proved by the knowledge that other people have again the intention is that this will grow by virtual contributions from people who know far more about individuals that we ever attempt to capture and finally we're launching it now because there is as some of you are aware a growing noise about reparations in the Caribbean in particular and while as a project we have no position on reparations it's clear to us that the information the material that we have is pertinent to those discussions in some shape or form we can't mandate how it's used but we do believe that the provision of a rigorous empirically research base will provide at least potentially a common basis of discussion for what will undoubtedly be difficult difficult discussions though will in our view inevitably take place over the next five to ten years but what Rachel Rachel Lang and myself they're going to do over the next ten minutes is trend should use the database to you which is here if I stand here can you all see it all right I should point out that those of you those of you who write up at the back are probably going to have some difficulty reading this but you can visit the site after you after this evening we're going to introduce the database it let me say first of all that I want to give we all want to give a public vote of thanks to Mark Hadley who is the website designer who has done a terrific job and an enormous amount of work on this project well as has been mentioned at the core of this database are about 47,000 individuals the vast majority of whom over 98% of those that we have in here our people who made claims for compensation following abolition and then within this group as as we mentioned there are about 3,000 individuals who were absentee owners now in using this database it'd be useful for you to think in terms of it being divided effectively into eight sections there's biographical information about particular individuals there's information about the claims which they made and the capacities in which they did so for example Catherine mentioned mortgagees trustees and so on and then there are the six legacy strands which would be referred to the commercial the cultural the historical the Imperial the physical and the political in which any one of these people might appear that is to say in designing this database we turn to pins the website what we had in mind was to have the ability to search effectively in two different but connected ways one is to be able to track particular individuals through any one of these sections so that you can build up a profile of them and I'll come back to this so that you can contribute to that profile where you know this stuff about them the second thing is and this is crucial for the kinds of arguments that we want to make about the people in this in this encyclopedia is the ability to look for groups of people for aggregates so that you can cut ask questions about whole groups of people in ways which I'll come back to in just a few moments now what I want to do or what we are going to do to begin with is to illustrate first of all some of the ways in which you can search on individuals and I'm just going to take a couple of the examples first is somebody who is the subject of Kate Darlington's PhD George Hibbert born in 1757 died in 1837 he was a major West Indian merchants slave and plantation owner collector of books and a collector of art a philanthropist and not least a leading defender of the Western interests now if you look him up you'll find and I don't know whether you can see it at the back but there's a rather fine portrait of him which comes from the Docklands Museum but here under the main heading for him you have biographical notes that we've compiled about him now biographical notes in some cases like it but a fairly extensive but there are lots of people about whom we don't know very much and you'll find that the biographical notes are rather a brief or in one or two cases virtually non-existent but in this case he is a well-known bloke so there is a good deal about him and of course we have the sources of information to support the emotion and if you scroll further down you'll see not only the general biographical information but the name in this case of his wife Elizabeth father or his or their several children no yes I think details the will detail detailing his legacies to his financial legacies to people if you scroll down further there is information about his school in his occupation and crucially here in his case nineteen claims that he was associated with 19 trains which his case he and other awardees associated with these claims received 60,000 63,000 pounds and just adds to something with captions saying if you want some sense of the scale of this a well-paid skilled male adult male skilled worker of 1830 has an annual income of somewhere between fifty and seventy pounds a year in a good year sixty-three thousand pounds is rather a lot of money in relation to that what you'll also see by scrolling down is address information but if you go to the right-hand side of the page here you can see that in his case there are links to these different legacies the commercial the cultural and so on as well as relationships and addresses I'll come back to relationships and addresses in a moment if you click for example on the commercial then amongst other things well it brings up in this case the firm of GW s Hibbert in the company if you click from there then you get some details including in this case other people who are in the compensation record with whom Hibbert was associated and some detail here of how the firm evolved over the course of part of the 19th century similarly if you click on the cultural legacy this is a man who is involved in a whole range of institutions the London institution the Roxburgh Club the Royal Society he is one of the cofounders of the Royal National Lifeboat institution and so on society marine architects he's also a person who of substantial are holdings and indeed this record here is of the flogging off of something like ten thousand eight chinks around about 1830 so the point of all of this is that we've tried to make it as easy as possible for you to see across a whole person's whole active whole set of activities and to build up the kind of profile which will fit into and you might want to argue contends with the kinds of arguments that we are putting in that Katherine was talking about well if you and one example of this is a woman called Jane Bain she was born in Jamaica migrated to Scotland when she was in her early 20s married a doctor in nan and had nine children and here is a portrait of Jane Bain and if you look at the portrait if you can see the portrait that you can go on to the website and have a look at it this is a rather do a middle-class evidently respectable Victorian woman we know something about her but not a great deal we don't know how her neighbors regarded we don't know how she regarded the fact that she had benefited to the sum of eighty five pounds for her ownership of ten enslaved people in Kingston Jamaica in many respects she appears to live in a very different world from Hibbert Hibbert is a member of ruling elites he's at the center of financial economic political power this is an ordinary middle-class Scottish woman married as I say to a doctor the ordinariness of these kinds of people needs to be put in relation to the extraordinary illness of people like him but this is the pervasiveness of slave ownership in century Britain so we haven't got a great deal of time so let me move on how on earth are you gonna find anybody amongst these 47,000 people well one of the crucial things that we've done in this is to try to build in as extensive and sophisticated search facilities as possible the main one is here search the database you get an advanced search form you can also we won't look at this but you can search individual legacies each legacy strand has its own search facilities but here and and raychel showing you the the the links there but here you can search on in individuals details including address details you can search if you're particularly interested in claims that were made and of course you can combine all these sorts of things and one of the reasons that this is so crucial is not only simply so that you can find the individuals that you're interested in it's also to think about groups and aggregates so that you just give you one example to demonstrate this if you're interested in how many women were associate who were absent ease that is living in this country who were associating with claims in Jamaica you can put in the appropriate terms click the search button and in this case and as I've got it wrong you will get two hundred and ninety four individuals I'm not sure how I knew I was going to do that and of course once you've got here you click on the links and this will take you to particular people or claims and so this is a crucial part of of being able to not only browse through this database of this encyclopedia but to ask serious historical questions about it one of the things we won't demonstrate this but Catherine mentioned this just to reiterate the point about forty to forty-five percent of all claimants are women about 25 percent of absentee claimants are women if one then starts thinking about the relation between women and property at this point in 19th century history it's a very interesting thing to explore and there are all sorts of ways you can do that you can also and just let me mention one other way of searching if you're interested in not so much particular individuals but particular places then the means are here for you to do that you can we won't show you this but you can for example if you're interested in let us say people who are in southwest England and we have a series of regions that people have been divided up into you can put in the southwest England it will bring up everybody that was living in places like Bristol Cheltenham the counties of Somerset and so on but let me just conclude this part before just saying one other thing you can look where we have the information on the streets if for example you're interested in who was living in Gower Street around the corner from here most of you will come through Gera Street this evening we're in Gower Street View Records and in fact there are eleven individuals living in Gower Street at the point who receive compensation including one of these single most unpleasant people in the entire database as where as I'm concerned there is William Manning but I won't go so let me just conclude with one extremely important thing we go back to Jane Bain on the record for every individual but also for the firm's there is this green button in completing correct this is a really important part of what this project is about because this is about David price measure this this is about public engagement through this you can contribute to the database because if you see somebody in there that you know something about who you think we've got it wrong you click on this a form comes up you can send us information you'll need to provide source information and so on you'll also this is the stop spammers have to provide a postal address and please don't put one any street any town and so on but you will be able to send us information we will then assess what you've sent us check the sources and so on and assuming everything is ok it will appear with your acknowledgement to yourself in the database this is a public resource we're the authors of it but then there are lots of people as as they mentioned who are also the authors of it and we want as many people as possible to be authors of this this is about a collective project of remembering and inscribing the importance of slavery and slave ownership in modern British history go to www.azpbs.org tell us that as well thank you which is Wow and that was the word actually that I thought of quite a few years ago now when I first heard about the work going on here ECL on the compensation records that then became the first part of the two projects that we've been hearing about I think I probably need to say more than Wow at this moment because the other thing I thought at the time was this project has got legs what I didn't know was how many legs it was going to require over the next few years how many people were to join it and how far it was to go so it's a great pleasure it's to comment on what is undoubtedly a remarkable and very important project I'm going to say just three things before we conclude the first is about this project has an example of public history he's been talking about public engagement and that provides me with my cue on this the notion of public history raises questions about the public purposes and the functions of history a public history however you define it is the history already engaged with public engagement a history aware of the different forms that that history itself may take official unofficial national local global academic popular family it's a history that encourages debate and dialogue between these forms of knowing about the past the term public history has always seemed to me as somewhat dry term rather impersonal term in some in some respects but this project shows that public history can be very much about individuals and especially families and the relationship between generations a history that's very much alive and in the present and a future public interest many other words have been used to convey that sense of the aliveness of history the present Ness of history-making and we might think of heritage in this way we might think of the word legacy and the title of one of these projects um but I think public history is probably the best term we have so far and I think that this project is really a splendid example example of public history at its best the second thing I want to say is to say something I think we have to about this amazing database and the teamwork that's gone into it there are many database projects around in history and other disciplines but this it seems to me is a rather special example of the database project it's partly because the underlying data seems to me to get to the heart of what slavery meant within Britain which is to do with property to do with money and the research project as a whole situates that data about the money and the numbers if you like in a whole series of contests that we've been hearing about you cannot make social geographical familial generational and and many others and in order to understand that and grasp it as Kathryn said in her lecture it really does require a huge team effort I'd be reflecting the last few days about whether one could in any way whatsoever compare this team effort with the kind of team effort that went in to the making of the original data source in the 1830s the collection of information and its eventual publication in the parliamentary paper that we've heard has been digitized the information that was gathered then about the slaves in the Caribbean and other parts of the Empire for whom this 20 million pounds of compensation was was paid and that information most of it anyway summarized in this parliamentary paper where the information about slaves were was enumerated as property not-not-not of course suffering where this document measured entitlement and not of course loss where information about the old the young men women infants and the infirm all of these groups at their price and different prices in different places and at the time that information was collected and gathered together and the commissioners principle presented their report to Parliament accounting very carefully for the 20 million pounds of expenditure from the public purse I don't know what the Chancellor thought about that at the time but I'm sure you do and in the process of accounting for that money they also accounted for their own salaries very carefully and in the process they also accounted for the costs of the paper that they'd used the furniture that they'd sat on the servants who had served them every pounds shillings and pence carefully enumerated this was the age of enumeration creating what we now grow is great database and the one purpose of it at the time was to compensate the property owners so what then would these commissioners and their team have thought of the uses to which the data is now being put so many years later by the UCL team reconnecting that that's rather sparse abstract data the pound chillings and pence so the lived and material realities of slave ownership and as we'll see in the second part of the project that's been done here slavery in the British Empire well who knows what they would have thought but I think they would have been impressed by the range of skills and the range of approaches that our team of historians have brought to this data and represented here on a platform and also in the audience and I think this is what we have is a really interesting and excellent example of teamwork in the making of history of also collaboration as we've heard within the team and well beyond the team and such a model as we've also heard is being developed in other projects here at UCL especially the East India Company at home project that Margaret finished directing seems to me that these projects are historical teamwork at their very best and they confirm I think that there's no such thing as a lone researcher so that's my second point my final point is about social science interestingly and I wanted to mention this because the first phase of this project was funded very generously by ESRC the Economic and Social Research Council the second phase is funded largely by ESRC but the AHRC have joined a gang they clearly spotted a winner as they tend to do noting he is a Steve support for this project over many years I'm giving you a smile seen more than routine acknowledgement I'm really for two reasons the first is that ESRC in this case is supporting on a very large scale a very significant historical project it's supporting historians working in very historical ways bringing their scholarship to bear on important scholarly questions which themselves have much wider interests than significance so this is about the database but it's about the database plus I think the fact that you SRC has supported this project needs to be acknowledged and actually celebrated the second reason to talk about SRC and social science is I think within this project we've heard something of this and all the talks we've heard there is a commitment to the idea of the social and to social history the UCL team here Katherine all in particular have maintained that commitment in all their work it's very evident in Katherine's work her early work in her book Family Fortunes on gender and class formation in the UK but in this case the concept of what society is has been clearly stretched it's no longer locally or nationally bounded and we're dealing here with connected histories and especially with the interdependence of British history and colonial history as often it's not that argument argument has often been made it's often being asserted what is really crucial about this project is that it is an in-depth demonstration using very interesting empirical data of what that actually means and what it means is there behind our island story to coin a phrase are other stories not necessarily here but elsewhere and the project shows that very well I think also shows that slave ownership have multiple effects across across British society so I'd like you to join me in thanking the team for their work and showing us that and opening up these these questions for more investigation you