But slavery is by no means peculiar, odd or unusual.
It was common among ancient peoples such as the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Hittites, Greeks, Persians, Armenians and many others.
- 6800 B.C. The world’s first
city-state emerges in Mesopotamia. Land ownership and the early stages of
technology bring war—in which enemies are captured and forced to work:
- · Anthony Johnson, listed as "Antonio a Negro" in early records, first arrived in Virginia in 1619.
- · Anthony was enslaved by rival tribes in Angola, sold to the Spanish and later purchased from a passing Portuguese slave ship.
- · Anthony and Mary were married in 1625, and because they appeared to convert to Christianity, they were made indentured servants.
- · They had four children and claimed 250 acres due for five head-rights of either persons who were indentured servants on their estate, or persons from whom they purchased their head-rights.
- · By 1650, their sons acquired an additional 550 acres adjacent to Anthony’s farm.
- · On March 8, 1655, the Northampton County court ruled in the favor of Anthony Johnson when he was accused of keeping an indentured servant, John Castor, as a slave. Castor had not been purchase as a servant, but as a slave.
- · Johnson asked the court to award him John Castor as a slave, Johnson won. This case changed the American landscape because this was the first legal sanction of slavery in the New World, 1664.
- White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America
- · Slavery in America, typically associated with blacks from Africa, was an enterprise that began with the shipping of more than 300,000 white Britons to the colonies.
- · Thousands of whites endured the hardships of tobacco farming and lived and died in bondage in the New World
- · These white slaves in the New World consisted of street children plucked from London's back alleys, prostitutes, and impoverished migrants searching for a brighter future and willing to sign up for indentured servitude.
- · Convicts were also persuaded to avoid lengthy sentences and executions on their home soil by enslavement in the British colonies.
- · The much maligned Irish, viewed as savages worthy of ethnic cleansing and despised for their rejection of Protestantism, also made up a portion of America's first slave population, as did Quakers, Cavaliers, Puritans, Jesuits, and others.
- · Contemporary slavery, also known as modern slavery, refers to the institutions of slavery that continue to exist in the present day. Estimates of the number of slaves today range from around 21 million to 46 million.