White Slavery in the Barbary States Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Senator Charles Sumner was anti slavery, and was the man who was caned until he was unconscience on the floor of the Senate by Representative Brooks of South Carolina the day after he gave an anti slavery speech.
This is a very interesting little book where he focused on the white slaves in the North African Barbary states including Morocco, Algiers, Salee, Oran, Tunis, Tripoli and Bacra. He starts out with some history pointing out that slavery had gone on for millennia. People captured in a war were frequently enslaved. Men to do hard work, including rowing gallery ships and the women frequently made concubines. He then addresses the rise of the Islamic religion in North Africa in particular. When Islam expanded via the sword in its early days, it over ran essentially all of Spain. Spain fought for many years to drive the Moors out, and become free of the second class citizenship under Islam. After 1492 when Ferdinand and Isabela re-conquered the last of Spain from the Moors, whom we would now call Muslims, there was an increase in piracy. Ferdinand and Isabela evicted many of the Moors, who moved to North Africa in many cases and became pirates who preyed on Christian ships. The pirates enslaved the crews, in many cases for ransom by their country or family. (He mentions only as a minor note the fact that the Moors were also importing negro slaves from south of the Sahara in much larger numbers than the captured white Christian slaves.) He does an excellent job of tying together slavery over the years. The preying on Christian ships by the Barbary Pirates was a money rising operation against the religious enemies of Islam. At different times the Barbary Pirates preyed on English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, etc. ships, as well as raiding the Christian shores in the Med, and the Atlantic, up as far as Ireland and the English Channel.
He also point outs that it continued until the early 1800s, when the US in 1815 sent a squadron over to defeat the pirates get the American captives. However, the real end came in 1816 when the British and Dutch showed up with 5 line of battle ships, 10 frigates, 4 bomb vessels and 5 other small ships, and fired 50,000 shot at Algiers, the largest fortress, and essentially leveled the place. This led to the Barbary Pirates giving up their last of thousands of white Christian slaves and stopping their piracy. He makes the points that negro slavery was ongoing in the world, in particular in the American South and the Barbary Coast at this time, but that it was not addressed when the white Christian slaves were freed.
This is a very illuminating book in how Senator Sumner tied together slavery over the ages. The book is extensively foot noted, and reference are provided.
Charles Sumner provided the list of countries involved in these horrendous acts and was not afraid to list the guilty parties by name.
I enjoyed the stories about acts of heroism (Lord Exmouth, Admiral Van de Capellan and John Fox - to only name a few) of the great men involved in trying to liberate the tens of thousands of slaves. Mr. Sumner wrote in some detail how the slaves tried to free themselves.
The book is highly informative for any historian and anyone trying to find out about slavery of men or women of any color, religion, or country.
On the pages, the ink is somewhat faded (please bear in mind the book was published 1847) in some places or I would have given it a five star but you can still make out a great deal of what was written. A great read!
(Where are the movies on this book?)
My only complaint is that Kindle edition as delivered to my original Kindle Fire has no cover art - not even a title page. All I see on my Kindle home page is a blank "cover" with just the percentage I have read. In other words - no title, no author, no subject. And there's no good excuse for this. Interestingly, a download to my newer Fire tablet worked fine.