A Reading List on White SlaverySpencer J. Quinn
A sharp, functional sense of victimhood may grate on the pride of many white people. After all, it was whites who ushered in the modern world these past few centuries, and because of their phenomenal success in such a wide array of fields, many Western whites simply don’t and never did feel like victims. Aren’t all groups of people victims at some point or another throughout history, anyway? Isn’t victimhood universal? If so, then why dwell on it when doing so would only engender unfounded feelings of resentment and discontent?
The reason why is because in today’s multiracial world, the majority of non-whites do exactly this in order to acquire power and wealth — often at the expense of whites. They weaponize their sense of victimhood as part of a group strategy for cultural and political dominance — with a permanent chip on their shoulders, no less. Somewhere in these machinations, which inevitably expand and exaggerate victimhood for political purposes, the truth gets warped beyond all recognition.
The fraudulent 1619 Project is a great example of blacks hijacking history in this manner in order to attain status without having to earn it. Norman Finkelstein’s 2000 work The Holocaust Industry chronicles how Jews abuse the memory of the Jewish Holocaust in order to reap financial reward or further Jewish political interests. Tobias Langdon makes similar points in his article “Holy Minority Day.”
Sadly, this dishonest and dishonorable tactic works well in the West because most whites don’t have their own sense of victimhood with which to counter those of non-whites. Note how Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán recently invoked white victimhood in the face of potential Muslim occupiers when he presented Pope Francis with a copy of a 1243 letter from King Béla IV of Hungary to Pope Innocent IV. The letter described the urgent need to strengthen fortifications along the Danube River to prepare for a Mongol invasion. So far, this tack has helped keep Eastern Europe mostly white.
Unless whites wish to continue being bullied by opportunistic outgroup members in their own homelands — as well as having their homelands invaded by these same outgroups — they will need to emulate Victor Orbán and employ their own sense of victimhood. And this victimhood is not only very real, but springs from the historical actions of both whites and non-whites.
These days, non-whites, and blacks in particular, weaponize historical slavery as their victimhood of choice. In order to check this, I will offer a brief reading list on historical white slavery which will hopefully help instill a healthy and accurate sense of victimhood among white people everywhere.
1. They Were White and They Were Slaves: The Untold History of the Enslavement of Whites in Early America (1991) by Michael Hoffman
This concise yet wide-ranging introduction to the topic begins with white slavery in ancient and medieval times. Hoffman, however, focuses on the abject squalor and cruel conditions large numbers of working-class whites had to endure in Britain from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries, especially in factories. From here, he delves into how hundreds of thousands of white Britons were abducted or otherwise shipped off to a life of agonizing servitude in the New World. The conditions, especially on Caribbean sugar plantations, were so appalling that they amounted to a death sentence in many cases.
Hoffman explores indentured servitude’s fraudulent nature and demonstrates how many whites were either cheated out of their freedom dues or worked to death before being able to achieve them. Physical abuse and rape were common within this system.
Most importantly, Hoffman compares white slavery to black slavery in the New World, and finds them quite comparable — even worse for the white slaves in some places. This not only promotes white victimization, but it also diminishes the myth — or really, the weapon — of black victimization.
There can be no better introduction to the topic of white slavery than this.
2. White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain’s White Slaves in America (2007) by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh
In focusing mostly on white slavery during the Colonial period in America, this work is much less broad in its approach than They Were White, yet dives much deeper into the areas where they overlap. The authors essentially tell the heartbreaking story of white slavery in America in chronological order. It’s complete with victims and villains, and contains the requisite names, dates, and footnotes. As with any good history, the book is prodigiously researched down to specific letters, newspaper articles, and other primary sources. Special consideration is also given to how military history, for example Cromwell’s Irish campaigns or the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion, played into white slavery’s proliferation in America.
Despite its title, White Cargo also eschews any political messaging or calls for white identity. Instead, we get an abundance of detail which enable readers to transport themselves back to this unjustly forgotten period of history.
3. Colonists in Bondage: White Servitude and Convict Labor in America, 1607-1776 (1947) by Abbott Emerson Smith
For completists only, this is the most extensive history I have seen of white slavery in the New World. About as long as the previous two books combined, it’s good for the nuts and bolts (and dollars and cents) of indentured servitude: the policies, statistics, trends, and procedures, with less emphasis on authorial license to develop a cohesive thesis or overarching argument. A bit dry and academic, but an excellent resource for further study, and one which I often return to during my research. Unlike the previous two books, Colonists in Bondage also discusses non-British indentured servants, many of whom were German, and delves into the different types of white servitude in the New World.
While admitting that white “servants” — Smith refuses to call them slaves — were “grievously exploited” and that 50-75% of them died while still in bondage, Smith cannot help but to almost justify indentured servitude with elitist passages like this one:
But the majority of servants would naturally be more or less worthless individuals who drifted into the colonies as a last resort, who were kicked out of England by irate fathers or expelled by the machinery of Bridewell and Newgate. These were the servants who had to be whipped for idleness, who ran away, committed thefts, and disturbed the peace.
So, read with caution, but do so if you want to get to the bottom of the topic of white slavery in Colonial America.
4. The Forgotten Slave Trade: The White European Slaves of Islam (2020) by Simon Webb
Webb’s emphasis in this volume is to un-erase the folk history surrounding Islam’s white slaves. Currently, ignorance reigns supreme among educated whites regarding how Muslim raiders and traders victimized hundreds of thousands of whites for centuries. It was every bit as brutal and cruel as the enslavement of blacks by European whites, if not more so. Playing directly into this essay’s thesis, Webb argues that by no longer teaching the bitter history of white servitude in the Ottoman Empire, our elites are instilling unfounded feelings of guilt among whites and unjustified feelings of entitlement and resentment among blacks and Muslims.
Webb offers a brief history of slavery, which — unlike murder, adultery, theft, and fraud — has never been condemned by any society until relatively recently. And since Muslims were prohibited from enslaving other Muslims, the Ottoman Empire gobbled up as many slaves as it could through conquest or outright theft.
Webb discusses the janissaries, abducted Christian children who were trained to become soldiers of Muhammad. He discusses the corsairs, the speedy ships which Muslim slave raiders would sail along the European coastline while hunting for white slaves. This, he avers, was part of a coordinated effort to subjugate Europe rather than merely independent privateers trying to strike it rich in the slave trade. Webb covers the abject horrors of slavery in the Ottoman Empire, especially for those poor souls doomed to become either galley slaves or eunuchs after having survived the Empire’s infamous castration houses. He also recounts the famous Barbary Wars in which Muslim states provoked Western powers in the nineteenth century by abducting and ransoming Christians on the high seas.
Webb is also a novelist, and so imbues this work with excitement, suspense, and enough narrative detail to make the story of Islam’s white slaves truly unforgettable.
5. Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800 (2003) by Robert Davis
This book has become somewhat famous among dissidents as being the source of the 1.25 million claim — that is, the claim that between 1500 and 1800, Barbary slave raiders abducted between 1 and 1.25 million white Christian souls destined to become slaves across the Muslim world. Davis did the historiographical legwork to be able to tally such a sum. It is a remarkable achievement, as well as a spellbinding read as he walks the reader through his plethora of primary sources in the first chapter.
Beyond this, Christian Slaves lacks some of the riveting drama and action found in The Forgotten Slave Trade, but more than makes up for it in completeness. Where The Forgotten Slave Trade has a noble purpose in mind, Christian Slaves is merely history, pure and deep. Davis is a professor of Italian history, and so brings an Italian perspective and many Italian sources to the work.
The level of detail in Christian Slaves is impeccable, such as with Davis’ description of how Muslim raiders would haul off church bells in conquered towns not merely for the copper but also perhaps because Muslims “abhore the ringing of bels, being contrary to their Prophets command.” Here, Davis quotes a 1614 slave memoir not merely to flesh out the action with a profound psychological insight, but also to reinforce his theme of the clash of vastly different civilizations.
Another theme is the vengeful animosity Muslims felt against Christians during this time period, one which Davis never stops emphasizing. If anything, this is the book’s point. After they had finally been kicked out of Spain at the end of the fifteenth century, many Muslims attacked Christian vessels and coastal cities, just because. It was war. And war to the Muslims meant slavery, whereas this was not necessarily so among the whites. Davis covers the atrocity and horror of slavery in the Muslim world, and does not flinch. A crushing read, and a sine qua non for students of white slavery.
6. White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and North Africa’s One Million European Slaves (2014) by Giles Milton
Unlike many histories of Muslim-on-Christian slavery, White Gold focuses mostly on one person. In 1715, 11-year-old Thomas Pellow was abducted by Barbary pirates and spent 23 years as a slave to the Sultan of Morocco, Moulay Ismail. His experiences were so horrendous and suspenseful, with one close shave after another, that White Gold resembles a page-turning novel more than a book of history.
Author Giles Milton also reveals much about Moulay Ismail, before whom all had to quite literally grovel. The Sultan’s power was absolute, and he would often execute slave and subject alike on a whim. At his disposal were thousands of heavily-armed black African guards who delighted in the torture of white slaves. He commanded not only a large fleet of corsairs but also a land army over 100,00 strong across his sizeable North African empire.
Moulay Ismail’s vanity knew no bounds as he and his retinue lived in comfort and opulence as the majority of his subjects, to say nothing of his slaves, lived in abject destitution. While he was quick to anger and even quicker to murder, he was also known for his iron discipline and moments of mercy and clear-thinking. This enabled Pellow, after he was forcibly converted to Islam, to be promoted in the Sultan’s army for this intelligence and leadership qualities.
Ultimately, Thomas Pellow outlived Moulay Ismail and fled Morocco in his early thirties. He made it back home, not entirely broken by his trying tenure as a Barbary slave. Pellow’s story involves daring escapes, near-death experiences, and a number of hair-raising adventures.
Milton ends the story on a triumphant note. He recounts how, a century later, Sir Edward Pellew, who was a descendent of Thomas Pellow’s extended family, led a large British fleet to Algiers and quite rightly destroyed it. An inspiring ending, but also frustrating considering how the great powers of Europe had to wait until after one million whites had been abducted by corsairs before getting serious about ending the horrific Barbary slave trade — something that the author seems to have missed in this otherwise invaluable book.
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Good list. I have one called White Gold about the Barbary slave trade. I never finished reading it so I have no idea how it stacks up to the others, but it has some interesting period plates and paintings in the center part that depict some of the tortures the Muslims would inflict upon the Europeans, like they dropped molten metal on their feet. I don’t see how that wouldn’t be maiming, if the victim didn’t die of infection. The corsairs raided as far north as Iceland at times! In much of Southern Europe, people could not live within 100 miles of the coastline for fear of being kidnapped.
I think other groups are simply more ethnocentric than whites, and that is the reason they feel group victim hood. Jews and blacks see a crime against one as a crime against each, whereas whites don’t really internalize, and often even like it, hence the German term schadenfreude. It’s a biological phenomenon, nothing we can do about it.
Simon Webb’s book should not be taken seriously.
Muhammad Aryan —
Humbug. Why should a slave care about the slavers law code and “god”?
The idea that Ottoman’s did things one way and ordinary Muslims did it another way is nitpicking. Again, does it matter to the slave?
The Koran may not explicitly say much about slavery, but all the “religions of the book” are slippery as a sackful of eels on the subject. Neither Judaism nor Christianity nor Islam ever interfered with slavery as a religious imperative. As a political issue they may have brought their God in on it, but only when events pushed them.
History is clear that slavery from Africa and the Middle East was the trigger that, however belatedly, sent the troops on the Crusades. A great muddled mush of history all that might be. To the extent they were directed against Saladin and his slavers, the Crusades were good racial revenge. King Richard was an okay guy.
Would you take seriously the account by Francis Bok (born 1979), taken into slavery at age 7 by Islamic raiders in Sudan? He wrote a book, too, Escape from Slavery: The True Story of My Ten Years in Captivity and My Journey to Freedom in America.
Bok was born into a Catholic family of the Dinka tribe and forced to convert to Islam after being captured. They renamed him Abdul Rahman, meaning “servant of the compassionate one.” Compassionate god and compassionate followers, right? Are you compassionate or not?
Kind of off-topic, I know. This is supposed to be about white slaves. I really am not losing sleep over Francis Bok, but you need a little reminder about the fact that slavery still exists in parts of Islam Africa.
There is a link attached to my comment. It will take you to my criticism that I posted way back in January when the review of this book first appeared on CC.
I do NOT deny the violent kidnappings of White men and women by Berber, Arab, Ottoman, etc. slavers.
However, the case gets weakened and trivialized when someone without any solid foundations brings Islam into the argument [mainly for marketing reasons].
The book by Robert Davis listed in the article too indulges in the said practice.
There is no “Islamic unity” and never was. Back in the 60s, Nihal Atsiz wrote his article “The Illusion of Islamic Unity” and it remains correct even today. Iran and Pakistan, сlient states of China, always vote against condemning the Maoist regime in Beijing for its repression of Qazaq Muslims and Uygur Muslims in East Turkestan. And the Muslim regime of al-Assad, a Russian stooge, is killing Türkmens in Aleppo and Idlib, so as Iraq Muslim Arabs kill Türkmens in Mosul and Kerkük. For me, “my own” are Sahalar/Yakuts and Tuvans, who are not Muslims at all, and also Gagauzians, Ukrainians and Bosnians, who are also not Muslims, but Christians, because they are Türks. And Muslim Arabs, Indonesians and Sudanese are for me completely aliens, and I am not interested in their problems. There is only the Turkic race, Türk Irki, and religions (which are not Türkic anyway) and even languages are secondary points.
Note how Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán recently invoked white victimhood in the face of potential Muslim occupiers when he presented Pope Francis with a copy of a 1243 letter from King Béla IV of Hungary to Pope Innocent IV. The letter described the urgent need to strengthen fortifications along the Danube River to prepare for a Mongol invasion.
So Orban thinks that the Mongols of 1243 were MUSLIMS?
And the word invasion is also someway ridicul in the mouth of a Hungarian? Has he forgot that the Hungarians came from the Great Steppe? Does he know about MAJAR, a QAZAQ tribal union, one of KIPCHAK tribal unions? I do not deny that the Hungarians are Europeans NOW, but they anyway are of Asian origins, just like Danube Bulgars, Gagauzians, Bosnians and Ukrainians are.
There may be a tactical advantage in White people playing the victimhood card. But Whites would have to spin this to go over to the offensive.
Example: “You say that White people owe Africans ‘reparations’ for slavery? Wrong. Africans owe Whites reparations for the slave raids of the Barbary [African-Muslim] Pirates, for all the African crime, rioting, race hustles in America and Europe, for the ongoing African migrant invasion, etc. Pay up, and pay up now!”
Here’s a better idea: own this issue.
Example: “Yes, we White people conquered and enslaved Africans, colonized what is today called the ‘third world,’ kept Africans in America subjugated, etc., etc. Well, you Africans better think about all this before you push White people too far, because as you might have observed, White people really can be the ultimate terrorists.
Consider how Cortez conquered the Aztec Empire with a thousand White men. Or how Americans conquered a continent. Or how small Rhodesian and South African security forces defeated much larger numbers of African insurgents.
We did it before and we can do it again!”
Regardless of the objective merits of the above statement, the idea is to (a) deny the enemy the use of their tactic of White Guilt, and (b) to throw the enemy on the defensive.
And perhaps this might inspire more White people to stand up and fight for their own interests.
Learning about White slavery is important, especially for the young, but non-White victimhood is used as a weapon because it works on White peoples faulty morality that they never project towards in-group. Is the idea that if Whites were to discover past examples where we were victims that this weapon would be ineffective? Whites barely have any reaction to modern white teenage girl victims of grooming gangs, how is an understanding of the reality that slavery made all races a victim in history gonna achieve this goal?
We currently have the correct position of victimhood, to not be whiney about past harms. The problem is we don’t extend this to non-Whites, we don’t tell them “I don’t care what happened to you” followed by revealing the reality of things. It’ll have no effect on the non-White other than stunning them by being a non-compliant White (see Don Lemons face after being talked down by non-compliant royal scholar as example) but it will make Whites think more.
Is not the argument from the Left that the above mentioned instances of ‘slavery’ simply don’t count because the ‘slaves’ (sorry, I should say ‘enslaved persons’) did not have the legal status of chattel, and the condition of being enslaved was not hereditary? In any case (they continue) only the transatlantic slave trade instantiated and perpetuated the triad of white supremacy, colonialism and capitalism that genocides and impoverishes people of colour to the present day. Thus going on about Tauregs and Pirates is only a form of tu quoque fallacy, not an argument in good faith against reparations and the dismantling of whiteness. Thoughts?
Thanks for this, Vehmgericht,
First, it is the left that is guilty of ad hominems when single out “white supremacy” as the worst kind of offense, as if Muslims enslaving black Africans was necessarily not as bad, even if something like 50% of the black men sent to cross the Sahara never survived castration. The left clearly has an anti-white axe to grind.
Second, legal status and heritabilty does not define a system as slavery. Forced labor does. A person abducted by corsairs along the coast of Italy and employed as a galley slave may not even have a name to his Muslim overlords (so no legal status) and will be worked to death (so no concern for heritability), and yet this person would still be a slave.
The leftist argument you outline is merely sophistry designed so the left can get its cake and eat it too. To wit: defining “slavery” in such a way that only their enemy (whites) can be guilty of it.
The issue of all issues, however, is why whites constitute the only race to produce race traitors. Nothing matters until we understand the origin of this unique aspect of our collective character – and how to neutralize it. I believe that white race-leftists are evolutionary biological maladaptees, and that it is only via separation (from them, as well as nonwhites) that we can preserve our race and civilization. IOWs, there is no reasoning with the majority of them; race-treason sits at the core of their beings.
Another solid and useful post, btw. Thanks.
Another excellent article Mr. Quinn. Just one minor comment. “White Slavery” can also mean prostitution. So some people might get confused by the term.
True, what was known as the “white slave trade” from 1870 to 1939 was the worldwide prostitution network run by Jews with most of the prostitutes being Jewish as well. At least according to Edward Bristow’s Prostitution and Prejudice which I will review one of these days.
It’s a grim topic, but I would add something about white prison convicts being homosexually enslaved and gang-raped by blacks in American (and now also, I suspect, European) prisons. Black pimping of white runaway girls also verges on slavery (even if it’s not institutionalized, as the leftists would whine in response).
Hi Lord Shang,
Yes I considered that, but that might have been a case of apples and oranges. I think what we are doing is countering our enemy’s slavery narrative with one of our own. When they bring up slavery they mean white on black slavery that we had in the antebellum South and the Colonial period before that. So bringing up indirectly related topics in response might be less effective.
I considered including the Gulag Archipelago too. But I was afraid that that and what you mention would have made the article too long and less germaine to a particular point and purpose.
I hope this makes sense.
I get it. I was just noting that the concept of “slavery” can, and I think needs to, be extended beyond mere institutionalized examples of it, and that doing so will tend to work to our rhetorical advantage. I’m actually doing (alas, slowly .. if I make it to retirement, everything will speed up …) something of the same thing wrt the concept of “war”, which needs to be dramatically expanded beyond its conventional associations (Civil War, WW2, Ukraine, etc). I hope someday to publish my paltry thoughts on the matter here at CC.
This is a great resource.
I don’t know if there is a separate book on this topic, but there is a lot of scattered information about how the famous European Vikings turned the indigenous population of present-day Russia, Belarus and Ukraine into slaves, how the so-called “Kyiv Rus” or Gardarika – a complex of slave trading factories – functioned in Eastern Europe. And how this medieval mafia-terrorist international structure traded the ancestors of Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians across Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. Well, the slavery was “normal” then. But the funny thing here is that the descendants of those former slaves are now proud of their former slave owners/traders and glorify them as saints and great princes, erect monuments to them, place their portraits on banknotes.
King Richard was an okay guy.
Yes, of course. Just like Putin, savior of the white race and christian values.
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