Sumner’s “views of Christianity and Islam will fascinate historian, clergyman, and educated lay-person alike.” -Goodreads
First published in 1853 by Charles Sumner, “White Slavery in the Barbary States” outlines the history of the centuries in which Moslems enslaved Europeans and later, Americans; and what led to its halt.
Sumner focuses on many specific instances of Europeans and Americans captured and sold at Moslem slave markets.
The Barbary slave trade refers to the slave markets that flourished on the Barbary Coast of North Africa, which included the Ottoman provinces of Algeria, Tunisia and Tripolitania and the independent sultanate of Morocco, between the 16th and middle of the 18th century. The Ottoman provinces in North Africa were nominally under Ottoman suzerainty, but in reality they were mostly autonomous. The North African slave markets were part of the Arab slave trade.
The Barbary Coast European slaves were acquired by Barbary pirates in slave raids on ships and by raids on coastal towns from Italy to the Netherlands, as far north as Iceland and east into the Mediterranean.
The Ottoman eastern Mediterranean was the scene of intense piracy. As late as the 18th century, piracy continued to be a “consistent threat to maritime traffic in the Aegean”.
For centuries, large vessels on the Mediterranean relied on galley slaves supplied by North African and Ottoman slave traders.
Wonderful little known history of slavery over the years, with focus on the Christian slaves of the Barbary States of North Africa. I recommend this book for anyone interested in slavery over the years in the world.
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.
Paperback: 70 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 28, 2017)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches