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Remains of First African Slaves Found

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the you-are-what-you-eat dept.

Science 392

An anonymous reader writes to tell us LiveScience is reporting that Archaeologists may have found the oldest remains of slaves brought from Africa to the New World. From the article: "The African origin of the slaves was determined by studying a chemical in their tooth enamel that reveals plant and rock types of their native land. The chemical enters the body through the food chain as nutrients pass from bedrock through soil and water to plants and animals. It is an indelible signature of birthplace, the researchers said, because it can be directly linked to the bedrock of specific locales."

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392 comments

Oldest (3, Insightful)

imoou (949576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613722)

But possibly not the first.

Re:Oldest (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613955)

I'd say that "I, for one, welcome our new slave-trading overlords.", but it would be in poor taste.

RE (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613723)

"The African origin of the slaves was determined by studying a chemical in their tooth enamel that reveals plant and rock types of their native land.
Was it a gold tooth? Part of a platinum grille?

The chemical in the tooth... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613726)

Was it platinum or gold?

So they know they were African... (5, Insightful)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613727)

How do they know they were slaves?

Re:So they know they were African... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613744)

It had a fro on its head and it was holding the reminanats of a chicken wing and some watermellon(=

Re:So they know they were African... (4, Interesting)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613746)

Because 99% (at least) of immigration from Africa to the New World at the time was slavery. It is possibly they weren't slaves, but not very likely.

Re:So they know they were African... (5, Informative)

xXBondsXx (895786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613766)

Because 99% (at least) of immigration from Africa to the New World at the time was slavery. It is possibly they weren't slaves, but not very likely.

Almost. That figure might be true once the slave trade boomed, but at first most Africans imported to the Americas were indentured servants.

link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery#Slavery_in_No rth_America [wikipedia.org]

to quote the article: The first imported Africans were brought as indentured servants, not slaves. They were required, as white indentured servants were, to serve seven years.

It is possible/relatively likely that these skeletons they examined were not slaves, but skip ahead 100 years, and that percentage shrinks to (almost) zero.

Re:So they know they were African... (2, Informative)

jopasm (51345) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614117)

Actually, the first part of that wikipedia article is wrong. While the first slaves in the Jamestown colony were treated as a sort of second-class indentured servant (they could eventually buy their contract out, just as any other colonist could) they were the remains of a load of slaves that didn't sell in the West Indies sugar plantations. Slavery was pretty well established on Spanish plantations by that time. Think about the economics of it - why go all the way to Africa to grab some poor souls who don't speak the language and don't know how to farm in the environment you will be transporting them to when there's plenty of people lining the docks in your home port?

On the other hand, if you can go to africa and buy people as property, and their descendents remain property...the economics starts to make sense.

Re:So they know they were African... (-1, Troll)

urbanRealist (669888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613782)

Indeed, the United States would not be the economic superpower it is today if not for the hyperbolic materialization of people.

correction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14614038)

I think you mean "Enslavement" - implying active participation versus "slavery" - the weakest way to describe an atrocity.

The "b.lacks" should learn from the "ashkenazi jews" and get their language straight.

Re:So they know they were African... (1)

mrselfdestrukt (149193) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613896)

They were in fact rich travellers visiting foreign countries to exploit them with the first spam messages.
Imagine this group of people arriving there.
"Hi, I am Prince so-and-so from (Whatever Nigeria region was called then). We have 20 000 camels to give to you, but we need 100 ships to bring them. Could you give us the ships so that we can go back and get your free camels.

------
Hmm boobs...
------

Exactly so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613986)

The Muslims were kicked out of Spain about the same time Columbus discovered America. It is quite possible that someone living in Spain as a free person had been born in Africa.

TFA obviously doesn't contain all the evidence the archeologists found, so maybe there is some evidence we don't know about. TFA doesn't prove conclusively that the skeletons belonged to slaves. The statement that slavery was an important part of the local economy seems to be a bit of a stretch.

Re:So they know they were African... (3, Interesting)

Green Salad (705185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614012)

White man says white man in strange place = "adventurous explorer"
White man says black man in strange place = "slave"

Um, is this the scientific reasoning?

I know. I know. It's a cheap shot at acadamia. However, I just *had* to say it because the irony of it amuses me. Trust me, I won't be the last to point this out!

Re:So they know they were African... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14614076)

Well to be brutally frank: western europeans (and their decendents) invented/discovered a lot of stuff (space travel, theory of relativity for example), in the middle-east Jews "discovered" monotheism and the arabs invented algebra. India (here I'm less informed) they invented the number zero, in China they invented/discovered gunpowder, advanced methods of salt extraction and a civil service.

What useful invention or discovery can be attributed to any of the huge number of sub-saharan Africans? How many famous black scientists are there? In fact it seems they only become succesful once they translate to a western society (Nelson Mandela, Colyn Powell, Eddy Murphy) (which suggest the problem isn't genetic but instead cultural or environmental).

So I don't think it's at all unreasonable for people to assume a black corpse in North America at that time was probably a slave (or indentured servant) and not an explorer for the simple reason there's no evidence black africans explored.

Re:So they know they were African... (1)

AoT (107216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614109)

And African invented the original stone tools, rope, and language.

But, yes, at the time they generally traveled the world as slaves.

Re:So they know they were African... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14614106)

From TFA:

"Researchers examined remains of four individuals from among 180 burials found in a multiethnic burial ground associated with the ruins of a colonial church in Campeche, Mexico, a port city on the Yucatan Peninsula."

No, I'm sure it was a family of tourists. After all, travel to the Americas was a trivial thing by the 17th century. Like taking the Interstate, just with more vertical motion.

"Um, is this the scientific reasoning?"

In your case no. In the of T. Douglas Price of University of Wisconsin-Madison, undoubtedly familiar with the nature of society at the time, probably very good science, yes.

In the news tomorrow night (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14614052)

Decendents of the recently discovered "first slaves" sue US government for the hardships endured by their ancestors. "We were the first to be enslaved and we should be the first to be given a free hand-out, err, compensated for our suffering" said Mr Kaynan Bannana outside the Capitol building.

When asked how he knew he was descended from the first slaves Mr Bannana stated that they were all brothers and to even question that fact was just the racist delusions of another honkey set on re-enslaving his people.

Re:So they know they were African... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14614072)

Gotta be the shoes.

"not long after Columbus..." (2, Insightful)

mrnobo1024 (464702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613731)

The remains, in a colonial era graveyard in one of the oldest European cities in Mexico, date between the late-16th century and the mid-17th century, not long after Columbus first set foot in the Americas.

100 years is "not long after"? Has the length of the year changed since then or what?

Re:"not long after Columbus..." (1)

Rosyna (80334) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613803)

Yes. It is not long after when you consider geological time periods. 100 years compared to the entire history of the Earth is "not long after" (unless you take the Bible literally, sheep). 100 years after the founding of the US is a very long time. Boobs.

Re:"not long after Columbus..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14614082)

Columbus did not found the United States.

Or about 50 years after the Spanish started coming (5, Interesting)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613765)

The city was founded in 1540 by Spanish conquistadores as San Francisco de Campeche atop the preexisting Maya city of Canpech or Kimpech.

Now we know that the Cortes expedition had some African slaves in it. Here is a question on the subject, while research is done on the many aspects of European Slavery, how much research is done on inter-African slavery or Islamic slavery in regards to Africa? I know we hear a bunch about slavery in the United States, but how about the United Kingdom or French slavery?

Heck, what about trans-tribal slavery in the Americas? While working on a paper about the Cortes expedition there were references in many texts and documents about the Aztecs having slaves, but much more time and space devoted to the few slaves the expedition had with them.

Re:Or about 50 years after the Spanish started com (1)

246o1 (914193) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613786)

Well, since the Spanish continued to have slaves, and write a lot about them, and leave lots of artifacts, and the Aztecs *mysteriously* disappeared, I think it's safe to assume that the relative lack of knowledge about the topic might have contributed to the paucity of writing about Aztec slavery vs. well-documented European slavery.

Re:Or about 50 years after the Spanish started com (5, Interesting)

aktzin (882293) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613908)

...the Aztecs *mysteriously* disappeared...

Did they? My understanding was that Hernán Cortés had the ruling family and other people with power tortured and/or killed. Of the general population, those who didn't die in the violence of the Spanish invasion were forced to flee and probably ended up mixing with other tribes.

And then there was the smallpox epidemic (and other diseases) that the Spanish brought from Europe and for which the native population had no defenses. In fact, Cuitláhuac died of smallpox and his nephew Cuauhtémoc then became the last Aztec emperor. The Spanish captured him, tortured him, kept him prisoner a few years and then hanged him.

But even though the Aztec population was significantly reduced and scattered, their descendants are still around. There's been just a bit of foreign immigration to Mexico the last 484 years, mostly from Spain. Want to guess why modern Mexicans look a bit different than Aztecs and other locals did? : ) And finally, their language (Náhuatl) is still spoken in several states in central Mexico.

Full disclosure: most of my ancestry comes from the Totonacs. This was one of many tribes enslaved by the Aztecs and all too glad to help the Spanish overthrow the evil overlords. Talk about the devil you know, huh?

Aztec colonies (3, Interesting)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613967)

It is interesting you mentioned the Aztecs. My friend, who lived in New Mexico for a while and mingled with the anthropology crowd at the NMU, told me that the Navajo around that region have detailed stories about how they were colonized and taken into slavery by the Aztecs. A particularly interesting story was how the Aztecs would run this celestial observatory in the canyons. Most of the stuff in their stories about the Aztecs though is about their cruelty and human sacrifice.

This stuff is fascinating because like every ingorant Joe out there I thought stuff (good and bad) started happening on the North American continent mostly after the Europeans settled. And such things as colonies, slavery and celestial observations would not have existed here before.

Re:Aztec colonies (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614056)

Kinda interesting you mention this. I just watched a History Channel show that covered cannabilism through the ages. They mentioned that in N. Mexico and that region, there are some interesting pieces they are putting together to support cannabilistic peoples around the time of the Asazi. However they don't think it was the Asazi, but Aztecs or another Central Mexican clan that moved north to get away from civil war, either to maintain their lifestyle or just to find a people to enforce themselves upon universally.

Long story short, there is some interesting anthropological finds coming out of that region (NM/AZ) when, as usual, we thought we already knew the majority of it.

Re:Or about 50 years after the Spanish started com (1)

Velox_SwiftFox (57902) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613787)

Now we know that the Cortes expedition had some African slaves in it. Here is a question on the subject, while research is done on the many aspects of European Slavery, how much research is done on inter-African slavery or Islamic slavery in regards to Africa? I know we hear a bunch about slavery in the United States, but how about the United Kingdom or French slavery?

Perhaps, first North American African Slavery? Until 1776, of course, slavery in the Colonies was United Kingdom slavery anyway.

Re:Or about 50 years after the Spanish started com (1)

skribe (26534) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613866)

Actually the United Kingdom didn't exist until the Act of Union of 1800. Between 1707 and 1800 it was called the Kingdom of Great Britain. Before that England and Scotland were considered separate kingdoms despite them having the same monarch since 1603.

Re:Or about 50 years after the Spanish started com (3, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613857)

There's a large body of knowledge on the Islamic slave trade and intra-African trading.

http://africanhistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa1 01101a.htm [about.com]

Just about everyone was guilty when it came to the slave trade. Jews, Christians, Muslims, and most everyone in between.

That's just the (unfortunate) way things were

Re:Or about 50 years after the Spanish started com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613943)

There isn't much mentioned about Islam in that article. Yes, Islam allowed slaves, as did the Bible supposedly. However, if the American slavemasters were any indication, Islam's rules on slavery were much fairer. For example, Muslims couldn't forcibly convert a slave, but the American slavemasters did it to a strong extent (nearly a third of the slaves brought over to America were Muslim, but many were forcibly converted to Christianity and Islam vanished for a time.)

You mistake paper Islam with real Islam. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613978)

Yeah on paper Islam says certain things, but Islam practiced for real is a different thing. Need an example? Islam says for Muslims to be tolerant of other religions. Yet go to Saudi Arabia, and find out if can you practice your non-Islamic religion in public? Can you build a church, temple or synagogue? Can you be a citizen without being a Muslim? Can you even walk around Mecca if you so desired, without being a Muslim? Let me know if the answer to any of these questions is no longer "no"?

Paper Islam and real Islam are two mutually exculsive things, my naive and sheltered techie.

Maafa - The American Holocaust (3, Insightful)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613959)

It took the "middle passage" [wikipedia.org] and other horrors to really turn large-scale [wikipedia.org] African slavery [wikipedia.org] into the worst atrocity [swagga.com] of the past two-thousand years.

Stalin? The Nazis and Khmer Rouge? Small potatoes to these horrors, which continued for almost two-hundred years. The Arab and interneccine slavery of Africans was unjust - but seldom so relentlessly brutal, with human beings reduced to a level of treatment beneath that of animals.

I don't think so. (4, Informative)

Descalzo (898339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614039)

As horrific as the slave trade was, those articles of yours estimate there were 15 million African slaves brought to the US over the Atlantic.

Check out http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm [erols.com] .

While I agree that the slave trade was bad, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao far outstrip it.

That page is kinda freaky.

Re:I don't think so. (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614101)

Well, slavery went on for thousands of years. It predated written history, and continued until western civilization decided that slavery was repugnant and stamped it out, over the objections of nearly every other society. Driving slavery almost out of existence was probably the greatest achievement of the British empire.

-jcr

Re:Maafa - The American Holocaust (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14614078)

"Stalin? The Nazis and Khmer Rouge? Small potatoes to these horrors, which continued for almost two-hundred years."

Pure bullshit puffery. I'm by no means excusing or diminishing the immense suffering slaves underwent, but if I were it still wouldn't compare to your offhand dismissal of the deaths of tens of millions. Khmer Rouge weren't brutal? Nor Stalin's purges? Please read a book before trivializing genocide again.

Re:Maafa - The American Holocaust (4, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614093)

The Arab and interneccine slavery of Africans was unjust - but seldom so relentlessly brutal,

Guess again.

When the British were hunting down slave ships in the 1800's, Arab slave traders routinely slit slaves' throats and tossed them overboard if they caught sight of a British flag. Plausible deniability, you know. Also, slaves were often marched across the sahara to sell on the coast of libya, with well over half dying of thirst along the way. Not to mention, the number of men who were castrated, to provide eunuchs for Arab buyers.

Pick up a copy of Thomas Sowell's essay "The real history of slavery", which goes into considerably more detail.

-jcr

Whataboutery (1, Flamebait)

bw-sf (937673) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614018)

"Now we know that the Cortes expedition had some African slaves in it. Here is a question on the subject, while research is done on the many aspects of European Slavery, how much research is done on inter-African slavery or Islamic slavery in regards to Africa? I know we hear a bunch about slavery in the United States, but how about the United Kingdom or French slavery?" This is a classic example of "whataboutery". You've been presented with facts and information about the AMERICAN, trans-Atlantic slave trade. Your immediate reaction is to start talking about anything OTHER than the American, trans-Atlantic slave trade: "What about Arabia?" "What about France?" "What about this?" "What about that?" All the while you're waving a Confederate flag and jerking off to pictures of lynchings.

Not... (3, Interesting)

djupedal (584558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613768)

'It is an indelible signature of birthplace, the researchers said, because it can be directly linked to the bedrock of specific locales.'

Unless, of course, you fill your water barrels at that location, and then everyone on board drinks from that 'unique' source for a given period of time, in which case you'd easily detect false-positives and mistakenly believe the entire crew was borne in one location.

Reminds me of when some researchers found WWII supply caches buried in the Sahara by Rommel's forces...the first thing they did was to release a study claiming they could better define modern pollution, as Rommel's water had been carefully sealed, buried and protected. That study I can buy...this one, on slave origins, I'm less inclined, sorry.

Re:Not... (2, Insightful)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613796)

Only if the crew included pregnant women, and they drank stored water from that one location for several months. Possible, but highly unlikely.

Re:Not... (1)

mblase (200735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613800)

and mistakenly believe the entire crew was borne in one location.

I think that word "crew" is central to the issue. IIRC, slaves on boats weren't often given such luxuries as food and water that wasn't strictly necessary for survival. Of course, that may be more applicable to the later slave trading boats than the early ones.

Re:Not... (5, Informative)

EMeta (860558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613807)

Sounds like a flaw, except that this tooth enamel is deposited early in childhood. Especially in the early days of the slave trade, children were a rarity to export since you could get much more value per space from a fully grown person.

Re:Not... (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613842)

...this tooth enamel is deposited early in childhood

Good point. But how do we determine the history of such an individual in terms of migration, etc. Entity borne in region A later relocates to region B, where they are enslaved...now we are talking about two different locations: 1.) place of birth 2.) place of capture. Just because they were born in location 1 doesn't mean they were captured in region 1.

Perhaps cannibalism was a factor as well...

Slave from region B invites slave from region A to the local Hannibal Lecter Dinner Theater, as the main course at the children's table, and the trigger materials become a misleading part of the food-chain, again, signaling false positives.

Re:Not... (1)

jopasm (51345) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614102)

Most of the dating is off minerals that are present and teeth and bones. They aren't always transmitted through soft-tissue. On top of that - it takes a long time for this stuff to build up. Cannibalism is not really a factor.

Even if it were - so what? Whether they're from North or South Africa they're still from Africa, and likely to be slaves.

The techniques that are being used to identify where these individuals came from are fairly common and well researched in the field of biological anthropology.

interesting fact (2, Interesting)

Belseth (835595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613776)

Americans have been blamed for slavery yet this first group were obviously brought by the Spanish. A number of Europeon countries were involved in the slave trade. I'm not aware of American ships involved in the slave trade itself. Wealthy landowners in this country were buyers but the trade was actually Europeon in origin. Just find it odd that the US gets all the blame when the slavers were African and Europeon. Kind of like saying the drug addicts were responsible for making, transporting and selling the drugs. Rich Americans back in the 1700s and 1800s were at fault but they were hardly the only ones involved. And an FYI most Americans at the time didn't own slaves or support slavery. Many in fact actively worked against the practice.

Re:interesting fact (4, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613801)

The slave trade has always been blamed on Europeans and African slavetraders as well. One of the reasons America gets the lion's share of the blame is because we took so long to actually abolish it.

Re:interesting fact (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613826)

As opposed to the Muslim world which still practices slavery today?

Re:interesting fact (4, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614121)

One of the reasons America gets the lion's share of the blame is because we took so long to actually abolish it.

The USA abolished slavery well ahead of most of the rest of the world. Saudi Arabia, for example, only abolished slavery (officially) in the 1960s.

Actually, the main reason America gets blamed so much for slavery, is that it serves current political agendas to do so. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton call for slavery reparations from the US government, but have never lifted a finger to free a single living slave today, in the Sudan, or any of the other places where slavery continues.

Likewise, they don't call for any of the Africans whose ancestors participated in slave-catching raids to pay those people whose ancestors were herded onto slave ships or marched across the continent to be sold in Arab lands. Nor do they demand reparations to Europe for the million or so Europeans who were captured by slave traders, and sold in North Africa and the middle east.

-jcr

Re:interesting fact (2, Insightful)

dotslashdot (694478) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613809)

Yes, those poor wealthy white Americans addicted to slavery. If only the Spanish hadn't gotten America hooked on the slave trade. Americans are blamed for slavery because *gasp* white America enslaved blacks and treated them like animals and property. Americans are blamed for slavery today because apologist posters like you just don't seem to get it and try to minimize or deny the terrible atrocity.

Re:interesting fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613893)

Well done, sir/madam! You've completely missed the original poster's point. While some Americans did participate in the enslavement of Africans, (which by definition implies that this minority treated Africans "like animals and property,") the vast majority had no involvement. "White America" played no role in slavery. Slavery WAS an atrocity, and the original poster makes no claim to the contrary. That said, don't try to place the blame for the practice on some paranoid construction of the totality of European Americans as co-conspirators. While it is perfectly fair to blame America for slavery, to blame Americans (and only the white ones!) for slavery is simply illogical and, dare I say, racist.

Re:interesting fact (2, Interesting)

shoma-san (739914) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613916)

The vast majority refused to hold those responsible for trafficing humans accountable by turning a blind eye too. Ever heard of "guilty by association?" - Like standing by and letting your friends commit a crime...

Re: interesting fact (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613855)

> yet this first group were obviously brought by the Spanish.

Interestingly, Black slavery in the Americas began at the suggestion of Las Casas [wikipedia.org] , whose views were modern enough for him to be outraged at the practice of bringing "Indians" down from the Mexican highlands to suffer and die working in steamy sugar cane plantations, but not modern enough to reject the idea of slavery itself: he suggested bringing in Africans to do the work instead.

Re:interesting fact (2, Insightful)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613872)

It's not that interesting.

It's very widely known that the UK had a lot to do with slavery, as did a number of other European nations. The fact that damns the US is that so many people kept slavery going for so much longer than the rest of the world.

The rich Americans were exactly the ones involved though. They were absolutely not unwittingly addicted to slavery, but were instead willing to buy and sell slaves because they made more money by not paying wages. A lot of wealth in the US was founded on slavery, but then robber barons throughout history have been doing more or less the same thing. It's down to morality versus wealth. For some reason these seem mutually exclusive to most of the world's wealthy people.

Re:interesting fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613899)

The big slave-ship operations were out of New England. But you're wrong that America was the last to end the practice. Those New England slave traders were still doing good business in Brazil, long after the end of slavery in the US.

Washington (1)

Descalzo (898339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614087)

I remember reading a biography of Washington "The Indispensible Man." I highly recommend it. The author devotes a whole chapter to slavery. Washington was beginning to realize that not only was it immoral, it was impractical.

The slaves were not good workers. They were dishonest and had to be watched constantly and didn't do good work. For the quality of workers, it was just not worth it. Washington started to realize that his slaves were a ball and chain. He couldn't keep them because it wasn't working and it was just wrong anyway. He couldn't free them, because they had been raised with such a terrible work ethic that working for a living was simply alien to them.

If someone has better knowledge of this than I do, please let me know.

I guess that my point is that in the battle of "morality versus wealth" as you put it, the slave holders were losing both ways.

Re:interesting fact (2)

shoma-san (739914) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613892)

You're perception of Americans being blamed for slavery comes from reading history written by Americans. Africans, Europeans, and Americans were involved in catching, shipping, selling, and buying slaves. You're not aware of American ships involved in the slave trade because you were not alive...

Re:interesting fact (1)

slashdotmsiriv (922939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613938)

A number of Europeon countries were involved in the slave trade.
Wealthy landowners in this country were buyers but the trade was actually Europeon in origin. Just find it odd that the US gets all the blame when the slavers were African and Europeon.
Yes I realize you hold the bad Europeans in contemn for "fixing" you on Africans, but can't you at least learn how to spell it? How seriously would you take somebody who calls u an Ammerrikon?

Re:interesting fact (1)

Ender_Wiggin (180793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613962)

Most Americans didn't own slaves, but that didn't prevent a good portion of them from joining the Confederacy and fighting the Union to defend slavery and their social order. Many in fact DID work against the practice, but they were viewed by the South as terrorists (Nat Turner's rebellion),Northern Liberals, or extremists (ie John Brown).

Re:interesting fact (1)

tighr (793277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614062)

The Confederacy (and by extension, the Civil War) was not formed to defend the right of slavery by any means. The primary goal of the Confederate states was to protect States Rights, and to minimize the control the Federal government had on the State government. Although their constitution specifically allowed slavery, international slave trade was banned. You, however, already made the point that of all Americans that joined the Confederacy, not all owned slaves.

Supply and Demand (1)

wetson (27135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614001)

I'm not aware of American ships involved in the slave trade itself.

Um, basic economics please? If there wasn't a demand in the colonies for the slaves, you think the slavers would have bothered making the trip?

Re:Supply and Demand (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614035)

Those infamous slave ships were not US ships. While slavery was still legal, the importation of slaves was not.

Re:Supply and Demand (1)

wetson (27135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614081)

Ok I guess my point wasn't so clear when I quoted the parent. Regardless if the ships were flying under an American flag or not, those ships would have not bothered going to the US with their human cargo if the demand was not there.

Re:interesting fact (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14614049)

It's also interesting to note that only 6% of all slaves imported into the New World ended up in territories that would become the United States.

Re:interesting fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14614099)

another interesting fact is that those slaves where sold to the traders (whatever nationality they were) by their own people. Makes yeah think about the whole argument doesnt it?

Re:interesting fact (2, Interesting)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614103)

John Brown in Rhode Island was amongst a brood of American slave traders. Brown University was named after his nephew, and he was Brown's first treasurer or something. He also was the largest founding shareholder in Providence Bank, chartered in 1791, which exists in its modern day iteration - BANK OF AMERICA.

He financed and/or managed slave expeditions and used some of the slaves to work on his own plantation in Belize. He produced molasses that was used to trade at African slave posts. He cornered all three aspects of the Triangular trade. His iron works factory in Rhode Island produced shackles and iron works for slave trading ships. He left the slave trade in the late 1790s to focus on China. The Chinese had a jones for ginseng, which grew well here, or something like that.

niggers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613781)

Someone should hang the remains becuase they haven't picked cotton in several hundred years. Lynch them disobidient niggers!!

*cough* (-1, Redundant)

TerminaMorte (729622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613784)

What exactly does this have to do with NEWS FOR NERDS. STUFF THAT MATTERS.?
 

Re:*cough* (-1, Flamebait)

TerminaMorte (729622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613835)

I don't think an article about dead niggers is appropriate, and I get modded offtopic? :/

You watch (1)

poofyhairguy82 (635386) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613876)

I don't think an article about dead niggers is appropriate, and I get modded offtopic? :/

You think that's bad? What till this question of yours is marked to be the flamebait it is. The article is very important because now we know almost exactly how long slavery lasted in the New World. Your vocabulary implies to me why you do not care.

On a slow news day, I would prefer /. share such things with me instead of dupes.

Re:You watch (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613912)

It's only a dupe if you saw it the first time around.

But anyways, I'm not sure how anyone could expect to use the phrase "dead niggers" and not get modded flamebait. Wait, it might apply to the GNAA, but that's the only situation I can think of.

Re:*cough* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613926)

I'll answer your first questions, despite you making yourself seem more like trollbait with your second post. Finding ancient human remains is dating to a period of early settlement in an area as significant as North America is certainly a nerdy enough topic.

Re:*cough* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613947)

ahem... what I meant to say is: I'll answer your first questions, despite you making yourself seem more like trollbait with your second post. Finding ancient human remains dating to a period of early settlement in an area as significant as North America is certainly a nerdy enough topic.

Re:*cough* (2, Insightful)

posterlogo (943853) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613939)

What exactly does this have to do with NEWS FOR NERDS. STUFF THAT MATTERS.?

I actually agree with you, partly. Although I am happy to see more science-related issues on Slashdot, comments like yours prove that clearly some nerds here are not intelligent enough to handle them.

Re:*cough* (4, Insightful)

ChrisGilliard (913445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614008)

There are many kinds of nerds ok? This is interesting to our anthropological nerd brethren. Nerds need to learn to respect each other.

in America? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613806)

That's odd.

I always assumed the first African Slaves were in Africa.

But, maybe that's because they were.

Market forces (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14614088)

When the white use of African slaves began, Europe was largely free of any other kind of slavery. There's an image in the collective cultural consciousness of how slavery began. This image seems to be that Europeans showed up and just started whipping the black people into submission from horseback, then taking them off and selling them. It's like Planet of the Apes.

The idea of selling the Africans as slaves wasn't spontaneous. There were already African slave markets. A few scumbag Europeans bought slaves. People noticed how much cheaper it was to have a slave than a servant, and how much more reliable. Their skin became a permanent uniform, so there was no way they could steal property and run off with it. That made them trustworthy, in a sense.

Gradually, the economic benefits made using the African slave market to get labour the only way to stay competitive. Yes, the people involved in the trade were bastards, but the people who didn't participate were economically culled. It's the kind of situation in which only government interference can stop the process. No matter how many high minded individuals refuse to be a part the crime won't stop until there's a law.

Passing a law like that takes time. It takes people fighting and writing great essays and changing the minds of their countrymen one at a time. It isn't good enough to convince the populace that slavery is probably pretty bad. They have to be convinced that it's a crime.

In this way, the atrocities of Europe trading slaves were pretty much unavoidable, just like most of the Native American deaths were unavoidable once smallpox started to spread. Individuals did horrible things, true, but individuals are always doing horrible things. Even now.

As a culture we need to understand that historical forces take time to work. The response to this kind of guilt should be to work ever harder on ending similar situations now, not endless hand-wringing about how unpleasant past atrocities were. Today's atrocities, by sheer number, are ten times worse. They just don't have a united brand name.

let me guess just in time for BLACK HISTORY MONTH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613818)

Paleeze africans made slave of other africans well before any white man did so in the new world.

Re:let me guess just in time for BLACK HISTORY MON (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14614115)

.. And the Zulus held Xhosa as slaves for over 7000 years.
Actually, there were substantial numbers of white slaves taken by Arab traders around Europe aswell (maybe I should sue for compensation?).

Or howabout some white slaves in the US?
http://www.salon.com/books/it/2000/06/15/white_sla ves/ [salon.com]
http://multiracial.com/content/view/460/27/ [multiracial.com]

a "Slave" is just a very recent label for an ancient behaviour. Trying to project our modern day values onto older civilisations is rather ridiculous.

Good (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613820)

We can finally prove Bush was not born in Texas. Nor was he raised there. Nor did he own his ranch in Crawford until the year before the 2000 presidential election. Guess that makes him all hat and no cattle?

I wonder.. (4, Interesting)

fadeaway (531137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613824)

"The chemical enters the body through the food chain as nutrients pass from bedrock through soil and water to plants and animals. It is an indelible signature of birthplace, the researchers said, because it can be directly linked to the bedrock of specific locales."

That said, I wonder what the results of the same testing would show on individuals that reside in current industrialized first world nations. It occurs to me that a good portion of the food we eat is produced abroad.

I pity the anthropologists of tommorow.

They won't be digging us up. (1)

DeadPrez (129998) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613898)

They'll want to suck us up. Hopefully the combustion engine will be re-invented by then.

cheerio

Re:I wonder.. (2, Funny)

hmccabe (465882) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613961)

Future scientist : The chemical composition suggests that the specimen lived on a diet of sawdust and polyeurothane around 2000 A.D. Future sceintist's boss : Yeah, they called that "McDonalds." He's probably from, oh, let's say Phoenix.

NIGGERS! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613825)

Let's give em a good lynching!

Same goes for the NIGGER-LOVING moderators who modded down my comment about the platinum grilles!

It should be +5 funny!

Well that's a relief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613936)

I can rest easy now. I've been sitting on the edge of my seat just waiting for them to find those remains. 'Bout time! [/sarcasm]

This is Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613990)

This is fuckin' slashDOT!!!! How the fuck am I 'sposed to care 'bout some fuckin' dead niggers on fuckin' SLASHdot!!!!

I am? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14614017)

Why do we still refer to PEOPLE..as objects.. if inheretly all are WORTH?


Unless, some get to be "worth - less" in the minds of others.



Eggnog that, Nerd.

sitting on the story. (2, Funny)

ayeco (301053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614045)

So, it looks like someone has been sitting on this story until black history month started. Looks like /. got it posted 27 minutes into it.

bedrock of specific locales (-1, Offtopic)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614061)

"The stones...I love the stones. Still can't believe they're doing it after all these years. I watch them whenever I can--Fred and Barney."--Steven Wright
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