Apr 10, 2020 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on

The fate of slain King Phillip’s wife and son after his defeat by New England settlers was to finish their days — “sold into slavery, West Indian slavery! An Indian princess and her child, sold from the cool breezes of Mount Hope, from the wild freedom of a New England forest, to gasp under the lash, beneath the blazing sun of the tropics!” The effect of King Phillip’s War upon the indigenous population of New England was to reduce it by nearly 80 percent — by death and starvation. The few who survived were enslaved.

New England’s History of Slavery

“[The] first code of laws in Massachusetts established slavery . . . and at the very birth of the foreign commerce of New England the African slave trade became a regular business. The ships which took cargoes of slaves and fish to Madeira and the Canaries were accustomed to touch on the coast of Guinea to trade for negroes, who were carried generally to Barbadoes or the other English islands in the West Indies, the demand for them at home being small.

In the case referred to, instead of buying negroes in the regular course of traffic, which, under the fundamental law of Massachusetts already quoted, would have been perfectly legal, the crew of a Boston ship joined with some London vessels on the coast, and, on the pretense of some quarrel with the natives, landed a “murderer” – the expressive name of a small piece of cannon – attacking a negro village on Sunday, killed many of the inhabitants, and made a few prisoners, two of whom fell to the share of the Boston ship.

The colonists of Massachusetts assumed to themselves “a right to treat the Indians on the footing of Canaanites or Amalekites,” and practically regarded them from the first as forlorn and wretched heathen, possessing few rights which were entitled to respect.”

(Notes on the History of Slavery in Massachusetts, George Henry Moore, D. Appleton & Company, 1866, excerpts pp. 28-30; 43)

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