Tuesday, May 26, 2009

European Slaves in Africa

I know that human trafficking was quite common during the poor, nasty, brutish, and long human history. However, this really have surprised me:
"According to one estimate, 7,000 English people were abducted between 1622-1644, many of them ships' crews and passengers. But the corsairs also landed on unguarded beaches, often at night, to snatch the unwary.
Almost all the inhabitants of the village of Baltimore, in Ireland, were captured in 1631, and there were other raids in Devon and Cornwall."
It seems that one million Europeans (an overestimation, some may say) were slaved by North African pirates between 1530 and 1780. More about the subject.

3 comments:

Benjamin Guilbert said...

The term "slave" is not exactly appropriated, firstly because it wasn't used at the time, secondly because the word captive is more correct. Although the "bagne" of Algiers (the place where the captives were kept at night) was so infamous that it evolved into designating the harshest of all prison camps in 19th century France, it should be kept in mind that except in a few cases of masse enslavement in the 1530s and 40s, the main point of the Barbary raids were to capture Christian to be later exchanged for a ransom. It was closer to a large scale kidnapping than to the great enslavement movements that history witnessed.

I will post a review and an interview in June on the subject.

PS: I stand corrected

Leonardo Monasterio said...

I see... So Miguel the Cervantes would count as a "slave" by that interpretation. Thanks.

Alice Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.