Neither the introduction of slaves into America nor their continued Importation
can be Charged to the South. By Arthur H. Jennings, Chairman, Gray Book Com.

Undoubtedly, England, Spain, Dutch (and Portugal, see "The Slave Trade,
by Hugh Thomas, ISBN 0-684-81063-8, Pub. By Simon & Schuster) were primarily
and largely responsible for the introduction and earlier importation of slaves
to this country. As Bancroft says, "The sovereigns of England and Spain
were the greatest slave merchants in the world."

Later on, this country came into prominence in the traffic in human bodies
and DuBois, the American negro historical writer says, "The American slave
trade came to be carried on principally by United States capital, in United
States ships, officered by United States citizens and under the United States
flag."Supporting this, Dr. Phillips of Tulane University in his section
of "The South in the Building of the Nation," states, "The great
volume of the slave traffic from the earlier 17th century onward was carried
on by English and Yankee vessels, with some competition from the French and
the Dutch."

The responsibility for this home, or American, participation in the slave importing
business rests primarily upon New England and likewise, very largely upon New
York. It was a boast and a taunt of the pre-war days with pro-slavery orators
that, "the North imported slaves, the South only bought them"?and
historians assert that "there is some truth in the assertion."

Indeed, it has been widely claimed that "No Southern man or Southern ship
ever brought a slave to the United States," and while this statement is
disputed (by Yankee?s) and is perhaps not strictly true according to the letter,
it is undoubedly (sic) true in spirit, for the cases where a Southern man or
Southern ship could be charged with importing slaves are few indeed, while New
England, as well as New York, were openly and boldly engaged in the traffic,
employing hundreds of ships in the nefarious business.

"Slavery," says Henry Watterson, in the Louisville Courier Journal,
"existed in the beginning North and South. But the North finding slave
labor unsuited to its needs (the slaves in cold weather could not work, &
died at a great rate, thereby not being profitable), and, therefore, unprofitable,
sold its slave to the South, not forgetting to pocket the money it got for them,
having indeed at great profit brought them over from Africa in its ships.

Mr. Cecil Chesterman, a distinguished English historian, in his "History
of the United States" says on this point, "The North had been the
original slave traders. The African slave trade had been their particular industry.
Boston itself had risen to prosperity on the profits of the abominable traffic."

The Marquis of Lothian, in his "Confederate Secession" makes the
statement that "out of 1500 American slave traders, only five were from
the South," but apparently this statement is contradicted later in his
volume when he says, "out of 202 slavers entering the port of Charleston,
S. C., in four years, 1796 to 1799 inclusive, 91 were English, 88 Yankees, 10
were French and 13 South.***"

Many indeed are the authorities that support the statement that the South did
not import slaves. "Slavery," says Senator John W. Daniel of Virginia,"
was thrust on the South, an uninvited, aye, a forbidden guest" and Dr.
Charles Morris, in his "History of Civilization," says "The institution
of slavery was not of their making; it had been thrust upon their fathers against
their violent opposition."

Mrs Sea, in her book, "The Synoptical Review of Slavery," says "I
have heard the statement made, and gentlemen of the highest standing for scholarly
attainment given as authority, that no Southern man ever owned a slave ship
and that no slave ship handled by a Southern man ever brought a cargo of slaves
from Africa."

Dr. Lyon G Tyler, the scholarly President of William and Mary College, Virginia,
says, regarding this statement, "I am sure it can be said that no Southern
man or Southern ship, as far as I know, engaged in the slave trade."

References to Southern ships or Southern men as engaged in the slave importing
business are at least vague. The famous case of the "Wanderer," one
of the most noted of slave trading vessel, is often mentioned and her ownership
is credited to men of Charleston and Savannah (probably the men who originated
from Jamaica), but even if this be true she was built New York, her captain
was a New York man, and a member of the New York Yacht Club and the "Wanderer"
sailed under the proud flag of that Club when she went to the Congo after slaves.
Her captain was later expelled from the club for this offense.

The fact that there was domestic traffic in slaves, some of this domestic traffic
being carried on through coastwise trading, seems to have confused some and
induced them to believe the South engaged in the slave importing business. On
the other hand, the responsibility of New England and New York for the almost
exclusive monopoly of domestic participation in the slave importing business
is most clearly established. Massachusetts looms largely to the front when investigation
into this gruesome subject is pursued. The 1st slave ship of this country, the
"Desire,"was fitted out in Massachusetts, and sailed for the coast
of Africa from Marblehead., Massachusetts was the first of all the colonies
to authorize the establishment of slavery by statute law, doing this some decades
before her example was followed by any of the Southern colonies. The first statute
establishing slavery in America is embodied in the Code of the Massachusetts
Colony in New England, adopted in 1641, and it should be realized that slave
trading in Massachusetts was not a private enterprise but was carried on by
authority of the Plymouth Rock colony.

The Puritans early evinced a tendency to enslave Indian captives and sell them
out of the country, and from that early day down to a period practically after
the War Between the States had begun (for the last slave ship, the "Nightingale",
sailing from Boston and fitted out there, with 700 slaves on board was captured
at the mouth of the Congo River after the war had started) New England, with
Massachusetts leading, stood preeminent in the slave trade.

Much of the prominence and wealth of these states was derived from the slave
trade and the commercial importance of such towns as Newport, Rhode Island,
was based entirely upon the (slave) traffic. It is stated that Faneuil Hall,
the famous "Cradle of Liberty" where so many abolition speeches, denunciatory
oh the South were made, was built with money earned in the slave traffic, as
Peter Faneuil was actively engaged in it. "It was a traffic," says
Dr. Phillips, in ?The South in Building of the Nation,? in whier (sic) highly
honorable men like Peter Faneuil engaged and which the Puritans did not condemn
in the Colonial period." Stephen Girard is another prominent philanthropist
of the North who made money in slaves, working large numbers of them on a Louisiana
sugar plantation which he owned, and it is asserted that Girard College was
built with money earned by the labors of these slaves.

In fact, DuBois asserts that the New England conscience which would not allow
slavery to flourish on the sacred soil of Massachusetts did not hesitate to
seize the profits resulting from the rape of slaves from their African homes
and their sale to Southern planters. But, according to John Adams, it was not
a tender conscience but an economic reason upon the forbidding of slaves in
Massachusetts was based, for he is quoted as saying, "Argument might have
had some weight in the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts, but the real cause
was the multiplication of laboring white people who no longer would suffer the
rich to employ these sable rivals so much to their injury." Thomas Jefferson,
who had introduced a scathing denunciation of, and protest against, (sic) the
slave in the Declaration of Independence, withdrew it upon the insistence of
Adams AND (my emphasis) other New Englanders, and he indulges in the following
little bit of sarcasm at their expense, "our Northern friends who were
tender under these censures, for, though their people have very few slaves,
yet they had been considerable carriers of them to others."

Economic reasons were the base of abolition of slavery in New England. There
is abundance of record to show dissatisfaction with negro labor, who were stated
to be "eye servants, great thieves, much addicted to lying and stealing,"
and the superiority of white labor was brought prominently forward. Furthermore,
the mortality of the negroes in the cold New England climate (and several months
out of the yr, they were not workable due to cold & snow) was great and
figures were brought forward to show how their importation into the section
was not "profitable." Governor Dudley in a formal report in 1708 stated
"negroes have been found unprofitable investments, the planters preferring
white servants."

Boston was all along prominent in the slave trade, the "Continental Monthly"
of New York, as late as January, 1862, being quoted as saying, "The city
of New York has been until late {1862} the principal port of the world for this
infamous traffic, the cities of Portland and Boston being only second to her
in that distinction," "Slave dealers," it continues, "added
much to the wealth of our metropolis."

Vessels from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire were
early and largely engaged in the slave trade, and it is a very significant that
while duties, more or less heavy, were imposed upon the imported slaves in Southern
harbors, and other harbors of the country, the ports of New England were offered
as a free exchange mart for slavers.

New England citizens were traders by instinct and profession, and with the
birth oh commerce in the New World they eagerly turned to the high profits of
the African slave trade and made it a regular business. The "Hartford Courant"
in an issue of July, 1916, said, "Northern rum had much to do with the
extension of slavery in the South. Many people in this state {Connecticut} as
well as in Boston, made snug fortunes for themselves by sending rum to Africa
to be exchanged for slaves and then selling the slaves to the planters of Southern

Rhode Island at an early date had 150 vessels engaged in the slave trade, while
at a later date, when New York had loomed to the front of the trade, the New
York "Journal of Commerce" is quoted as saying, "Few of our readers
are aware of the extent to which this infernal traffic is carried on by vessels
clearing from New York and down town merchants of wealth and respectability
are engaged extensively in buying and selling African negroes, and have been
for an indefinite number of years."

As early as 1711 a slave market was established in New York City in the neighborhood
of Wall street where slaves from Africa were brought to supply the Southern
market. There was another one permanent slave market in Boston. The slaves were
hurried into the South as fast as possible as hundreds died from cold and exposure
and the sudden change from the tropic African climate to a bleak Northern temperature.
The United States Dept. Marshall for that New York district reported in 1856
that "the business of fitting out slavers was never prosecuted with greater
energy than at present." In a year preceding the War Between the States
eighty-five slave trading vessels are as fitting out in New York harbor and
DuBois writes that, "from 1850 to 1860 the fitting out of slavers became
a flourishing business in the United States and centered in New York City."

Although Massachusetts and New York were thus prominent in the business of
enslaving and importing Africans and selling them to South America and the Southern
colonies, and later the Southern states in the Union, other parts of New England
took most prominent part in the slave trade. Indeed, in the "Reminiscences
of Samuel Hopkins," Rhode Island is said to have been "more deeply
interested in the slave trade than any other colony in New England and has enslaved
more Africans."

Thus beginning with that first slave ship of this country, the "Desire"
of Marblehead, Mass., the slave trade flourished in New England and New York.
The favorite method was to exchange rum for negroes and to sell the negroes
to the Southern plantations. Federal laws were powerless to hold in check the
keeness for this profitable traffic in human flesh. As late as 1850, the noted
slave smuggler, (and sometimes pirate) Drake, who flourished and operated along
the Gulf Coast, is reported to have said, "Slave trading is growing more
profitable every year and if you should hang all Yankee merchants engaged in
it, hundreds more would take their places."

The outlawing of the traffic seemed but to stimulate it. From the very inception
of the institution of slavery in this country there was protest and action against
it throughout the Southern colonies. The vigorous action of Virginia and her
protests to the royal government to prohibit the further importation of slaves
to her territory are well known. We have seen how Jefferson introduced into
the Declaration of Independence a protest against the slave trade which he withdrew
at the behest of New England. Every prominent man in Virginia at this period
was in favor of a gradual emancipation and there were more than five times as
many members of abolition societies in the South than in the North. Only with
the rise of the rabid abolitionists of New England and their fierce denunciations
of the South did the South abandon hope of gradual emancipation. Touching this,
Mr. Cecil Chesterman, quoted above, states very pointedly in his "History
of the United States," "what could exceed the effrontery of men",
asked the Southerner, "who reproach us with grave personal sin in owning
property which they themselves sold us and the price of which is at this moment
in their pockets?"Virginia legislated against slavery over a score of times:
South Carolina protested against it as early as 1727, and in Georgia there was
absolute prohibition of it by law. Let it be remembered that when the National
Government took action and the slavery prohibition laws of Congress went into
effect in 1808, every Southern state had (already) prohibited it.

But, as stated, the outlawing of the traffic seemed but to stimulate it. In
the earlier years of the 19th century thousands of slaves were imported into
this country. In the year 1819, Gen. James Talmadge, speaking in the House of
Representatives, declared: "It is a well known fact that about 11,000 slaves
have been brought into our country this year."And Sergeant, of Pennsylvania,
said: "It is notorious that in spite of the utmost vigilance that can be
employed, African negroes are clandestinely brought in and sold as slaves."
This "vigilance" he speaks of, however, was much ridiculed by others,
and it was openly hinted that the efforts of the Federal Authorities to suppress
the trade, even the look-out for slavers along the African coast as conducted
by vessels of the United States Navy, were merely perfunctory. Blake in his
"History of Slavery and the Slave Trade," published in 1857, says:
"It is stated upon good authority that in 1844 (may be 1811) more slaves
were carried away from Africa in ships than in 1744 when the trade was legal
and in full vigor:"while in the year immediately preceding the opening
of the War Between the States, John (?) Underwood is quoted as writing to the
New York Tribune: "I have ample evidence of the fact that the reopening
of the African slave trade is an accomplished fact and the traffic is brisk."
Not only was the traffic brisk with the United States but thousands of slaves
were being smuggled into Brazil.

Southern members of Congress complained of the violations of the law and the
illegal importation of slaves into their territory. Smith, of South Carolina,
said on the floor of Congress in 1819: "Our Northern friends are not afraid
to furnish the Southern States with Africans:" and in 1819, Middleton,
of South Carolina, and Wright, of Virginia, estimated the illicit introduction
of slaves at from 1300 to 1500 respectively.

There is interest in the striking fact that one year before the outbreak of
the War Between the States, and at the time when the rabid abolitionists of
New England and the North were most vigorous in their denunciations of the South
and slave holders, there were in Massachusetts only 9000 free negroes, while
in Virginia there were 53,000 of these negroes, free, and able to go where they
pleased: and it is significant that about as many free negroes chose to live
in Southern slave holding states as dwelt in Northern states; and as many of
these free negroes owned slaves themselves and were well-to-do citizens. In
the city of Charleston, S. C., some three hundred free negroes owned slaves

In closing this article the following letter, which appeared in the columns
of the New Orleans Picayune years ago, may be of interest:

"My father, Capt. John Guthrie, then of the United States Navy, while
executive officer of the sloop of war "Saratoga" on April 21st, 1861,
captured at the mouth of the Congo River, on the west coast of Africa, the slave
ship ?Nightingale? with 900 slaves aboard. The slaver was owned, manned and
equipped in the city of Boston, Mass., and in reference to the date it will
appear that her capture was after the assault on Fort Sumter and the Baltimore
riot consequent upon the passage of the 6th Massachusetts Regiment through the
city. This was the last slaver captred (sic) by an American war ship and as
my father soon after resigned and went in to the Confederate service, her captain
and owners were never brought to trial. All this is a matter of record on file
at the Navy Department in Washington. Thus it will be seen that the last capture
of a slaver was by a Southern officer and the good people of Massachusetts were
ngaged (sic) in this nefarious business at the beginning of our unhappy war."

(Signed) J. Julius Guthrie,

Portsmouth, Va.

Too long has the South had the odium of slavery forced upon her. With the institution
thrust upon her against her protest, the slaves flourished in her boundaries
on account of climate, and economic conditions favored the spread of the institution
itself. The facts set forth above indicate the innocence of the South in foisting
this feature upon our national life, as well as her freedom from guilt in the
continued importation of slaves into this country. While no claim is made for
special virtue in that the South did not engage in the slave IMPORTING (Emphasis
added) business as the North did, yet the facts as they are to her credit. With
the facts in her favor, the South sits still under the false indictments constantly
made against her by the section of our country most responsible for the whole
trouble. Willing to abide by the verdict of posterity, if the verdict id based
upon the truth, and not upon the false statements of Northern historians, writers,
(teachers trained in northern schools), and speakers, and willing to accept
her share, her full share of due responsibility, in this section, in justice
to her dead who died gloriously in a maligned cause, and to her unborn children,
inheritors of a glorious heritage, must set forth to the world the facts as
they are, neither tainted with injustice to others nor burdened with hypocritical
claims of righteousness for herself; and these facts will establish her in the
proud position to which she has all along been entitled among the people of
the earth.

Note: Read "The Slave Trade", by Hugh Tomas, Pub by Simon & Schuster,
ISBN: 0-684-81063-8 and "Black Slave Owners, Free Black Slave Masters in
South Carolina, 1790 – 1860.", Pub by University of South Carolina Press,
Columbia, S. C., By Larry Koger, ISBN: 1-57003-037-5, and "Black Southerners
in Gray"., Series editor John McGlone, Journal of Confederate History Series,
Pub by Southern Heritage Press of Murfreesboro,Tenn. ISBN: 0-9631963-0-8.