Most of the ancient Native Americans were warring tribes

Native American Slavery in the United States - Slavery among Native Americans in the United States

Indians who own and are slaves
Engraving of Spaniards enslaving Indians, by Theodor de Bry (1528–1598), published in America. Part 6 . Frankfurt, 1596.

Native American Slavery in the United States includes slavery by and approximately Native American slavery in what is now the United States of America.

Tribal areas and the slave trade extended beyond today's borders. Some Indian tribes kept prisoners of war as slaves before and during the European colonization. Some Indians were captured and sold into slavery to Europeans by others, while others were captured and sold by Europeans themselves. In the late 18th and 19th centuries, a small number of tribes adopted the practice of keeping slaves as property and kept increasing numbers of African American slaves.

European influence changed Native American slavery significantly, as forms of pre-contact slavery generally differed from the form of slavery Europeans developed in North America during the colonial period. When they raided other tribes to catch slaves for sale to Europeans, they got into destructive wars among themselves and against Europeans.

Traditions of Indian slavery

Many Native American tribes practiced some form of slavery in North America prior to the introduction of African slavery in Europe.

Difference in slavery before and after contact

There were differences between slavery, as practiced among Native Americans in the pre-colonial era, and slavery, as practiced by Europeans after colonization. While many Europeans ended up calling slaves of African descent considered racially inferior , the Native Americans took slaves of other Native American groups and therefore considered them to be ethnically inferior .

Another difference was that pre-colonial Indians did not buy and sell captives (see below), although they sometimes exchanged enslaved individuals with other tribes to redeem their own members. In some cases, Native American slaves were allowed to live on the fringes of Native American society until they slowly became integrated into the tribe. The word "slave" may not exactly apply to such captive people.

When Europeans first made contact with Native Americans, they began to participate in the slave trade. The Native Americans, when they first met the Europeans, tried to use their captives from hostile tribes as a "method of playing one tribe against another" in an unsuccessful game of division and conquest.

Treatment and function of slaves

Indian groups often enslaved prisoners of war who used them mainly for small jobs. Others, however, would get involved in gambling situations if they had nothing else that would put them in bondage for a short time, or in some cases forever; Prisoners were also sometimes tortured as part of religious rites, which sometimes included ritual cannibalism. During times of famine, some Native Americans temporarily sold their children for food.

The way in which prisoners were treated was very different in the Indian groups. Prisoners could be enslaved, killed or adopted for life. In some cases, prisoners were only adopted after a period of slavery. For example, the Irooki peoples (not just the Irooki tribes) often adopted prisoners, but for religious reasons there was a process, procedure, and many seasons when such adoptions were delayed until the proper spiritual times.

In many cases, new tribes adopted prisoners to replace warriors killed in a raid. Warriors were sometimes forced to undergo ritual mutilation or torture that could lead to death for relatives killed in battle as part of a spiritual mourning ritual. The adoptees were expected to fill the economic, military and family roles of the deceased relatives, to fit into the social shoes of the dead relative and to maintain the spiritual strength of the tribe.

Captives were sometimes allowed to integrate into the tribe and later formed a family within the tribe. The Creek, devoted to this practice and having a matrilineal system, treated children born to slaves and Creek women as full members of their mothers' clans and tribe, as property and hereditary leadership by the maternal line. In the cultural practices of the Iraqi peoples, also rooted in a matrilineal system of equal men and women, every child would have the status determined by the woman's clan. Typically, tribes adopted women and children because they could more easily adapt to new paths.

Several tribes held prisoners hostage for payment. Various tribes also practiced bondage or imposed slavery against members of the tribe who had committed crimes; Full tribal status would be restored if the enslaved would honor their obligations to tribal society. Keeping prisoners was also of great interest to Native American warriors, as, in order to qualify for being considered brave, it was an interest of male warriors in various tribes in particular. Other slave tribes in North America were the Comanche of Texas; the Georgia Creek; the fishing associations like the Yurok who lived in Northern California; the Pawnee; and the Klamath. When St. Augustine, Florida was founded in 1565, the place had already enslaved Indians whose ancestors had immigrated from Cuba.

The Haida and Tlingit who lived on Alaska's southeast coast were traditionally known as fierce warriors and slave traders and stormed as far as California. In their society, slavery was hereditary after slaves were taken as prisoners of war - children of slaves were destined to be slaves themselves. Among some tribes in the Pacific Northwest, up to a quarter of the population were slaves. They were usually captured through raids on enemy tribes or bought in inter-tribal slave markets. Slaves were sometimes killed in potlatches to show the owners' disdain for property.

European enslavement of the Native Americans

When the Europeans came to North America as colonists, the Native American people changed their slavery dramatically. Native Americans began selling prisoners of war to Europeans instead of integrating them into their own societies as before.

Indians were enslaved by the Spanish in Florida and the Southwest under various legal means. That was a tool Encomienda- System; New encomiendas were banned in the new laws of 1542, but old ones continued, and the 1542 restriction was lifted in 1545.

When the demand for labor in the West Indies increased with the cultivation of sugar cane, the Europeans exported enslaved Indians to the "Sugar Islands". Historian Alan Gallay estimates that between 1670 and 1715, 24,000 to 51,000 captive Indians were exported through ports in Carolina, of which more than half, 15,000 to 30,000, were brought from what was then Florida, Spain. These numbers were more than the number of Africans imported into the Carolinas over the same period.

Gallay also says that "the Indian slave trade was at the center of the development of the English Empire in the American south. The Indian slave trade was the main factor influencing the south from 1670-1715." intertribal wars to capture slaves destabilized English colonies, Florida and Louisiana. Additional enslaved Indians were exported from South Carolina to Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

From 1698, parliament allowed competition between importers of enslaved Africans and increased the purchase prices for slaves in Africa so that they cost more than enslaved Indians.

The British settlers, especially in the southern colonies, bought or conquered Indians to use as slave labor in the cultivation of tobacco, rice and indigo. Exact records of the enslaved numbers do not exist. Slaves became a caste of people alien to the English (Native Americans, Africans and their descendants) and non-Christians. The Virginia General Assembly defined some terms of slavery in 1705:

All servants who are imported and brought into the country ... who were not Christian in their homeland ... will be held accountable and will be slaves. All negro, mulatto and Indian slaves within this rule ... are considered real estate. If a slave opposes his master ... corrects that slave and is accidentally killed in such correction ... the master must be free from any punishment ... as if such an accident never happened.

The Native American slave trade lasted until around 1730. It resulted in a number of devastating wars among the tribes, including the Yamasee War. The Indian Wars of the early 18th century, coupled with increasing imports of African slaves, effectively ended the Native American slave trade by 1750. Colonists found that Native American slaves could escape easily because they knew the land. The wars killed numerous colonial slave traders and destroyed their early societies. The remaining Indian groups banded together to face the Europeans from a position of strength. Many surviving Native American peoples in the southeast strengthened their loose coalitions of language groups and joined confederations such as Choctaw, Creek, and Catawba for protection.

Native American women were at risk of rape whether or not they were enslaved. In the early colonial years, the settlers were disproportionately male. They turned to local women about sexual relationships. Both Native American and African enslaved women have been raped and sexually molested by male slaveholders and other white men.

The exact number of Native Americans enslaved is unknown as key statistics and census reports have been rare at best. Andrés Reséndez estimates that between 147,000 and 340,000 Native Americans were enslaved in North America, with the exception of Mexico. Linford Fisher estimates that 2.5 to 5.5 million natives are enslaved across America. Although the records became more reliable in the later colonial period, Native American slaves were barely or not mentioned or assigned indiscriminately to African slaves. In the case of Sarah Chauqum of Rhode Island, for example, her master introduced her as a mulatto to Edward Robinson’s sales contract, but she won her freedom by asserting her Narragansett identity.

Little is known of Indians who were forced to work. Two myths complicated the history of Native American slavery: Native Americans were undesirable as servants, and Native Americans were exterminated or displaced by King Philip after the war. The exact legal status of some Native Americans is sometimes difficult to determine because involuntary bondage and slavery were poorly defined in 17th century British America. Some masters claimed to possess the children of Native American servants in order to make them slaves. The historical uniqueness of slavery in America is that European settlers drew a rigid line between insiders, "people like them who could never be enslaved", and non-white outsiders, "mainly Africans and Native Americans, who could be enslaved" to have. A unique feature between natives and colonists was that in the 17th century colonists gradually asserted sovereignty over indigenous people, ironically turning them into subjects with collective rights and privileges that Africans could not enjoy. The West Indies developed as plantation societies off the Chesapeake Bay region and had a need for workers.

In the Spanish colonies, the Church assigned Native American surnames and recorded them as servants rather than slaves. Many members of Native American tribes in the western United States were taken as slaves for life. In some cases, courts have served as conduits for the enslavement of Indians, as evidenced by the enslavement of Hopi man Juan Suñi in 1659 by a court in Santa Fe for stealing food and jewelry from the governor's mansion. In the east, Indians were registered as slaves.

Slaves in Indian Territory in the United States were used for many purposes, from working in the plantations of the east to guides through the wilderness to working in the deserts of the west or as soldiers in wars. Native American slaves suffered European disease and inhuman treatment, and many died in captivity.

The Indian slave trade

European colonists caused a change in Native American slavery when they created a new market in demand for prisoners from raids. In the southern colonies in particular, which were originally developed for resource exploitation rather than settlement, colonists bought or conquered Indians for forced labor in growing tobacco and, in the 18th century, rice and indigo. To purchase commodities, Native Americans began selling prisoners of war to whites rather than integrating them into their own societies. Merchandise such as axes, bronze kettles, Caribbean rum, European jewelry, needles, and scissors varied among the tribes, but the most valued were guns. The English copied the Spanish and Portuguese: they saw the enslavement of Africans and Native Americans as a moral, legal and socially acceptable institution; One reason for enslavement was "just war", taking prisoners and using slavery as an alternative to a death sentence. The escape of Native American slaves was frequent because they understood the land better than the African slaves. As a result, the natives who were captured and sold into slavery were often sent to the West Indies or far from their homeland.

The first known African slave was in Jamestown. Prior to the 1630s, indentured servitude was the dominant form of servitude in the colonies, but until 1636 only Caucasians could legally obtain contracts as indentured servants. The oldest known record of a permanent Native American slave was a native of Massachusetts man in 1636. By 1661, slavery had become legal in all existing colonies. Virginia later declared that "Native Americans, mulattos, and Negros are real estate," and in 1682 New York prohibited African or Native American slaves from leaving their master's home or plantation without permission.

Europeans viewed Native American enslavement differently from the enslavement of Africans in some cases. The belief that Africans were "brutal people" was prevalent. While both Indians and Africans were considered savages, Indians were romanticized as noble people who could be elevated to Christian civilization.

New England

The massacre of the Pequot led to the enslavement of some survivors by English colonists.

The Pequot War of 1636 resulted in the enslavement of prisoners of war and other members of the Pequot by Europeans almost immediately after Connecticut was established as a colony. The Pequot thus became an important part of slavery in New England. The Pequot War was devastating: the Niantic, Narragansett, and Mohegan tribes were persuaded to aid the colonists of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Plymouth in the massacre of the Pequot, killing at least 700 of the Pequot. Most of the enslaved Pequot were non-fighting women and children.Court records show that most of them served as lifelong slaves. Some court records show bounties for runaway native slaves more than 10 years after the war. What further aided the Indian slave trade throughout New England and the south was that different tribes did not recognize each other as members of the same race and the tribes divided among themselves. The Chickasaw and Westos, for example, indiscriminately sold prisoners from other tribes to strengthen their political and economic power.

In addition, Rhode Island was also involved in the enslavement of the Native Americans, but the records are incomplete or nonexistent so the exact number of slaves is unknown. The New England governments would pledge looting as part of their payment, and commanders like Israel Stoughton saw the right to claim Native American women and children as part of their guilt. Due to the lack of records, it can only be speculated whether the soldiers claimed these prisoners as sexual slaves or exclusively as servants. Few colonial leaders questioned the Colonies' treatment of slaves, but Roger Williams, trying to maintain positive ties with the Narragansett, had come into conflict. As a Christian, he felt that identifiable Indian killers "deserved death," but condemned the murder of Native American women and children, although most of his criticisms were kept private. Massachusetts originally made peace with the Native American tribes in the area, but that changed and Native American enslavement became inevitable. Boston newspapers don't mention escaped slaves until 1750. In 1790, the US census report stated the number of slaves in the state was 6,001, with an unknown percentage of Native Americans, but at least 200 were named mixed race Indians (meaning half-African) . Since Massachusetts advanced in the battles of the King Philip War and the Pequot War; It is very likely that the Massachusetts colony far surpassed that of Connecticut or Rhode Island in terms of the number of Native American slaves. New Hampshire was unique: it had very few slaves and maintained a somewhat peaceful attitude towards various tribes during the Pequot and King Philip Wars. Colonists in the south began to capture and enslave Indians in order to sell them and export them to the "sugar islands" like Jamaica as well as to the northern colonies. The resulting Native American slave trade devastated the southeastern Native American population and transformed tribal relations throughout the southeast. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the English in Charles Town (in modern-day South Carolina), the Spanish in Florida, and the French in Louisiana sought trading partners and allies among the Native Americans by offering goods such as metal knives, axes, firearms, and ammunition , Liquor, beads, cloth, and hats in exchange for furs (deerskin) and Native American slaves.

Merchants, border settlers, and government officials encouraged Native Americans to wage war against one another, reap the profits of slaves captured in such raids, or weaken the warring tribes. From 1610 the Dutch traders had built up a lucrative trade with the Iroquois. The Iroquois gave the Dutch beaver skins; in return, the Dutch gave them clothes, tools and firearms, which gave them more power than neighboring tribes. The trade enabled the Iroquois to wage war campaigns against other tribes such as the Eries, Hurons, Petun, Shawnee, and the Susquehannocks. The Iroquois also began taking prisoners of war and selling them. The increasing power of the Iroquois, coupled with the diseases that Europeans unwittingly brought with them, devastated many eastern tribes.

American Southeast

Carolina, which originally included what is now North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, was unique among the North American English colonies in that the colonists viewed slavery as essential to their success. In 1680, the owners ordered the Carolina government to ensure that enslaved Indians had equal justice and to treat them better than African slaves. These regulations were widely publicized so that no one could claim to be ignorant of them. The change in policy in Carolina was rooted in fear that escaped slaves would inform their tribes, which would lead to even more devastating attacks on plantations. The new policy proved nearly impossible to enforce, as both colonists and local officials viewed Indians and Africans as equal, and viewed exploitation of both as the easiest route to prosperity, although the owners continued to seek to enforce the changes for profit reasons.

In the other colonies, slavery became a predominant form of labor over time. It is estimated that Carolina merchants operating out of Charles Town exported an estimated 30,000 to 51,000 Native American prisoners in a profitable slave trade with the Caribbean, Spanish Hispaniola, and the northern colonies between 1670 and 1715. It was more profitable to have Native American slaves because African slaves had to be shipped and bought, while native slaves could be captured and immediately taken to plantations. Whites in the northern colonies sometimes preferred Native American slaves, especially native women and children, over Africans because Native American women were farmers and children were more easily educated. However, the Carolinians tended to prefer African slaves, but also took advantage of the Indian slave trade, which combined the two. In December 1675, Carolina's great council created a written justification for the enslavement and sale of Indians, claiming that those who were enemies of tribes the English had befriended were targets, stating that the enslaved were not "innocent." Indians "are. The council also claimed that their "Indian allies" wanted to take their prisoners and that the prisoners were ready to work in the country or be transported elsewhere. The council used this to please the owners and comply with the practice of not enslaving anyone against their will or being transported from Carolina without its own consent, even though the colonists did.