Did you know that during the dark era, slavers did all they could to justify the practice of slave trade, including creating a dedicated Slave Bible. In the Slave Bible, Passages that could have prompted rebellion were removed, And verses that reinforced the institution of slavery, were kept? . That did not stop the slaves from running away, though. However, the daring escapes often ended after the slaves were tracked and attacked by dogs bred only for that purpose. Below are 5 Interesting and Sad Facts You Never Knew About Slavery.
1. Slavers Used A Different Bible That Justified Slavery
Slavers Used A Different Bible That Justified Slavery
Some masters educated their slaves and converted them to Christianity . However, they could not allow them to read the Bible because it contained several passages that countered slavery. Slavers found a way around this by removing most chapters of the Old Testament and a huge chunk of the New Testament.
In the Slave Bible Passages that could have prompted rebellion were removed, And verses that reinforced the institution of slavery, were kept.
“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.” Ephesians 6:5
The result was a stripped-down Bible that they called “Parts of the Holy Bible, selected for the use of the Negro Slaves, in the British West-India Islands,” or as we say nowadays, the Slave Bible. The masters cleverly left portions of the Bible that made slavery seem normal—like the part where Joseph was kept as a slave in Egypt.
However, they removed other portions, such as where the Israelites fled from their oppressors in Egypt, which the white slavers feared could encourage the slaves to rebel.
2. Freed Blacks Were Kidnapped And Resold Into Slavery
In those it was a normal practice to kidnap a free slave and sell hum back into slavery.
Kidnapped free blacks often had difficulty proving they were free because the courts often rejected their papers over forgery concerns.
Other free blacks could not testify that a fellow black was a free man because the law forbade blacks to testify against whites in courts. Only a white could prove that a black was a free man. However, many whites would not participate because they would be hated for helping a black man and sending a white man to prison
3. Vicious Dogs Were Bred To Hunt Runaway Slaves
Runaway slaves were usually difficult to track and dangerous to approach and capture. Plantation owners later found a solution: breeding vicious dogs solely to track, attack, and capture runaway slaves.
“Negro dogs” were strong and aggressive breeds like bloodhounds and bulldogs which could tear a man to pieces. In fact, slavers often allowed the dogs to viciously maul captured runaway slaves. However, they quickly subdued the dog before it killed the slave.
One infamous Negro dog was the Dogo Cubano (aka the Mastin Cubano, Cuban Mastiff, or Mastin de Cuba). The dog was bred by crossing a Spanish war dog with the English mastiff and scent hound. The animal was engineered to catch runaway slaves, although it also guarded livestock and engaged in dogfighting. Unsurprisingly, the dog went extinct after slavery was abolished in Cuba.
Negro dogs were trained with real slaves. They never saw a black slave until they were required to pursue him during training. The dogs followed the scent of the slave after picking up the individual’s distinctive smell from some clothing items. Then they went after the slave and aggressively attacked him. Successful dogs were rewarded with chunks of meat.
4. Slave Owners Bred Slaves And Used Them As Currency
The 1808 proscription of the transatlantic slave trade was supposed to be a win for the black slaves and the antislavery movement in the US. However, if anything, it was a win for the proslavery movement. Before the act, slavers depended on individuals captured or purchased from Africa. After the ban, they turned to slaves bred in the US.
Slave breeding was the act of encouraging slaves to give birth to as many children as possible. Many slavers maintained breeding farms where they kept a few male slaves with many female slaves. Their offspring became slaves at birth and remained on the farms until they were old enough to work.
Slave breeding became the mainstay of states like Virginia, which quickly became a top exporter of slaves to other colonies. Slaves were the state’s major product at the time. They quickly became a sort of currency and were more valuable than gold. In 1860, slaves in the US were valued at a total of $4 billion.
For comparison, all currency in the US was worth $435.4 million at that time, while all circulating gold and silver was valued at $228.3 million. Some slavers also mortgaged their slaves and then formed banks that converted the mortgages to bonds that were sold across the world—even in regions where slavery was illegal
5. Laziness Was Considered A Mental Disorder
Samuel Cartwright was a medical doctor in the proslavery South. He supported slavery and even used medicine and science to justify it. In 1849, he was appointed the leader of a Louisiana state committee tasked with documenting the diseases of African-Americans.
Cartwright submitted his report, which was titled “Diseases and Physical Peculiarities of the Negro Race.” He claimed that blacks were inferior to whites. According to Cartwright, blacks had small brains, immature nervous systems, and sensitive skins, all of which made them good slaves. He added that a black would never be happy unless he was a slave.
He also claimed blacks were sufferers of a ‘mental disorder’ that he called dysaesthesia aethiopica, which supposedly made slaves lazy. Cartwright declared that dysaesthesia aethiopica often set in when the skin became less sensitive. This supposedly made the black slaves work sluggishly, as if they were half asleep.
Cartwright claimed that dysaesthesia aethiopica affected more free blacks than slaves because the free blacks didn’t have masters to care for them. However, he added that this illness could be cured by washing the desensitized skin with soap and water. Then the skin was cleaned in oil before the slave was made to work under the sun. Cartwright added that the slave would be very grateful.
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