Jews were the recipients of favorable charters granted by the Dutch West Indies Company in Amsterdam.
The Jews were the recipients of favorable charters containing generous economic privileges granted by the Dutch West Indies Company in Amsterdam.
Who Brought the Slaves to America?
By Walter White Jr., 1968
The story of the slaves in America W/l f/^Broueht begins with Christopher Columbus. His Tf A X\-/ tlie Slaves ji Lo \mcricn voyage to America was not financed by Queen Isabella, but by Luis de Santangelo, who advanced the sum of 17,000 ducats (about 5,000 pounds- today equal to 50,000 pounds) to finance the voyage, which began on August 3, 1492.
Columbus was accompanied by five 'maranos' (Jews who had foresworn their religion and supposedly became Catholics), Luis de Torres, interpreter, Marco, the surgeon, Bemal, the physician, Alonzo de la Calle and Gabriel Sanchez (1).
Gabriel Sanchez, abetted by the other four Jews, sold Columbus on the idea of capturing 500 Indians and selling them as slaves in Seville, Spain, which was done. Columbus did not receive any of the money from the sale of the slaves, but he became the victim of a conspiracy fostered by Bemal, the ship's doctor. He, Columbus, suffered injustice and imprisonment as his reward. Betrayed by the five maranos (Jews) whom he had trusted and helped. This, ironically, was the beginning of slavery in the Americas (2).
The Jews were expelled from Spain on August 2, 1492, and from Portugal in 1497. Many of these Jews emigrated to Holland, where they set up the Dutch West Indies Company to exploit the new world.
In 1654, the first Jew, Jacob Barsimson, emigrated from Holland to New Amsterdam (New York) and in the next decade many more followed him, settling along the East Coast, principally in New Amsterdam and Newport, Rhode Island. They were prevented by ordinances issued by Governor Peter Stuyvesant from engaging in the domestic economy, so they quickly discovered that the territory inhabited by the Indians would be a fertile field. There were no laws preventing the Jews from trading with the Indians.
The first Jew to begin trading with the Indians was Hayman Levy, who imported cheap glass beads, textiles, earrings, armbands and other cheap adornments from Holland which were traded for valuable fur pelts. Hayman Levy was soon joined by Jews Nicholas Lowe and Joseph Simon. Lowe conceived the idea of trading rum and whiskey to the Indians and set up a distillery in Newport, where these two liquors were produced. Within a short time there were 22 distilleries in Newport, all of them owned by Jews, manufacturing and distributing 'firewater.' The story of the debauching of the Indians with its resultant massacres of the early settlers, is a dramatic story in itself.
It is essential to comprehend the seaport of Newport. It is important in order to recognize the Jewish share in the Slave commerce. There was a period when it was commonly referred to as 'The Jewish Newport- World center of Slave Commerce.' All together, at this time, there were in North America six Jewish communities: Newport, Charleston, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, and Savanuah. There were also many other Jews, scattered over the entire East Coast. Although New York held first place in the settlers of Jews in North America, Newport held second place.
New York was also the main source of Kosher meat, supplying the North American settlements, then the West Indies and also South America. Now Newport took over! Newport also became the great trade harbour of the East Coast of North America. There, vessels from other ports met, to exchange commodities. Newport, as previously mentioned, represented the foremost place in the commerce of rum, whiskey, and liquor dealings. And to conclude, it finally became the Main Center of Slave dealings. It was from this port that the ships left on their way across the ocean, to gather their black human cargo and then derive great sums of money in exchange for them.
An authentic, contemporary report, based on authority, indicates that of 128 Slave ships, for instance, unloaded in Charleston, within one year, their "Cargo," 120 of these were undersigned by Jews from Newport and Charleston by their own name. About the rest of them, one can surmise, although they were entered as Boston (1), Norfolk (2), and Baltimore (4), their real owners were similarly the Jewish slave dealers from Newport and Charleston.
One is able to assess the Jewish share in the entire dealings of the Newport, if one considers the undertaking of a lone Jew, the Portuguese, Aaron Lopez, who plays an important part in the over-all story of the Jews and Slavery.
Concerning the entire commerce of the Colonies, and the later State of Rhode Island, (which included Newport) bills of lading, concessions, receipts, and port clearances carried the signature name of the Jew Aaron Lopez (3). This all took place during the years 1726 to 1774. He had therefore more than 50% of all dealings under his personal control for almost fifty years. Aside from that there were other ships which he owned, but sailed under other names.
In the year 1749, the first Masonic Lodge was established.
Ninety percent of the members of this first lodge, fourteen all told, were Jews. And one knows that only so-called "prominent" individuals were accepted. Twenty years later, the second Masonic Lodge, "King David," was established. It is a fact that all of these members were Jews.
In the meantime, the Jewish influence in Newport had reached such proportions that President George Washington decided to pay them a visit. Upon his appearance, both of the Masonic Lodges sent an emissary — a Jew named Moses Seixas (4) — to approach the President with a petition, in which the Jews of Newport stated: "If you will permit the children of Abraham to approach you with a request, to tell you that we honor you, and feel an alliance and then: "Until the present time the valuable rights of a free citizen have been withheld. However, now we see a new government coming into being based on the Majesty of the people, a government, not sanctioning any bigotry nor persecution of the Jew, rather, to concede the freedom of thought, which each shares, whatever Nation or Language, as a part of the great Government machine."
It is necessary at this point to consider the disclosures as to who in reality obtained this legendary freedom in America at the founding of the Union. To be sure, the province became independent and severed from the English Jurisdiction. However, we can see from the petition (5) which Moses Seixas offered President Washington in the name of the Jews of Newport, that it was not in reality this type of freedom which they had in mind. They were merely concerned about themselves, and their "own civil rights," which had been withheld. Therefore, following the Revolutionary War, the Jews were accorded equal rights, and freed of all restrictions! And the Negroes? The Revolutionary War not withstanding, they remained Slaves! In the year 1750, one sixth of the population in New York was Negroid, and proportionately in the Southern parts of the Country, they outnumbered the others, but the proclamation of Freedom did not touch them. More of this later.
Let us scrutinize at close range this dismal handwork of the Jews which gave them influence and power, so we may comprehend the Slave Trade; for there has been so much written since that time by the zealous Jewish writers, that at the present, long since removed, it might appear natural, for the time element has a tendency to make things nebulous.
Let us follow the journey of one ship, owned by a slave dealer, Aaron Lopez, which had made many trips to the African coast.
For instance, in the month of May, 1752, the ship "Abigail" was equipped with about 9,000 gallons of rum, a great supply of iron foot and hand restraints, pistols, powder, sabres, and a lot of worthless tin ornaments, and under the command of the Jewish Captain Freedman, sailed off for Africa. There were but two Mates and six sailors comprising the crew. Three and one half months later they landed on the African Coast. Meantime, there had been constructed an African Agency, by the Jewish slave dealers, who had corralled them, and prepared them for sale. This organization reaching deep into Africa, had many ramifications, including the heads of groups, villages, etc. This method to win over these leaders for the Jewish slave trade, was similar to' that which the Jews had employed with the Indians.
At first, they presented them with rum, and soon found themselves in an alcoholic delirium. When the gold dust, and ivory supply was exhausted, they were induced to sell their descendants. At first their wives, and then their youths. Then they began warfare among each other, plotted and developed mostly by the Jews, and if they captured prisoners, these, too, were exchanged for rum, ammunitions and weapons to the Jews', using them for further campaigns to capture more Negroes. The captured Blacks were linked two by two and driven through the medieval forests to the coast. These painful treks required weeks, and some of them frequently became ill, and felled by exhaustion, and many unable to rise even though the bull whip was applied as an encourager. They were left to die and were devoured by wild beasts. It was not unusual to see the bones of the dead laying in the tropical sun, a sad and gruesome reminder to those who would later on tread this path.
It has been calculated that for each Negro who withstood the rigors of this wandering, there still had to be the long voyage across the ocean, before they reached American soil, nine out of ten died! And when one considers that there was a yearly exodus of ONE MILLION black slaves, then, and only then, can one assess the tremendous and extensive exodus of the African people. At present Africa is thinly populated, not alone due to the 1,000,000 literally dragged out of huts, but due to the five to nine million who never reached their destination. Once they reached the coast, the black slaves were driven together, and restraints were applied to hold them until the next transport ship docked. The agents — many of them Jews — who represented the Chief, then began the deal with the Captain. Each Negro was personally presented to him. But the captains had learned to become suspicious. The Black one must move his fingers, arms, legs, and the entire body to insure that there were not any fractures. Even the teeth were examined. If a tooth was lacking, it lowered the price. Most of the Jew agents knew how to treat sick Negroes with chemicals in order to sell them as sound. Each Negro was valued at about 100 gallons of rum, 100 pounds of gun powder, or in cash between 18 to 20 dollars. The notations of a captain inform us that on September 5, 1763, one Negro brought as much as 200 gallons of rum, due to the bidding among the agents, raising the price.
Women under 25 years, pregnant or not, resulted in the same measure, if they were well and comely. Any over 25 years lost 25%. And here it should be stated that those Negroes, purchased free at the African Coast for 20 to 40 dollars, were then resold by the same slave dealers in America for two thousand dollars. This gives one an idea how the Jews managed to acquire tremendous fortunes. Following the bargaining, Captain Freedman paid the bill, either in merchandise or cash. He also recalled some advice which his Jewish employers gave him as he left Newport for Africa: "Pour as much water into the rum as you possibly can." In this manner the Negro chiefs were cheated two times by the Newport Jews!
The next step was to shave the hair from the head of the acquired slaves. Then they were bound and branded with a hot iron, either on the back, or the hip, identifying them with their owners. Now the Negro slave was indeed the property of the Jewish purchaser. If he fled he could be identified. Following this procedure, there was a farewell celebration.
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The Jews were the recipients of favorable charters containing generous economic privileges granted by the Dutch West Indies Company in Amsterdam. The economic life of the Jewish community of Curacao revolved around ownership of sugar plantations and marketing of sugar, the importing of manufactured goods, and a heavy involvement in the slave trade, within a decade of their arrival, Jews owned 80 percent of the Curacao plantations. The strength of the Jewish trade lay in connections in Western Europe as well as ownership of the ships used in commerce. While Jews carried on an active trade with French and English colonies in the Caribbean, their principal market was the Spanish Main (today Venezuela and Colombia).
for a very details account of how this filth called jews were the ones enslaving the blacks.
Europeans had a part in it too, but only the very wealthy plantation owners owned slaves, your average European new arrivals were poor and had extremely difficult lives, they owned no damn slaves but in turn were slaves themselves.
“Jews also took an active part in the Dutch colonial slave trade; indeed, the bylaws of the Recife and Mauricia congregations (1648) included an imposta (Jewish tax) of five soldos for each Negro slave a Brazilian Jew purchased from the West Indies Company. Slave auctions were postponed if they fell on a Jewish holiday. In Curacao in the seventeenth century, as well as in the British colonies of Barbados and Jamaica in the eighteenth century, Jewish merchants played a major role in the slave trade. In fact, in all the American colonies, whether French (Martinique), British, or Dutch, Jewish merchants frequently dominated.
“This was no less true on the North American mainland, where during the eighteenth century Jews participated in the ‘triangular trade’ that brought slaves from Africa to the West Indies and there exchanged them for molasses, which in turn was taken to New England and converted into rum for sale in Africa. Isaac Da Costa of Charleston in the 1750’s, David Franks of Philadelphia in the 1760’s, and Aaron Lopez of Newport in the late 1760’s and early 1770’s dominated Jewish slave trading on the American continent.”
Jews and Judaism in the United States (1983), p. 14.
Jewish Involvement In
Black Slave Trade
To The Americas
By Rabbi Marc Lee Raphael
- The following passages are from Dr. Raphael's book Jews and Judaism in the United States: A Documentary History (New York: Behrman House, Inc., Pub, 1983), pp. 14, 23-25.
- "Jews also took an active part in the Dutch colonial slave trade; indeed, the bylaws of the Recife and Mauricia congregations (1648) included an imposta (Jewish tax) of five soldos for each Negro slave a Brazilian Jew purchased from the West Indies Company. Slave auctions were postponed if they fell on a Jewish holiday. In Curacao in the seventeenth century, as well as in the British colonies of Barbados and Jamaica in the eighteenth century, Jewish merchants played a major role in the slave trade. In fact, in all the American colonies, whether French (Martinique), British, or Dutch, Jewish merchants frequently dominated.
- "This was no less true on the North American mainland, where during the eighteenth century Jews participated in the 'triangular trade' that brought slaves from Africa to the West Indies and there exchanged them for molasses, which in turn was taken to New England and converted into rum for sale in Africa. Isaac Da Costa of Charleston in the 1750's, David Franks of Philadelphia in the 1760's, and Aaron Lopez of Newport in the late 1760's and early 1770's dominated Jewish slave trading on the American continent."
- Dr. Raphael discusses the central role of the Jews in the New World commerce and the African slave trade (pp. 23-25):
- SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES JEWISH INTER-ISLAND TRADE: CURACAO, 1656
- During the sixteenth century, exiled from their Spanish homeland and hard-pressed to escape the clutches of the Inquisition, Spanish and Portuguese Jews fled to the Netherlands; the Dutch enthusiastically welcomed these talented, skilled husinessmen.
- While thriving in Amsterdam - where they became the hub of a unique urban Jewish universe and attained status that anticipated Jewish emancipation in the West by over a century - they began in the 1500's and 1600's to establish themselves in the Dutch and English colonies in the New World. These included Curacao, Surinam, Recife, and New Amsterdam (Dutch) as well as Barbados, Jamaica, Newport, and Savannah (English).
- In these European outposts the Jews, with their years of mercantile experience and networks of friends and family providing market reports of great use, played a significant role in the merchant capitalism, commercial revolution, and territorial expansion that developed the New World and established the colonial economies. The Jewish-Caribbean nexus provided Jews with the opportunity to claim a disproportionate influence in seventeenth and eighteenth century New World commerce, and enabled West Indian Jewry-far outnumbering its coreligionists further north-to enjoy a centrality which North American Jewry would not achieve for a long time to come.
- Groups of Jews began to arrive in Surinam in the middle of the seven-teenth century, after the Portuguese regained control of northern Brazil. By 1694, twenty-seven years after the British had surrendered Surinam to the Dutch, there were about 100 Jewish families and fifty single Jews there, or about 570 persons. They possessed more than forty estates and 9,000 slaves, contributed 25,905 pounds of sugar as a gift for the building of a hospital, and carried on an active trade with Newport and other colonial ports. By 1730, Jews owned 115 plantations and were a large part of a sugar export business which sent out 21,680,000 pounds of sugar to European and New World markets in 1730 alone.
- Slave trading was a major feature of Jewish economic life in Surinam which as a major stopping-off point in the triangular trade. Both North American and Caribbean Jews played a key role in this commerce: records of a slave sale in 1707 reveal that the ten largest Jewish purchasers (10,400 guilders) spent more than 25 percent of the total funds (38,605 guilders) exchanged.
- Jewish economic life in the Dutch West Indies, as in the North American colonies, consisted primarily of mercantile communities, with large inequities in the distribution of wealth. Most Jews were shopkeepers, middlemen, or petty merchants who received encouragement and support from Dutch authorities. In Curacao, for example, Jewish communal life began after the Portuguese victory in 1654.
- In 1656, the community founded a congregation, and in the early 1670's brought its first rabbi to the island. Curacao, with its large natural harbor, was the steppng-stone to the other Caribbean islands and thus ideally suited geographically for commerce.
- The Jews were the recipients of favorable charters containing generous economic privileges granted by the Dutch West Indies Company in Amsterdam. The economic life of the Jewish community of Curacao revolved around ownership of sugar plantations and marketing of sugar, the importing of manufactured goods, and a heavy involvement in the slave trade, within a decade of their arrival, Jews owned 80 percent of the Curacao plantations. The strength of the Jewish trade lay in connections in Western Europe as well as ownership of the ships used in commerce. While Jews carried on an active trade with French and English colonies in the Caribbean, their principal market was the Spanish Main (today Venezuela and Colombia).
- Extant tax lists give us a glimpse of their dominance. Of the eighteen wealthiest Jews in the 1702 and 1707 tax lists, nine either owned a ship or had at least a share in a vessel. By 1721 a letter to the Amsterdam Jewish community claimed that "nearly all the navigation...was in the hands of the Jews."' Yet another indication of the economic success of Curacao's Jews is the fact that in 1707 the island's 377 residents were assessed by the Governor and his Council a total of 4,002 pesos; 104 Jews, or 27.6 percent of the taxpayers, contributed 1,380 pesos, or 34.5 percent of the entire amount assessed.
- In the British West Indies, two 1680 tax lists survive, both from Barbados; they, too, provide useful information about Jewish economic life. In Bridgetown itself, out of a total of 404 households, 54 households or 300 persons were Jewish, 240 of them living in "ye Towne of S. Michael ye Bridge Town." Contrary to most impressions, "many, indeed, most of them, were very poor." There were only a few planters, and most Jews were not naturalized or endenizened (and thus could not import goods or pursue debtors in court). But for merchants holding letters of endenization, opportunities were not lacking. Barbados sugar-and its by-products rum and molasses-were in great demand, and in addition to playing a role in its export, Jewish merchants were active in the import trade.
- Forty-five Jewish households were taxed in Barbados in 1680, and more than half of them contributed only 11.7 percent of the total sum raised. While the richest five gave almost half the Jewish total, they were but 11.1 percent of the taxable population. The tax list of 1679-80 shows a similar picture; of fifty-one householders, nineteen (37.2 percent) gave less than one-tenth of the total, while the four richest merchants gave almost one-third of the total.
- An interesting record of interisland trade involving a Jewish merchant and the islands of Barbados and Curacao comes from correspondence of 1656. It reminds us that sometimes the commercial trips were not well planned and that Jewish captains - who frequently acted as commercial agents as well - would decide where to sell their cargo, at what price, and what goods to bring back on the return trip.
- (End of excerpt)
- Tony Martin is African studies professor at Wellesley College and has taught at Wellesley College, Massachusetts since 1973. He was tenured in 1975 and has been a full professor of African Studies since 1979. Prior to coming to Wellesley he taught at the University of Michigan-Flint, the Cipriani Labour College (Trinidad) and St. Mary's College (Trinidad). He has been a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota, Brandeis University, Brown University and The Colorado College. He also spent a year as an honorary research fellow at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad.
- Professor Martin has authored or compiled or edited eleven books, including Literary Garveyism: Garvey, Black Arts and the Harlem Renaissance, and the classic study of the Garvey Movement, Race First: the Ideological and Organizational Struggles of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association.. His most recent book is The Jewish Onslaught: Despatches from the Wellesley Battlefront. Martin qualified as a barrister-at-law at the Honourable Society of Gray's Inn (London) in 1965, did a B. Sc. honours degree in economics at the University of Hull (England) and the M.A. and Ph.D. in history at Michigan State University.
- Martin's articles and reviews have appeared in the Journal of Negro History, American Historical Review, African Studies Review, Washington Post Book World, Journal of Caribbean History, Journal of American History, Black Books Bulletin, Science and Society, Jamaica Journal and many other places. His work is to be found in several anthologies and encyclopedias. He has received a number of academic and community awards.
- Martin is well known as a lecturer in many countries. He has spoken to university and general audiences all over the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and England, and also in Africa, Australia, Bermuda and South America. In 1990 he delivered the annual DuBois/Padmore/Nkrumah lectures in Ghana.
- Professor Martin is currently working on biographies of three Caribbean women - Amy Ashwood Garvey, Audrey Jeffers and Trinidad's Kathleen Davis ("Auntie Kay"). He is also nearing completion of a study of European Jewish immigration into Trinidad in the 1930s.
- The Jewish Onslaught
- Despatches From The Wellesley Battlefront
- By Tony Martin
- "...a polemic of the highest order... the best example of an African answering critics since David Walker's Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World." - Molefi Asante, Journal Of Black Studies
- "Professor Martin at long last deals with the Henry Gates/Cornel West attacks on Afrocentricity.... Martin provides a solid analysis of the historical use of Blacks by whites to discredit original Black thought deemed unacceptable by non-Blacks....
- "I compare The Jewish Onslaught to the classic third chapter of DuBois' The Souls of Black Folk entitled 'Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others....' Martin has written a book that years from now will be considered a classic.... It is simply a must reading on a controversial subject that needs greater airing than some of the more timid political attempts of recent years." - Raymond Winbush, The Voice Of Black Studies
- " Tony Martin has been forced to delve into the relationship between the Jews and Blacks and in the process, he has distilled a work that is informative, fascinating and one which will heighten the consciousness of Black people everywhere." - Carl Wint, The Sunday Gleaner
- #1 Bestseller
- (Your Black Books Guide)
- Best Book Of The Year
- (Black Literary Awards, 1994)
- 1993. vii+137pp. ISBN 0-912469-30-7.
- Subject: Who owned the slaving ships?
- Name Of Slave Ships And Their Owners:
- The 'Abigail-Caracoa' - Aaron Lopez, Moses Levy, Jacob Crown
- Isaac Levy and Nathan Simpson
- The'Nassau' - Moses Levy
- The 'Four Sisters' - Moses Levy
- The 'Anne' & The 'Eliza' - Justus Bosch and John Abrams
- The 'Prudent Betty' - Henry Cruger and Jacob Phoenix
- The 'Hester' - Mordecai and David Gomez
- The 'Elizabeth' - Mordecai and David Gomez
- The 'Antigua' - Nathan Marston and Abram Lyell
- The 'Betsy' - Wm. De Woolf
- The 'Polly' - James De Woolf
- The 'White Horse' - Jan de Sweevts
- The 'Expedition' - John and Jacob Roosevelt
- The 'Charlotte' - Moses and Sam Levy and Jacob Franks
- The 'Franks' - Moses and Sam Levy
- A video, "The Jewish Role in the Black Slave Trade," a speech by Prof. Tony Martin with an introduction by Hoffman, remains online at Google, as of this writing. Viewers who wish to see it before it, too is censored by Google, can access it here:
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The Dutch East India Company, called the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC in Dutch, was a company whose main purpose was trade, exploration, and colonization throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. It was created in 1602 and lasted until 1800. It is considered to be one of the first and most successful international corporations. At its height, the Dutch East India Company established headquarters in many different countries, had a monopoly over the spice trade and it had semi-governmental powers in that it was able to begin wars, prosecute convicts, negotiate treaties and establish colonies.ther are two main reasons behind VOC birth : in 1578 king SEBSTIAN of portugal was killed in morocco and his army was completely destroyed and so his kingdom as well ,,,, 2 : the spanish queen started expelling muslims and jews from spain and portugal ,, the richest jews fleed to netherland , enemy of spain ,, those jews had money , knowledge , and knew all about spain trading and navigation ,,,, and had also the will of revenge ,,,,,,,Yeah, we Dutch VOC where the world champion slave trading once! Nothing to be proud about. The VOC where all scumbags and criminals, but they made our country rich and wealthy. Even today we are the best traders in the world, and there is still a bit VOC in us Dutch folks.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_East_India_Company The Dutch East India Company (Dutch: Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie; VOC) was an early megacorporation, founded by a government-directed amalgamation of several rival Dutch trading companies (the so-called voorcompagnieën or pre-companies) in the early 17th century. It was originally established, on 20 March 1602