Virginia Slave Breeding/State We Demand Reparations Now! Human Breeding For Profits
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Slave Breeding was one of the most dehumanizing tyrannical systems to ever be used on humankind specifically African people Young women were often advertised for sale as “good breeding stock”. To encourage child-bearing some population owners promised women slaves their freedom after they had produced fifteen children. One slave trader from Virginia boasted that his successful breeding policies enabled him to sell 6,000 slave children a year.
In fact, most American slaves were not kidnapped on another continent. Though over 12.7 million Africans were forced onto ships to the Western hemisphere, estimates only have 400,000-500,000 landing in present-day America. How then to account for the four million black slaves who were tilling fields in 1860? “The South,” the Sublettes write, “did not only produce tobacco, rice, sugar, and cotton as commodities for sale; it produced people.” Slavers called slave-breeding “natural increase,” but there was nothing natural about producing slaves; it took scientific management. Thomas Jefferson bragged to George Washington that the birth of black children was increasing Virginia’s capital stock by four percent annually.
Here is how the American slave-breeding industry worked, according to the Sublettes: Some states (most importantly Virginia) produced slaves as their main domestic crop. The price of slaves was anchored by industry in other states that consumed slaves in the production of rice and sugar, and constant territorial expansion. As long as the slave power continued to grow, breeders could literally bank on future demand and increasing prices. That made slaves not just a commodity, but the closest thing to money that white breeders had. It’s hard to quantify just how valuable people were as commodities, but the Sublettes try to convey it: By a conservative estimate, in 1860 the total value of American slaves was $4 billion, far more than the gold and silver then circulating nationally ($228.3 million, “most of it in the North,” the authors add), total currency ($435.4 million), and even the value of the South’s total farmland ($1.92 billion). Slaves were, to slavers, worth more than everything else they could imagine combined.
A popular defense of the southern slave states by the neoconfederates is that the north was responsible for all the actual slave trading, and especially the import of slaves from their native soils, and the southern states were opposed to the importation of slaves. This is partially true, and I ‘m not interested in defending the north’s record on race relations as it’s pretty abominable. But it wasn’t kindness that motivated the majority of the south’s opposition to slave ships. It was a self interested objection to competition- several of the slave states were in the business of breeding human beings.
In the 30 years leading up the Civil War the upper Southern states began breeding slaves for export. Before that there had been some moral concerns about breeding human beings like cattle, even among those who owned human beings as though they were cattle. I am not sure what social and cultural reasons eroded these moral concerns. Perhaps the continued owning of other human beings based solely on their colour acted as a corroding acid on the moral viewpoint of those who professed a position of superiority based entirely on skin color. Perhaps Darwin’s theories broke down the last barrier in a slave-owner’s mind between the human beings he ‘owned’ and the cattle he owned. Or perhaps it was purely economics, a matter of supply and demand. The slave breeding states had more slaves than agriculture. The slave buying states had more good agricultural land and fewer slaves (partly because of death by overwork).
“The Virginia times (a weekly newspaper, published at Wheeling, Virginia) estimates, in 1836, the number of slaves exported for sale from that state alone, during the ’12 months preceding,’ at forty thousand, the aggregate value of whom is computed at twenty-four millions of dollars. Allowing for Virginia one-half of the whole exportation during the period in question and we have the … sum of eighty thousand slaves exported in a single year from the breeding states. Maryland ranks next to Virginia in point of numbers, North Carolina follows Maryland, Kentucky North Carolina, then Tennessee and Delaware. The Natchez (Mississippi) Courier says ‘that the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, imported two hundred and fifty thousand slaves from the more northern states in the year 1836.”
The economic motives behind Virginia’s push to ban African slave imports were clear: The state’s plantations were no longer profitable against the corporate-sized plantation industry farther south: “Virginia grew wheat and slaves in the 19th century,” says Christy Coleman, president of the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar.
Many Virginia planters had transitioned to less labor-intensive farming of crops like wheat, leaving an idle slave population — essentially now surplus farm equipment that was of immense value to their Deep South peers who could no longer count on endless labor supply from overseas.
Richmond, with its central spot and favorable access to rivers, canals and railroads snaking all through state and to the coast, overtook Alexandria as the state’s leading slave market. Estimates of 10,000 people monthly moving through Richmond are high. Other historical sources place the number during the 1840s between 1,000 and 8,000. They were sold at the dozens of slave auctions that made up Shockoe’s business district from14th to 21st streets and Dock to Broad streets.
The Civil War ended the trade, but even up to the fall of the city in April 1865 — occupied first by a black Union infantry outfit symbolically sent into the city following a path up from Rocketts Landing — the trade continued unabated. Records of the time show individual slaves, healthy field hands, selling for upwards of $2,000. Women described in newspaper advertisements as being healthy and of childbearing age were priced above all but skilled tradesmen.
At the height of the nation’s domestic slave trade in the 1830s until the eve of the Civil War, Richmond was the center of that trade. Some modern historical sources from the 1830s to1865, more than 3.5 million slaves who were bred as part of a statewide industry were sold through Richmond and shipped out of its port and into perpetual misery.
“It is a practice and an increasing practice in parts of Virginia to rear slaves for market,” Weld quotes Randolph as saying, showing the governor to be sympathetic to the plight of blacks. “How can an honorable mind, a patriot and a lover of his country, bear to see this ancient dominion converted into one grand menagerie, where men are to be reared for market, like oxen for the shambles.”
Weld also preserved the writings of the editor of the Virginia Times in Wheeling (West Virginia was then still a part of Virginia) in 1836: “We have heard intelligent men estimate the number of slaves exported from Virginia within the last twelve months at 120,000 — each slave averaging at least $600, making an aggregate at $72,000,000.”
In Richmond, one historical account documents local Richmond auctioneers Dickinson and Hill logging total sales in the year before the Civil War of $2 million, or a least $45 million in today’s dollars.
At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Charles C. Pinckney explained that Virginia “will gain by stopping importation [from Africa]. Her slaves will rise in value and she has more than she wants.”
We believe as African/New African people living in America our ancestors human Rights were violated and are due compensation alone for the tyrannical act of slave breeding no humans has ever went through this act in history the American economy benifited and made millions of dollars of wealth off breeding and selling black bodies. We as a New African Nation Demand Reparations under The Human Rights of A People.
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