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Indian Slavery in the Americas


by Alan Gallay
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

The story of European colonialism in the Americas and its victimization of Africans and Indians follows a central paradigm in most textbooks. The African “role” encompasses the transportation, exploitation, and suffering of many millions in New World slavery, while Indians are described in terms of their succumbing in large numbers to disease, with the survivors facing dispossession of their land. This paradigm—a basic one in the history of colonialism—omits a crucial aspect of the story: the indigenous peoples of the Americas were enslaved in large numbers. This exclusion distorts not only what happened to American Indians under colonialism, but also points to the need for a reassessment of the foundation and nature of European overseas expansion.

Without slavery, slave trading, and other forms of unfree labor, European colonization would have remained extremely limited in the New World. The Spanish were almost totally dependent on Indian labor in most of their colonies, and even where unfree labor did not predominate, as in the New England colonies, colonial production was geared toward supporting the slave plantation complex of the West Indies. Thus, we must take a closer look at the scope of unfree labor—the central means by which Europeans generated the wealth that fostered the growth of colonies.

(Comment - what European Albinos will never admit is the reason why northern U.S. Farmers did NOT use Slave labor is simply because they didn't need it, they could work their fields themselves, and hire cheap Albino workers to help them. However, in the Southern regions with high UV radiation from the Sun, they could NOT work their fields themselves - the Sun would eventually Kill them. Thus they were dependant on melaninated humans to do the work FOR them).




Modern perceptions of early modern slavery associate the institution almost solely with Africans and their descendants. Yet slavery was a ubiquitous institution in the early modern world. Africans, Asians, Europeans, and Native Americans kept slaves before and after Columbus reached America. Enslavement meant a denial of freedom for the enslaved, but slavery varied greatly from place to place, as did the lives of slaves. The life of a genizaro (slave soldier) of the Ottoman Empire, who enjoyed numerous privileges and benefits, immensely differed from an American Indian who worked in the silver mines of Peru or an African who produced sugar cane in Barbados. People could be kept as slaves for religious purposes (Aztecs and Pacific Northwest Indians) or as a by-product of warfare, where they made little contribution to the economy or basic social structure (Eastern Woodlands). In other societies, slaves were central to the economy. In many areas of West Africa, for instance, slaves were the predominant form of property and the main producers of wealth.




As it expanded under European colonialism to the New World in the late fifteenth through nineteenth centuries, slavery took on a new, racialized form involving the movement of millions of peoples from one continent to another based on skin color, and the creation of a vast slave-plantation complex that was an important cog in the modernization and globalization of the world economy. Africans provided the bulk of labor in this new system of slavery, but American Indians were compelled to labor in large numbers as well.





In the wake of the deaths of indigenous Americans from European-conveyed microbes from which they had no immunity (Albino lie, it was deliberate killings), the Spanish colonists turned to importing Africans. A racist and gross misinterpretation of this event posited that most Indians could not be enslaved because of their love for freedom, while Africans were used to having their labor controlled by “big men” in Africa. This dangerous view obscured a basic fact of early modern history: Anyone could be enslaved. Over a million Europeans were held as slaves from the 1530s through the 1780s in Africa, and hundreds of thousands were kept as slaves by the Ottomans in eastern Europe and Asia. (John Smith, for instance, had been a slave of the Ottomans before he obtained freedom and helped colonize Virginia.) In 1650, more English were enslaved in Africa than Africans enslaved in English colonies. Even as late as the early nineteenth century, United States citizens were enslaved in North Africa. As the pro-slavery ideologue George Fitzhugh noted in his book, Cannibals All (1857), in the history of world slavery, Europeans were commonly the ones held as slaves, and the enslavement of Africans was a relatively new historical development. Not until the eighteenth century did the words “slave” and “African” become nearly synonymous in the minds of Europeans and Euro-Americans.




With labor at a premium in the colonial American economy, there was no shortage of people seeking to purchase slaves. Both before and during African enslavement in the Americas, American Indians were forced to labor as slaves and in various other forms of unfree servitude. They worked in mines, on plantations, as apprentices for artisans, and as domestics—just like African slaves and European indentured servants. As with Africans shipped to America, Indians were transported from their natal communities to labor elsewhere as slaves. Many Indians from Central America were shipped to the West Indies, also a common destination for Indians transported out of Charleston, South Carolina, and Boston, Massachusetts. Many other Indians were moved hundreds or thousands of miles within the Americas. Sioux Indians from the Minnesota region could be found enslaved in Quebec, and Choctaws from Mississippi in New England. A longstanding line of transportation of Indian slaves led from modern-day Utah and Colorado south into Mexico.








St. Domingo = The entire Island of Hispaniola before the break-up in 1808 involving Spain and France. Hispaniola is the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, founded by Christopher Columbus on his voyages in 1492 and 1493.

Santo Domingo = (Dominican Republic and the name of it's largest city).

Saint-Domingue = (Haiti).


Nicknamed the "Pearl of the Antilles," it became the richest and most prosperous colony in the West Indies, with a system of human enslavement used to grow and harvest sugar cane, during a time when demand for sugar was high in Europe. Slavery kept prices low and profit was maximized at the expense of human lives. It was an important port in the Americas for goods and products flowing to and from France and Europe.

With the treaty of Peace of Basel, revolutionary France emerged as a major European power. In the second 1795 Treaty of Basel (July 22), Spain ceded the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, later to become the Dominican Republic. French settlers had begun to colonize some areas in the Spanish side of the territory. European colonists often died young due to tropical fevers, as well as from violent slave resistance in the late eighteenth century. When the French Revolution abolished slavery in the colonies on February 4, 1794, it was a European first, and when Napoleon re-imposed slavery in 1802 it led to a major upheaval by the emancipated black slaves.

Thousands of the French Troops sent by Napoleon to reestablished slavery succumbed to yellow fever during the summer months, and more than half of the French army died because of disease. After the French removed the surviving 7,000 troops in late 1803, the leaders of the revolution declared western Hispaniola the new nation of independent Haiti in early 1804. France continued to rule Spanish Santo Domingo. In 1805, Haitian troops of General Henri Christophe tried to conquer all of Hispaniola. They invaded Santo Domingo and sacked the towns of Santiago de los Caballeros and Moca, killing most of their residents, but news of a French fleet sailing towards Haiti forced General Christophe to return to Haiti, leaving the Eastern Spanish side of the island in French hands. In 1808, following Napoleon's invasion of Spain, the Criollos (a person of pure Spanish descent) of Santo Domingo revolted against French rule and, with the aid of the United Kingdom (Spain's ally) returned Santo Domingo to Spanish control.

Fearing the influence of a society that had successfully fought and won against their enslavers, the United States and European powers refused to recognize Haiti, the second republic in the western hemisphere. France demanded a high payment for compensation to slaveholders who lost their property, and Haiti was saddled with unmanageable debt for decades. It became one of the poorest countries in the Americas.


Click here for a Blow-up of this image:>>>




In the Caribbean the relationship between African Slaves, the Native Black and Mongol Indians, and the "Current Populations" has always been a source of conjecture. The following data from Voyages - the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database with information on almost 36,000 slaving voyages. Created by Emory University, in Partnership with - National Endowment for the Humanities, Hutchins Center for African and African American Research (Harvard University), The University of Hull (UK), Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand), sheds light on the mystery.






Cuba = 744,247 Slaves landed: Current population = 11,400,730

Saint-Domingue (Haiti) = 692,854 Slaves landed: Current population = 10,848,175

Hispaniola (Dominican Republic) = 29,900 Slaves landed: Current population = 10,596,332

Puerto Rico = 25,839 Slaves landed: Current population = 3,411,307

Jamaica = 934,264 Slaves landed: Current population = 2,803,362

Barbados = 374,601 Slaves landed: Current population = 285,006



From the data derived from the Voyages database: the great majority of the people currently inhabiting these Caribbean Islands, clearly descent from Indigenous Black and Mongol Indians, rather than from Africans. The complicated machinations of Barbados being the one possible exception in percentage.





The Taíno people were among the indigenous people of the Caribbean and Florida. At the time of European contact in the late 15th century, they were the principal inhabitants of most of Cuba, Trinidad, Jamaica, Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), and Puerto Rico. In the Greater Antilles, the northern Lesser Antilles, and the Bahamas, they were known as the Lucayans. They speak the Taíno language (one of the Arawakan languages).

The ancestors of the Taíno entered the Caribbean from South America and their culture is closely linked to that of Mesoamericans. At the time of contact, the Taíno were divided into three broad groups, known as the Western Taíno (Jamaica, most of Cuba, and the Bahamas), the Classic Taíno (Hispaniola and Puerto Rico) and the Eastern Taíno (northern Lesser Antilles), and other groups of Taíno nations of Florida, such as the Tequesta, Calusa, Jaega, Ais, and others. Taíno groups were in conflict with the Caribs of the southern Lesser Antilles.


Mesoamerica was a region and cultural area in the Americas, extending approximately from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica, within which pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries. It is one of six areas in the world where ancient civilization arose independently, and the second in the Americas along with Norte Chico (Caral-Supe) in present-day northern coastal Peru.

Boy will Don King be pissed when he finds out that he did not invent the hairstyle.






We may use the image of those native Black people of Hispaniola, and data from the Voyages database of Emory University, to discover and debunk Albino lies commonly taught as Black history by Albinos.




Most of Haiti's African Slaves were landed between 1700-1800 at Cap Français now Cap-Haïtien (former capital on the northern coast) for a total of 345,563.

During that same time, another 110,961 were landed at Port au Prince. The rest were scattered across 12 other ports for the total of 692,854 Slaves landed total.

Now here are some really strange numbers:

Between 1775-1800 (307,370) Slaves were landed in Haiti. That means that BEFORE 1775, only 385,484 African Slaves had been landed in Haiti.




Slaves that made it to Haiti from the trans-Atlantic journey and slaves born in Haiti were first documented in Haiti's archives and transferred to France's Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As of 2015, these records are in The National Archives of France. According to the 1788 Census, Haiti's population consisted of nearly 25,000 whites, 22,000 free coloreds and 700,000 slaves.

Most modern Haitians are descendants of former black African slaves, including Mulattoes who are mixed-race. The remainder are of European descent and Arab Haitians, the descendants of settlers (colonial remnants and contemporary immigration during WWI and WWII). Haitians of East Asian descent or East Indian origin number approximately 400+.

Millions of Haitians live abroad in the United States, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Canada (primarily Montreal), Bahamas, France, French Antilles, the Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Brazil and French Guiana. There are an estimated 881,500 in the United States, 800,000 in the Dominican Republic, 300,000 in Cuba, 100,000 in Canada, 80,000 in France, and up to 80,000 in the Bahamas. But there are also smaller Haitian communities in many other countries, including Chile, Switzerland, Japan and Australia. In 2015, the life expectancy at birth was 63 years. It appears that the total world-wide population of Haitians is about 15 million.


We have always hoped to find a way to calculate how many Indigenous Black and Mongol people were a part of Post-Columbian American populations. Now, because we have census data on Haiti, and Haiti was a more or less "Closed" population for many years. It should be possible to calculate the indigenous Black and Mongol population (which the French would not have the ability to do a census on), by "BACK" calculating from the known Slave and Free population "Growth Rate".


The Calculations:

In 1788 the total Haitian population = 747,000 round to 750,000

The 2016 population = 15 million


The result of the calculation is Haiti had an ANNUAL growth rate of 8.333%.

Which is of course IMPOSSIBLE for any population.
But doubly impossible for a very poor population.

As an example, India has a 1.2% growth rate.

The U.S. the richest country in the world, has a 0.7% growth rate.

Nigeria has a 2.8% growth rate.

Kenya has a 2.7% growth rate.

Ethiopia has a 2.6% growth rate.



Now using really rough math to calculate the population of INDIGENOUS People in Haiti in 1788.

The raw calculated Growth rate using only those under European control was the impossible = 8.3333%

The current Growth rate of Haiti = 1.4%

8.3333%/1.4% = 5.95

5.95 X 750,000 (the rounded census population) = 4,464,000 Indigenous Black and Mongol Indians lived in Haiti in 1788.






The European trade in American Indians was initiated by Columbus in 1493. Needing money to pay for his New World expeditions, he shipped Indians to Spain, where there already existed slave markets dealing in the buying and selling of Africans. Within a few decades, the Spanish expanded the slave trade in American Indians from the island of Hispaniola to Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas. The great decline in the indigenous island populations which largely owed to disease, slaving, and warfare, led the Spanish to then raid Indian communities in Central America and many of the islands just off the continent, such as Curacao, Trinidad, and Aruba. About 650,000 Indians in coastal Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Honduras were enslaved in the sixteenth century. Conquistadors then entered the inland American continents and continued the process. Hernando de Soto, for instance, brought with him iron implements to enslave the people of La Florida on his infamous expedition through the American southeast into the Carolinas and west to the Mississippi Valley. Indians were used by the conquistadors as tamemes to carry their goods on these distant forays. Another form of Spanish enslavement of Indians in the Americas was yanaconaje, which was similar to European serfdom, whereby Indians were tied to specific lands to labor rather than lords. And under the encomienda system, Indians were forced to labor or pay tribute to an encomendero, who, in exchange, was supposed to provide protection and conversion to Christianity. The encomenderos’ power survived longest in frontier areas, particularly in Venezuela, Chile, Paraguay, and in the Mexican Yucatan into the nineteenth century.





By 1542 the Spanish had outlawed outright enslavement of some, but not all, Indians. People labeled cannibals could still be enslaved, as could Indians purchased from other Europeans or from Indians. The Spanish also created new forms of servitude for Indians. This usually involved compelling mission Indians to labor for a period of time each year that varied from weeks to months with little or no pay. Repartimiento, as it was called, was widespread in Peru and Mexico, though it faded quickly in the latter. It persisted for hundreds of years as the main system for organizing Indian labor in Colombia, Ecuador, and Florida, and survived into the early 1820s in Peru and Bolivia. Indian laborers worked in the silver mines and built forts, roads, and housing for the army, church, and government. They performed agriculture and domestic labor in support of civilians, government contractors, and other elements of Spanish society. Even in regions where African slavery predominated, such as the sugar plantations in Portuguese Brazil and in the West Indies, Indian labor continued to be used. And in many Spanish colonies, where the plantations did not flourish, Indians provided the bulk of unfree labor through the colonial era. In other words, the growth of African slavery in the New World did not diminish the use of unfree Indian labor, particularly outside of the plantation system.



This Indians facial features clearly indicate that he is not a Mongol or Black, but rather a Mulatto derived from "Frontiersman" European admixture. Note the difference with Running Owls daughter below.



Whereas in South America and the islands of the West Indies, Europeans conducted the bulk of slaving raids against Indians, (except in Brazil, where bandeirantes of mixed blood were employed for slaving), much of the enslavement of Indians in North America above Mexico was done by Indians. North American Europeans did enslave Indians during wars, especially in New England (the Pequot War, King Philip’s War) and the southeast (the Tuscarora War, the Yamasee War, the Natchez War, just to name a few), but ordinarily Europeans, especially the English and French, purchased their Indian slaves from Indians. Colonists lured Indians to supply Indian slaves in exchange for trade goods and to obtain alliances with the Europeans and their Indian allies. Indians slaved against not only their enemies, but Indians they had never met. Many Indians recognized they had little choice but to become slavers. If they did not do the Europeans’ bidding they could easily become victimized themselves. It was not unusual for peoples victimized by slaving to become slavers, and for those who had been slavers to become the object of raids.





Colonists participated in Indian slave trading to obtain capital. It was as if capital could be created out of thin air: one merely had to capture an Indian or find an Indian to capture another. In South Carolina, and to a lesser extent in North Carolina, Virginia, and Louisiana, Indian slavery was a central means by which early colonists funded economic expansion. In the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, a frenzy of enslaving occurred in what is now the eastern United States. English and allied Indian raiders nearly depopulated Florida of its American Indian population. From 1670 to 1720 more Indians were shipped out of Charleston, South Carolina, than Africans were imported as slaves—and Charleston was a major port for bringing in Africans. The populous Choctaws in Mississippi were repeatedly battered by raiders, and many of their neighboring lower Mississippi Valley Indians also wound up spending their lives as slaves on West Indies plantations. Simultaneously, the New England colonies nearly eliminated the Native population from southern New England through warfare, slaving, and forced removal. The French in Canada and in Louisiana purchased many Indian slaves from their allies who swept through the Great Lakes region, the Missouri Country, and up into Minnesota. All the colonies engaged in slaving and in the purchase of Indian slaves. Only in the colonial region of New York and Pennsylvania was slaving limited, in large part because the neighboring Iroquois assimilated into their societies many of those they captured instead of selling them to the Europeans—but the Europeans of those colonies purchased Indian slaves from other regions.





Slaving against Indians did begin to decline in the east in the second quarter of the eighteenth century, largely a result of Indians’ refusal to participate in large-scale slaving raids, but the trade moved westward where Apaches, Sioux, and others continued to be victimized by Comanche and others. From Louisiana to New Mexico, large-scale enslavement of American Indians persisted well into the nineteenth century. Slave markets were held monthly in New Mexico, for instance, to facilitate the sale of Indians from the American West to northern Mexico. After the Civil War, President Andrew Johnson sent federal troops into the West to put an end to Indian slavery, but it continued to proliferate in California.





The paradigm of “what happened” to American Indians under European colonialism must be revised. Instead of viewing victimization of Africans and Indians as two entirely separate processes, they should be compared and contrasted. This will shed more light on the consequences of colonialism in the Americas, and how racism became one of the dominant ideologies of the modern world. It is time to assess the impact of slave trading and slavery on American Indian peoples, slave and free.





Alan Gallay is the Warner R. Woodring Chair of Atlantic World and Early American History at The Ohio State University, where he is Director of The Center for Historical Research. He received the Bancroft Prize for The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South, 1670–1717 (2003).






Westos Tribe

The slave trade created tensions that were not present among different tribes and even large scale abandonment of original homelands to escape the wars and slave trade. The majority of the Indian wars occurred in the south The Westos originally lived near Lake Erie in the 1640s but relocated to escape the Indian slave trade and Iroquois mourning wars; wars designed to repopulate their tribe due to European enslavement and large number of deaths due to wars and disease. The Westos eventually moved to Virginia and then South Carolina to take advantage of trading routes. The Westos strongly contributed to the rising involvement of southeastern Native American communities in the Indian slave trade especially with Westos expansion. The increased rise of the gun-slave trade forced the other tribes to participate or their refusal to engage in enslaving meant they would become targets of slavers. Before 1700, the Westos in Carolina dominated much of the Native American slave trade, enslaving natives of southern tribes indiscriminately. The Westos gained power rapidly but the British and plantation owners began to fear them as they were well-armed with a lot of rifle power through trading; unremorsefully from 1680 to 1682 the English, allied with the Savannah (Shawnee) who resented Westo control of the trade wiped them out killing most of the men and selling most of the women and children that could be captured. As a result, the Westo tribal group was completely eliminated culturally; its survivors were scattered or else sold into slavery in Antigua. Those Native Americans nearer the European settlements raided tribes farther into the interior in the quest for slaves to be sold, especially to the British.


The Creek Tribe

The Creek, a loose confederacy of many different groups who had banded together to defend themselves against slave-raiding, allied with the English and moved on the Apalachee in Spanish Florida, destroying them as a group of people in the quest for slaves. These raids also destroyed several other Florida tribes, including the Timucua. In 1685, the Yamasee were persuaded by Scottish slave traders to attack the Timucuans, the attack was devastating. Most of the colonial-era Native Americans of Florida were killed, enslaved, or scattered. It is estimated that English-Creek raids on Florida yielded 4,000 Native American slaves between 1700 and 1705. A few years later, the Shawnee raided the Cherokee in similar fashion. In North Carolina, the Tuscarora, fearing among other things that the English planned to enslave them as well as take their land, attacked the English in a war that lasted from 1711 to 1713. In this war, Carolina whites, aided by the Yamasee, completely vanquished the Tuscarora, taking thousands of captives as slaves. Within a few years, a similar fate befell the Yuchis and the Yamasee, who had fallen out of favor with the British. The French armed the Natchez tribe, who lived on the banks of the Mississippi, and the Illinois against the Chickasaw. By 1729, the Natchez, along with a number of enslaved and runaway Africans who lived among them, rose up against the French. An army composed of French soldiers, Choctaw warriors, and enslaved Africans defeated them. Trade behavior of several tribes also began to change returning to more traditional ways of adopting war captives instead of immediately selling them to white slave traders or holding them for three days before deciding to sell them or not. This was due to the heavy losses many of the tribes were obtaining in the numerous wars that continued throughout the 18th century.

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