For more than one hundred years or longer, before the first black slave was sent to America, there was white slavery. This is a subject our United States history books will not touch with a 10 foot pole. If they covered it in its fullest scope black`s having been slaves could no longer be used as political leverage & undeserved gain today.
At best our government school books only briefly touch on the subject of " indentured servants." What they do not tell you is that to many whites there was no such thing, they were lifetime slaves. Those who did sign themselves into bondage & servitude through the system of indentured servitude were subjected to rules which if broken extended their slave status for years up to & including permanent slavery. Of course, charges were usually trumped - up to see that most of them did remain slaves indefinitely as their production was needed by the commerce of the colonies. Which proves slavery was an economical institute & not one based on the hatred of a persons race.
From my research & contacts with numerous people in the United Kingdom outright white slavery was the preferred manner in which people were sent to the colonies, not as indentured servants. Poor destitute families sold children into slavery with the promise to the parents that a better life awaited them in America, this was a lie. People were drugged or hit over the head in local pubs to only find that when they awakened that they were aboard a wooden sailing ship on their way to a life of permanent slavery in America. The jails & prisons were emptied of many into slavery because their only crimes was that they were so poor that they could not pay their debts & were sentenced to prison terms in " Debtors Prisons."
I had a friend I worked with who told of his German ancestors having been captured in battle by the English & shipped to New York City before it was a city, to harvest pitch tar from white pine trees for the Royal Navy. They were put ashore during the winter & were given a 20 ft. x 20 ft. piece of land to build a cabin on for protection from the elements.
Later it was discovered that yellow pine trees in the Southern United States produced much more pitch tar than white pines did which brought on even more white slavery.
So the next time you are researching your ancestry & hit a dead-end remember some of your family & mine could have been & probably were white slaves. There is no shame or embarrassment in it because it only confirms that the United States government hasn`t had the common courtesy or decency to tell us about this sorry episode of its history. I demand reparations! LOL
Billy E. Price