Did you know that one of the earliest practices of slavery by English colonists originated in New England?
In fact, Massachusetts issued the very first slave code in English America in 1641. Why did New Englanders turn to slavery and become the first in English America to codify its practice?
Margaret Ellen Newell, a professor of history at The Ohio State University and the author of Brethren By Nature: New England Indians, Colonists, and the Origins of American Slavery, joins us to investigate these questions and issues.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
Margaret Ellen Newell, a professor of history at The Ohio State University and the author of Brethren By Nature: New England Indians, Colonists, and the Origins of American Slavery, joins us to investigate the origins of slavery in English America.
During our exploration, Margaret reveals information about the practice of Native American slavery in New England and the labor shortage that led to the practice; Details about the Pequot War; And how New England legal codes, laws, and customs around slavery developed and worked to support the institution while leaving openings for enslaved people to contest their status.
What You’ll Discover
- Native American slavery in New England
- The Pequot War, 1636-1638
- The labor shortage in New England
- The first slave law in English North America
- “Just war” as an excuse for native enslavement
- New English methods of enslaving Native Americans
- Enslavement via court rulings
- Use of the colonial Massachusetts courts by the enslaved
- Rights of the enslaved in New England
- Day-to-day life for enslaved Native Americans
- Cultural exchange between enslaved Native Americans and New English households
- Social lives of enslaved Native Americans
- Ways Native American slavery influenced African slavery
- Native American participation in New England’s Indian slave trade
- The end of Indian slavery in New England
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Margaret Newell
- Margaret’s Website
- Brethren By Nature: New England Indians, Colonists, and the Origins of American Slavery
- Omohundro Institute
- OI Books (Use promo code 01DAH40 to save 40 percent)
- Denver Meet Up Saturday, January 19, 3:30pm at Prost Brewing
- Episode 064: Brett Rushforth, Native American Slavery in New France
- Episode 083: Jared Hardesty, Unfreedom: Slavery in Colonial Boston
- Episode 139: Andrés Reséndez, The Other Slavery: Indian Enslavement in the Americas
- Episode 170: Wendy Warren, New England Bound: Slavery in Early New England
- Episode 191: Lisa Brooks, A New History of King Philip’s War
Time Warp Question
In your opinion, what might have happened if New Englanders hadn’t turned to Indian slavery as a method to fulfill their labor needs? How would the lack of Indian slavery have impacted the practice of African slavery in North America?
Questions, Comments, Suggestions
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