[Marxism] Lord Dunmore and the Ethiopian Regiment

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jan 10 11:29:35 MST 2013

On 1/10/13 1:21 PM, Mark Lause wrote:
> The importance of African slavery in the First American Revolution
> varied tremendously because the rebellious colonies were all very
> different and diverse.  The revolution ultimately tightened the hold
> of slavery in Virginia, but it definately aided in its elimination
> elsewhere--say, Pennsylvania.

I don't know about Pennsylvania but the American economy of the late 
1700s revolved around slavery.


If misguided paternalistic and religious feelings fueled abolitionist 
opposition to slavery, it was far more than could be expected from a 
Northern ruling class so economically integrated with the South. In 
chapter one of Philip Foner's "Business and Slavery: The New York 
Merchants and the Irrepressible Conflict", we discover that Southern 
slave-owners got the red carpet treatment in New York City:

"In the years just before the Civil War, it was customary for 
anti-slavery writers and speakers to refer to New York City as 'the 
prolongation of the South' where 'ten thousand cords of interests are 
linked with the Southern Slaveholder.' If, by some magic, one of the 
countless visitors to the 'World of Tomorrow' had suddenly been 
transported back to the New York World's Fair of 1853, he would have had 
no difficulty in discovering the reasons for these remarks. Had he 
arrived in the city late in June or early in July, he would have noticed 
that the lobbies of the Astor, St. Nicholas, Fifth Avenue, St. Denis, 
Clarendon, and Metropolitan hotels were thronged with Southern merchants 
and planters. The pages of the morning and evening newspapers, he would 
have observed, were filled with advertisements addressed to these 
Southerners, urging them to visit this or that store, to inspect the 
latest assortments of dry goods, hardware, boots and shoes, and other 
types of merchandise…

"Had the visitor remained in the city until September, he would have 
seen the daily departures of packets for the South, burdened with huge 
cargoes of dry goods, boots and shoes, hardware, clothing, liquors and 
even fruits, butter, and cheese. The same vessels, he would have 
noticed, soon returned to New York, this time loaded with cotton, 
tobacco, tar, resin, turpentine, wheat, pork and molasses. By the time 
our visitor was ready to return to the Twentieth Century, he should have 
been quite ready to agree that New York was 'almost as dependent upon 
Southern slavery as Charleston itself.' Perhaps he might even have 
agreed with James Dunmore De Bow, who said in reply to a query by the 
London Times, asking, 'What would New York be without slavery?'"

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