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The US Civil War was fought over slavery

Why did the South fight? Why does this question remain controversial?

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Database: Old newspaper ads searching for loved ones lost to slavery


The Southwestern Christian Advocate ran its "Lost Friends" page from 1877 until "well into the first decade of the twentieth century."

The Historic New Orleans Collection has scanned 330 of these ads and made them available in a searchable database. They're not only an indispensable geneological and historical tool; they're also a powerful reminder of the bloody racial history of America.

Two dollars in 1880 bought a yearlong subscription to the Southwestern Christian Advocate, a newspaper published in New Orleans by the Methodist Book Concern and distributed to nearly five hundred preachers, eight hundred post offices, and more than four thousand subscribers in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas. The "Lost Friends" column, which ran from the paper's 1877 inception well into the first decade of the twentieth century, featured messages from individuals searching for loved ones lost in slavery.

This searchable database provides access to more than 330 advertisements that appeared in the Southwestern Christian Advocate between November 1879 and December 1880. Digital reproductions of the Lost Friends ads are courtesy of Hill Memorial Library, Louisiana State University Libraries.

Lost Friends: Advertisements from the Southwestern Christian Advocate [Historic New Orleans Collection]

(via Making Light)

British history of slave ownership

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Slavery was outlawed in the British Empire in 1833, decades before the U.S. Civil War. The outcome: relative historical obscurity, leaving Britain's 17th and 18th century luminaries untarnished by their ownership of other human beings. [Guardian]

South Carolina: Confederate flag will be removed from Statehouse on Friday, July 10 at 10am

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It's about time.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, just now: “"The Confederate flag is coming off the South Carolina Statehouse. Tomorrow morning at 10:00am, we will see the Confederate Flag come down,” she added, “with dignity.”

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Family records for slavery-era black Americans to be made available, free, online

“Group of Contrabands at Foller's House, 1862,” Library of Congress via


“Group of Contrabands at Foller's House, 1862,” Library of Congress via

A million and a half handwritten records from the 1860s about newly-freed slaves will no doubt be invaluable for black people trying to trace their family history.

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Rand Paul: solve vaccination issues by making children into property

"The state doesn't own your children. Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom and public health."

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South Korea's brutalized, disabled slaves


Whole towns' worth of people on South Korea's remote southwest coast are complicit in the longrunning, open enslavement of mentally and physically disabled workers who are kidnapped from the streets of cities like Seoul and beaten into lives of forced labor.

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Malaysia's tech manufacturing sector based on forced labor

"Hardly a major brand name" doing business in Malaysia is untainted by the use of forced labor from trafficked workers, according to a study backed by the US Department of Labor.

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"Slaves" freed in London

A 69 year-old Malaysian woman, an Irishwoman, 57, and a Briton, 30, were all rescued from a house in south London this week, reports the BBC. A couple, both 67, are under arrest—and accused of holding the women as slaves for 30 years.

"Slave" freed in Wales, 13 years after disappearance

"An Englishman who mysteriously vanished on holiday more than a decade ago has been reunited with his family after he was discovered allegedly working as a slave on a Welsh farm for the last 13 years." [NY Daily News]

Database documenting payouts to UK slave-owners to be launched for public use

The British government paid out £20 million to compensate 3,000 slave-owning families for the loss of their "property" when slave ownership was abolished in Britain's colonies in 1833. At the time, that sum amounted to 40% of the UK's annual spending budget; today, one could calculate the total value of the 19th-century payouts to be around £16.5 billion (=USD $25 billion; the actual sum can vary, depending on how you calculate).

In The Independent, an article digging in to the data, which will be released this week in the form of a publicly accessible database.

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How 100-million year old geology affects modern presidential elections

The image above shows the outcome of the 2008 presidential elections in the American South. Counties that swung Republican are in red. Counties that swung Democratic are in blue. The result shows more than just the modern political landscape. In fact, the blue counties trace the outline of an ancient coastline, from a time when much of the South and Central-West parts of North America were inundated with shallow, tropical seas.

I love this article by Dr. M at the Deep Sea News blog, which explains the geologic history of these oceans and explains why an ancient sea would affect modern politics.

During the Cretaceous, 139-65 million years ago, shallow seas covered much of the southern United States. These tropical waters were productive–giving rise to tiny marine plankton with carbonate skeletons which overtime accumulated into massive chalk formations. The chalk, both alkaline and porous, lead to fertile and well-drained soils in a band, mirroring that ancient coastline and stretching across the now much drier South. This arc of rich and dark soils in Alabama has long been known as the Black Belt.

...Over time this rich soil produced an amazingly productive agricultural region, especially for cotton. In 1859 alone a harvest of over 4,000 cotton bales was not uncommon within the belt. And yet, just tens of miles north or south this harvest was rare. Of course this level of cotton production required extensive labor.

Read the rest of the story at Deep Sea News