Monday, February 28, 2011

The Slave Trade Enriched Boston


In the 17th century, slavery was common, legal, and vital to the colonial Massachusetts economy. As the late legal historian, Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. observed, “Merchants from Massachusetts, the most vigorous slave traders in the world, made enormous profits from the slave trade.”

In 1638, the first African slaves arrived at Boston in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Few English settlers thought to question the ancient institution of slavery—although it never existed in England—and most whites condoned the profitable international black slave trade.

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