White Cargo by Don Jordan
The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



White Cargo is the forgotten story of the thousands of Britons who lived and died in bondage in Britain's American colonies. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, more than 300,000 white people were shipped to America as slaves. Urchins were swept up from London's streets to labor in the tobacco fields, where life expectancy was no more than two years. Brothels were raided to provide "breeders" for Virginia. Hopeful migrants were duped into signing as indentured servants, unaware they would become personal property who could be bought, sold, and even gambled away. Transported convicts were paraded for sale like livestock. Drawing on letters crying for help, diaries, and court and government archives, Don Jordan and Michael Walsh demonstrate that the brutalities usually associated with black slavery alone were perpetrated on whites throughout British rule. The trade ended with American independence, but the British still tried to sell convicts in their former colonies, which prompted one of the most audacious plots in Anglo-American history. This is a saga of exploration and cruelty spanning 170 years that has been submerged under the overwhelming memory of black slavery. White Cargo brings the brutal, uncomfortable story to the surface.

About Don Jordan

See more books from this Author
Don Jordan is an award-winning television director and writer who has worked on dozens of documentaries and dramas. He lives in London.
Published January 1, 2007 by MAINSTREAM PUBLISHING. 320 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for White Cargo

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

As the first 100 street children were rounded up and sent off to work the tobacco fields of Virginia by 1618, kidnapping, or “spiriting,” became so prevalent and feared that it appeared in the work of Daniel Defoe and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Jan 01 2008 | Read Full Review of White Cargo: The Forgotten Hi...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

Were America’s first slaves white? This book says they were.

Apr 27 2008 | Read Full Review of White Cargo: The Forgotten Hi...

Reader Rating for White Cargo

An aggregated and normalized score based on 97 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review