How likely could dark skinned people of non-African descent find themselves enslaved in the Americas?

Oct 2017
377
America ??
For nearly all of the Western Hemisphere as well as the Western World’s History, dark skin was nearly universally associated with African descent. That seems to be changing with our mass globalisation & huge South Asian & Middle Eastern diasporas now, which seems to have emerged during the second half of the 20th century.

I’m wondering how likely dark skinned peoples not of African descent, like South Asians & Melanesians, could have found themselves in the Americas & Europe.

I would imagine that any substantially dark skinned person not of African descent would have at least been perceived as mulatto, if not even fully negro.

& if they were in the Americas or Europe during the slavery era, would they have needed to have white guardians & to carry freedom papers?

was there any risk of them finding themselves enslaved, through either kidnapping, being suspected fugitives, for punishment etc, just as countless free people of color were?

Over half a million Indian indentured servants were sent to the Caribbean after the British Empire empire abolished slavery. There’s not much evidence of Indo-Caribbeans visiting outside their work & home countries is there? But they would have been within proximity to legal slavery for most of the 19th century, it must have been frightening for them to think of it. Would there have been any risk of them being enslaved from either visiting those slave countries, or by being kidnapped & shipped in their own countries?

The Negro Seaman Acts, the story of John Glasgow and this other free black Briton whom I unfortunately can’t remember the name of right now both prove that free people of color from both sides of the Atlantic were at risk.

I’m sure free colored people in Europe were at risk of being kidnapped & sold in the Americas as well.

How likely would this kind of dire situation have entered the historical record for future generations to be aware of?

Is it something we have no evidence of & can only ponder would have been a dire possibility?

An Indian Solomon Northup would make an interesting story wouldn’t it, maybe I can write a novel about that someday.

If they found themselves in America during the segregation era, would they have been perceived as of African descent & thus restricted to the colored sections?

It’s only the Southern U.S that had post-slavery segregation in the Western Hemisphere wasn’t it? How would they have applies to any dark skinned person of non-African descent?
 
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betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,496
I don't know if there were many south Asians etc. in the US.

Slaves were not just from Africa, but many were native American. The entire native population of south Carribean islands was enslaved. Native Americans had slaves or sorts and native American slaves were a major trade good with whites. In addition many were directly captured by whites. Someone who was part black was black. Most black Americans have significant native American ancestry. This is more true in Cuba, Haiti etc.

This case has been discussed here. A white woman indentured servant from Alsace was treated as a slave. She one her freedom in court, but the Louisiana legislature removed all the member of the Louisiana Supreme Court for that decision. There were many slaves in New Orleans who looked white, so no one thought much about it. New Orleans was a big market for light skinned "fancy girls" from the upper south and their children were even lighter. Her children were not freed. I can't find out whether they were white or not. It is possible they were by a slave and that is one reason she was treated as a slave.

 
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Isleifson

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
4,103
Lorraine tudesque
As it happen I know the town were this woman has been coming from very well.

A part of France since 1649. Of course her language was Alsatian, not French. But still legally a French citizen.

The Wikipedia article is a mess.
 
Oct 2017
377
America ??
Actually searching “East Indians in Colonial America” or “Asian Indians in Colonial America” on google reveals more than I imagined.
 
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betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,496
Actually searching “East Indians in Colonial America” or “Asian Indians in Colonial America” on google reveals more than I imagined.
Not sure how many indentured servants from India were brought.

According to Wikipedia

1600's[edit]
Beginning in the 1600s the East India Company begins bringing indentured Indian servants to American colonies.[8] In 1680, due to anti-miscegenation laws, a mixed-race girl born to an Indian father and an Irish mother is classified as 'mulatto' and sold into slavery.[8]

1700's[edit]
The Naturalization Act of 1790 made Asians ineligible for citizenship, with citizenship limited to whites only.[9]
 
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Sep 2012
1,172
Tarkington, Texas
The Chickasaw Tribe were raiding tribes across the Mississippi and taking their captives to Charlestown. There they were sold to the West Indies.

The closest person I ever saw to being a mixed Indian mullato, was a guy I went to elementary with. He was in my school and Cub Scout Pack. His father was stationed at Trinidad and brought a war bride home. She was an Indian. They divorced a number of years later. He looked dark like his mother. His sister took after the father. They went to the same schools as I did, so they were considered White. In Louisiana, you had to be White or you were sent to a Colored School. The only Black High School left in town is called "the Charging Indians". I taught there one year many years later. There was a road on the North end of the school district that was still White. I had a number of them in my classes. Two of my students were children of a famous All State Football player. He was Blond, Blue eyed and had straight hair. His children had dark brown hair and brown eyes. They both played sports.

If you every see that Cable show about various people hunting alligators, "Swamp People", be aware a lot of people in that area are descendants of the Houma Tribe. The Houma intermarried with the local population and that included whites and blacks. The local school board made them attend Colored schools. One of the people on the show is a Houma. He hunts with his step son who is blond and blue eyed.

Louisiana has small Indian Communities. One guy I played Football with had a mother who was Lipan Apache. The father was white. There was one girl and five or six boys. The girl was a beauty! There are lots of beautiful women in Louisiana.

Pruitt
 
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Sep 2012
1,172
Tarkington, Texas
Milennium, why do you assume the Southern US is the only place that segregated the black people? In New York City there were Draft Riots during the Civil War. The Irish went out and hung every black they could find. Topeka Board of Education versus the United States was a landmark desegregation case in the 1950's. Topeka is in Kansas. Just about every state had segregation laws. My brother liked to have gave my Grandmother a fit when we went down to the Health unit to get immunization shots. He kept acting like he was going to use the bathroom in the facilities marked "Colored Only". I went to the same place a few years ago and they have removed the extra sets of bathrooms.

Pruitt
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,346
Sydney
the first slaves in america were the local manpower , the Indians , who tended to die too much
then followed by Europeans , which raised a series of legal issue
African proven to be better value for money

P.S. slavery was always a business
 
Oct 2017
377
America ??
Milennium, why do you assume the Southern US is the only place that segregated the black people? In New York City there were Draft Riots during the Civil War. The Irish went out and hung every black they could find. Topeka Board of Education versus the United States was a landmark desegregation case in the 1950's. Topeka is in Kansas. Just about every state had segregation laws. My brother liked to have gave my Grandmother a fit when we went down to the Health unit to get immunization shots. He kept acting like he was going to use the bathroom in the facilities marked "Colored Only". I went to the same place a few years ago and they have removed the extra sets of bathrooms.

Pruitt
Thanks for those examples Pruitt. Yeah those are all pretty terrible examples of our species’ tendencies aren’t they? Shows a lot about our species’ emotion vs reason battles.
Ought to be the stuff seriously thought & studied in cognitive sciences.

My understanding is that the former slave states in the U.S developed formal as well as informal segregation laws & cultures in place of slavery, but that elsewhere in the country & continent while informal segregation customs & attitudes were common there wasn’t widespread formal segregation like in the south.

Also, I’m not aware of any other country in the Americas that had segregation like the former U.S slave states, are you?

Are you yourself part of the segregation era generation?
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,737
San Antonio, Tx
Growing up in Houston in the 50s, I was only barely aware of the segregation that divided my city. Later, as I started attending university in the same city, the world opened up as my horizons expanded. When the city as a whole de-segregated, it was equally un-notable. Since the late 50s, Houston has always been more open to outside influences and has increasingly been home to hundreds of thousands of people from somewhere else, driven by its port status in addition to oilers from all over the world.

But, it’s a hectic place and way too much to handle for a long time.