ChildSlavesES0404_468x307Lyart Murnin

Alexander Stewart was herded off the Gildart in July of 1747, bound with chains. He was pushed onto the auction block in Wecomica, St Mary’s County, Maryland. Doctor Stewart and his brother William, residents of Annapolis, were attending the auction. The two brothers paid nine pound six shillings sterling to Mr. Benedict Callvert of Annapolis for the purchase of Alexander. He was a slave. Alexander tells of the other 88 Scots sold into slavery that day in The Lyon in Mourning.  – Claude A Greene, What We Dragged Out of Slavery With Us (Infinity Publishing, PA, 2006)

…[W]hite enslavement was crucial to the development of the Negro slave system. The system set up for the white slaves governed, organized and controlled the system for the black slaves. Black slaves were ‘late comers’ fitted into a system already developed.  – Ulrich B. Phillips, Life and Labor in the Old South (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1929)

Nane is the first ti step on til a laund;
aawhaur is fraucht bi bygane sauls
that aince war lívin lik oorsels.
Ablo the yirth, strampt doun bi scurrivaigs,
their deid bodies daurna mak a soond;
an wha nou mynds the mistrystit anes?
Throu us pirrs their docht an wandocht yit.

That my hístory ye micht awn, I sall allou,
but no my geography; tho some wad hae
that hístory’s aft the name o thae
as fill a geography’s boonds.

I bade i’ my geography throu aa my mony daiths,
as you daen yours,
‘mang boonds it taen stoot herts ti thole;
an nane forsaid híssel,
nane gaed homologaitit, tuimt o hís trowth.

In hís ain geography ilkane bade out-throu hís days,
ti scrieve oor siblik hístories at the hinder-end.

Mourning Streaked by Two Colours
None is the first to step on to a land;/ everywhere is burdened by past souls/ which once were living like ourselves./ Beneath the earth, trampled down by louts, /their dead bodies dare not make a sound; /and who now remembers the forsaken ones? /Through us their power (worth) and feebleness (worthlessness) ripples still.
That my history you might share too, I shall allow, /but not my geography; though some would have it /that history’s often the name of those /who fill a geography’s bounds.
I remained in my geography through all my many deaths, /as you did yours, /within bounds it took brave hearts to suffer; /and none denied himself, /none forsook his distinctive tongue, emptied his troth.
In his own geography each one remained throughout his life, /to write our kindred histories latterly.