Top: Jewish Atrocities: Slave Trade
The Jewish Black Slave Traders
One of the earliest accounts of Jewish trade across the Mediterranean to the Far Fast is to be found in The Book-- Roads and Governments compiled in the mid-ninth century by the Arab official responsible for postal arrangements the caliphate of Baghdad. He records how Jewish travel" embarking from the ports of southern France, would carry cargoes of slaves, brocades, and furs to the marts of Constantinople, Alexandria, and Damascus. The more venturesome would then proceed by caravan across the Fertile Crescent and sail from the Persian Gulf for India and China, to return with "musk, aloe, wood, camphor, cinnamon, and other products of the eastern countries" for distribution in the lands the West." --From Aspects of Jewish History, 274pp., Marcus Arkin, Director General of The South African Zionist Association, Published by The Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia, 1975, p. 44.
It is known, however, that Amsterdam Jewry 'ibuted more than thirty-six thousand guilders to the colony's initial capital and that by 1674 at least one-tenth e main shareholders bore Jewish names. During the company's ill-fated Brazilian enterprise (1624-54) from Amsterdam were active as sugar merchants, dealers, and tax farmers; after being ousted by the Portuguese many settled in Curacao, from which they carried on a lively contraband business with the Spanish mainland colonists. Others went to Surinam (Dutch Guiana), where they came to own extensive sugar plantations and to employ many thousands of African slaves; in fact, by 1786 the of Surinam formed the majority of the local European population. --From Aspects of Jewish History, 274pp., Marcus Arkin, Director General of The South African Zionist Association, Published by The Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia, 1975, p. 96.
The two main sources of company revenue in Brazil were levies on the output of the sugar mills and duties on the importation of Negro slaves, and in both these spheres Jewish entrepreneurs were active. In 1638, for example, Monsea Navarro bought the right to "farm" the tax on sugar from the Pernambuco district for fifty-four thousand guilders. Jewish speculators bought slaves for ready cash from the Dutch West India Company and resold them to the planters at three or four times the purchase price, since they had to accept payment by installments and often in kind. (Although this is not the place to recount the miserable working conditions of the African slaves in seventeenth-century Brazil, those sold to Jewish planters seem to have been somewhat better off than the ones purchased by Portuguese or Dutch colonists, since they not only rested on the Jewish Sabbath but also by statute-on Sunday.) --From Aspects of Jewish History, 274pp., Marcus Arkin, Director General of The South African Zionist Association, Published by The Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia, 1975, p. 202.
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