RCC Honors History Project

Archive for the ‘Strange New Land’ Category

Use this space for posts of documents related to the book, Strange New Land.

Posted by rccaahistory on October 12, 2009

I really hope I posted these to the right place this time!!



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South Carolina’s Strict Slave Code of 1740

Posted by jas1wills on October 10, 2009

Music was important to the colonial slaves because it offered a kind of universal bond that could be shared, even if a language barrier did exist between them. The power of musical expression can do wonders to the state of the soul or inner being. It can be uplifting and motivating, and even healing if one is suffering emotionally or mentally. Unfortunately, the fears of the slave owners lead to the creation of laws that outlawed the use of “loud instruments”  in order to control what they thought to be secret communications sent out to other slaves for the purpose of “wickedness” (Wood 63).
What is truly amazing is that today, hip-hop music is one of the biggest influences on main-stream music, not only in this country, but around the world as well! Known for its smooth-flowing rhythms, beats and lyrics, hip-hop, to me, echoes the “illegal” activities of slaves in Colonial America who probably just wanted to experience a little joy with friends in a world so full of hopelessness and misery.
In the Full Transcription of 1740 Slave Code Act XXXVI tells about a ban on drums and other instruments. There are also laws mentioned that ban gun use, travel and there was even a kind of “three strikes” law for the striking of a white person by a slave. The third strike meant death, but offending most laws back then often resulted in a similar sentence for a slave (See ACT XXIV for the three “strikes” law).

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The origin of the word “kidnap” by Hotforwords

Posted by jas1wills on October 9, 2009

This is a video about the origin of the word “kidnap” which originated in the 1600s after “stiff penalties were imposed on sea captains who grabbed young people in England and sold them in the colonies as indentured servants” (Woods 29). Because of the great fire in London, and the Great Plague in Europe, labor in England was in demand. These penalties caused one of the key factors that transformed the idea of slavery into racial slavery. This video brings a little humor to an otherwise dark and serious subject.

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1599 Peublo Revolt of Acoma

Posted by jas1wills on October 7, 2009

Here are a couple links I found about the pueblo of Acoma. They revolted against the Spanish in 1599, and afterwards every man 25 years and older had his right foot cut off as punishment ordered by Onate for rebelling. The DesertUSA.com article mentions how the tribes united for revenge almost a whole cetury later (1680), gathering up about 17,000 men to fight against the Spanish who had only about 3,000 men. I like the images I got when I read about the 1680 revolt, I  could just see swarms of warriors all painted up, on a war-path of destruction, sparing not an ounce of mercy for their Spanish enemies.



This link from El Paso Community College “Borderlands” project mentions the recent protest against celebrating Spanish conquerors’ arriving in New Mexico by cutting off the right foot of a statue of Don Juan de Onate. The article is entitled “Pueblo Revolt Broought Tiguas South” by Jorge L. Melchor Jr. and Angelica Gutierrez.


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Posted by christaleni on October 7, 2009

Slavery and Spanish Colonization
The Middle Passage
Origins of New world slavery
Justifications for slavery

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Virginia Slave Laws

Posted by christaleni on October 7, 2009

Virginia Slavery Legislation (1630 -1691)
From William Hening, ed., The Laws of Virginia, 1619-1792

[1630] Hugh David to be soundly whipped, before an assembly of Negroes and others for abusing himself to the dishonor of God and shame of Christians, by defiling his body in lying with a negro; which fault he is to acknowledge next Sabbath day.

[1640] Robert Sweet to do penance in church according to laws of England, for getting a negro woman with child and the woman whipt.

[1661] Be it enacted That in case any English servant shall run away in company with any negroes who are incapable of making satisfaction by addition of time, Be it enacted that the English so running away in company with them shall serve for the time of the said negroes absence as they are to do for their own by a former act.

[1668] Whereas some doubts, have arisen whether negro women set free were still to be accompted tithable according to a former act, It is declared by this grand assembly that negro women, though permitted to enjoy their Freedom yet ought not in all respects to be admitted to a full fruition of the exemptions and impunities of the England, and are still liable to payment of taxes.

[1669] Whereas the only law in force for the punishment of refractory servants resisting their master, mistress or overseer cannot be inflicted upon negroes, nor the obstinancy of many of them by other than violent means supprest, Be it enacted and declared by this grand assembly, if any slave resist his master (or other by his master’s order correcting him) and by the extremity of the correction should chance to die, that his death shall not be accompted Felony, but the master (or that other person appointed by the master to punish him) be acquit from molestation, since it cannot be presumed that prepensed malice (which alone makes murder Felony) should induce any man to destroy his own estate.

[1680] It is hereby enacted by the authority aforesaid, that from and after the publication of this law, it shall not be lawful for any negro or other slave to carry or arm himself with any club, staff, gun, sword, or any other weapon of defence or offence, nor to go to depart from his master’s ground without a certificate from his master, mistress or overseer, and such permission not to be granted but upon particular and necessary occasions; and every negro or slave so offending not having a certificate as aforesaid shall be sent to the next constable, who is hereby enjoined and required to give the said negro twenty lashes on his bare back well laid on, and so sent

home to his said master, mistress or overseer. And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid that if any negro or other slave shall presume to lift up his hand in opposition against any christian, shall for every such offense, upon due proof made thereof by the oath of the party before a magistrate, have and receive thirty lashes on his bare back well laid on.

[1691] It is hereby enacted, that in all such cases upon intelligence of any such negroes, mulattoes, or other slaves lying out, two of their majesties’ justices of the peace of that county, whereof one to be of the quorum, where such negroes, mulattoes or other slave shall be, shall be impowered and commanded, and are hereby impowered and commanded, to issue out their warrants directed to the sheriff of the same county to apprehend such negroes, mulattoes, and other slaves, which said sheriff is hereby likewise required upon all such occasions to raise such and so many forces from time to time as he shall think convenient and necessary for the effectual apprehending such negroes, mulattoes and other slaves, and in case any negroes, mulattoes or other slave or slaves lying out as aforesaid shall resist, run away, or refuse to deliver and surrender him or themselves to any person or persons that shall be by lawful authority employed to apprehend and take such negroes, mulattoes or other slaves that in such cases it shall and may be lawful for such person and persons to kill and destroy such negroes, mulattoes, and other slave or slaves by gun or any other ways whatsoever.

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African Burial Ground NYC

Posted by jas1wills on October 5, 2009

Here is a link I found while searching for an image of a map of the “African Burial Ground” in New York City, which is mentioned in the preface of Strange New Land by Peter Wood. Fortunately I found the image along with a report on how the site has changed from an overcrowded burial site to a Historical Landmark in downtown New York. Along the way we see it’s transformation from a publicly shared land for communal pastures to a common place used for celebrations, protests, executions, parades for victorious battles, and even as a defense post for the military at one point.


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Five links for 28 Sept. to 3 October

Posted by amrich on October 5, 2009


A critique of the slave trade by Fray Tomas de Mercado.



A tract about the sins of slaveholding by Samuel Sewall.



A court journal about the fear of slave revolts by Daniel Horsmaden



An excerpt of Virginia Slave laws.



Slave trade documents from John Barbot, an agent for the French Royal African Company.

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Accounts of Slave Trade

Posted by jwilhelm21 on October 5, 2009






A practically encyclopedic website for documents on slavery, memoir of falconbridge about slave treatment, slave trade from african perspective, account of a slave, another memoir of falconbridge.


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Primary sources 9/28-10/2

Posted by nreid35 on October 5, 2009

http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/amerbegin/exploration/text1/villagra.pdf (Historia de la Nueva Mexico by Gaspar Perez de Villagra)

http://ezproxy.rcc.edu:2135/america/article?articleId=385144 (The Attractions of Florida by John Sparke)

http://ezproxy.rcc.edu:2083/NuHistory/default.asp?ItemID=WE52&NewItemID=True (map of the Reformation across Europe)

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/lutherltr-indulgences.html (letter from Martin Luther to the Archbishop of Mainz


I found this picture of a rock on which Juan de Oñate inscribed “Passed by here the Governor Don Juan de Oñate, from the discovery of the Sea of the South on the 16th of April, 1605.”

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