upload image

Black Slavery and Rhode Island

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Rhode Islandmap
Profile manager: Sue Hall private message [send private message]
This page has been accessed 47 times.

Blacks in Rhode Island


  • "Black slaves were in Rhode Island by 1652, and by the end of that century Rhode Island had become the only New England colony to use slaves for both labor and trade. After overtaking Boston by 1750, Newport and Bristol were the major slave markets in the American colonies. Slave-based economies existed in the Narragansett plantation family, the Middletown crop workers, and the indentured and slave craftsmen of Newport. "
  • "The colony of Rhode Island, and in particular Newport, came to dominate the North American slave trade.""By 1730, most of the trades and occupations in Rhode Island were somehow related to slavery. Slave traders kept busy shipbuilders, sailors, caulkers, sailmakers, carpenters, rope-makers, painters, barrel-makers, and dock workers. Clerks and warehouse managers administered the system. In addition to these tradesmen, additional crew members were needed to control the enslaved during the voyages."
  • "Newport today is dotted with the names of many of the merchants who took part in this commerce: Malbone, Banister, Gardner, Wanton, Brenton, Collins, Vernon, Channing, Champlin, and Lopez."
  • "In Newport, enslaved women worked primarily as domestic servants while the enslaved men worked in candle-making, rum distillery, husbandry, metal-smithing, sailing, whaling, and manual labor. It is tragic irony that many of the enslaved worked in the very business of slavery."
  • "During the Revolution, Quaker abolitionists and the powerful Newport shipping interest clashed over slavery. In February 1784 the Legislature passed a compromise measure for gradual emancipation. All children of slaves born after March 1 were to be "apprentices," the girls to become free at 18, the boys at 21. As with other Northern instances of gradual emancipation, this gave slaveowners many years of service to recoup the cost of raising the children. "

Rhode Island Quaker Abolitionists

Warren, Rhode Island

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Send a private message to the Profile Manager. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.