Paul Baepler’s White Slaves, African Masters: An Anthology of American Barbary Captivity Narratives lists a collection of essays by nine American captives held in North Africa. According to his book, there were more than 20,000 white Christian slaves by 1620 in Algiers alone; their number swelled to more than 30,000 men and 2,000 women by the 1630s. There were a minimum of 25,000 white slaves at any time in Sultan Moulay Ismail’s palace, records Ahmed ez-Zayyani; Algiers maintained a population of 25,000 white slaves between 1550 and 1730, and their numbers could double at certain times. During the same period, Tunis and Tripoli each maintained a white slave population of about 7,500. The Barbary pirates enslaved some 5,000 Europeans annually over a period of nearly three centuries.

3 thoughts on “The Untold Story Of White Slavery (Ottoman Turks, Arab And Barbary Muslim Slave Trade)

  1. I wonder what Malcolm X would say about this

  2. Maurice Hines says:

    Thanks for the post. I have come across better researched studies that deal with this topic:
    Bowen, Patrick D. A History of Conversion to Islam in the United States, Volume 1: White American Muslims before 1975. Brill, 2015
    Ehrenkreutz, Andrew S., “Strategic Implications of the Slave Trade Between Genoa and Mamluk Egypt in the Second Half of the Thirteenth Century.” In The Islamic Middle East, 700-1900. Edited by Udovitch, Abraham L.. 335-345. Princeton: Darwin, 1981
    Ayalon, David, “Mamlūk: Military Slavery in Egypt and Syria.” In Islam and the Abode of War. II: 1-21. Aldershot: Variorum, 1994.
    Davis, Robert C. “Counting European Slaves on the Barbary Coast.” Past & Present, no. 172, 2001, pp. 87–124. JSTOR, Accessed 26 May 2020.

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