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The Other Slavery

Cover of The Other Slavery

The Other Slavery

The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America
A landmark history — the sweeping story of the enslavement of tens of thousands of Indians across America, from the time of the conquistadors up to the early 20th century
Since the time of Columbus, Indian slavery was illegal in much of the American continent. Yet, as Andrés Reséndez illuminates in his myth-shattering The Other Slavery, it was practiced for centuries as an open secret. There was no abolitionist movement to protect the tens of thousands of natives who were kidnapped and enslaved by the conquistadors, then forced to descend into the "mouth of hell" of eighteenth-century silver mines or, later, made to serve as domestics for Mormon settlers and rich Anglos.

Reséndez builds the incisive case that it was mass slavery, more than epidemics, that decimated Indian populations across North America. New evidence, including testimonies of courageous priests, rapacious merchants, Indian captives, and Anglo colonists, sheds light too on Indian enslavement of other Indians — as what started as a European business passed into the hands of indigenous operators and spread like wildfire across vast tracts of the American Southwest.
The Other Slavery reveals nothing less than a key missing piece of American history. For over two centuries we have fought over, abolished, and tried to come to grips with African-American slavery. It is time for the West to confront an entirely separate, equally devastating enslavement we have long failed truly to see.

A landmark history — the sweeping story of the enslavement of tens of thousands of Indians across America, from the time of the conquistadors up to the early 20th century
Since the time of Columbus, Indian slavery was illegal in much of the American continent. Yet, as Andrés Reséndez illuminates in his myth-shattering The Other Slavery, it was practiced for centuries as an open secret. There was no abolitionist movement to protect the tens of thousands of natives who were kidnapped and enslaved by the conquistadors, then forced to descend into the "mouth of hell" of eighteenth-century silver mines or, later, made to serve as domestics for Mormon settlers and rich Anglos.

Reséndez builds the incisive case that it was mass slavery, more than epidemics, that decimated Indian populations across North America. New evidence, including testimonies of courageous priests, rapacious merchants, Indian captives, and Anglo colonists, sheds light too on Indian enslavement of other Indians — as what started as a European business passed into the hands of indigenous operators and spread like wildfire across vast tracts of the American Southwest.
The Other Slavery reveals nothing less than a key missing piece of American history. For over two centuries we have fought over, abolished, and tried to come to grips with African-American slavery. It is time for the West to confront an entirely separate, equally devastating enslavement we have long failed truly to see.

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    January 25, 2016
    Reséndez (A Land So Strange), a professor of history at the University of California, Davis, details the ways in which Native Americans were subjected to enslavement throughout the Americas. When the U.S. gained California and other southwestern territories from Mexico in 1848, it also acquired a significant number of Indian slaves who were “entrapped by a distinct brand of bondage… perpetrated by colonial Spain and inherited by Mexico.” This form of enslavement ran parallel to that endured by people of African descent throughout colonial Latin America and, Reséndez argues, generated an even more disastrous population loss. He notes the ways in which the “other slavery” defies simple definitions, relating how it was so widespread and deeply rooted in the economy and society of the Americas that it lasted even longer than that of African slavery, persisting in the guise of debt peonage into the 20th century. Emphasizing the variety of experiences of unfree labor suffered over five centuries by individuals from communities as culturally diverse and geographically separate as the Maya, the Apache, and indigenous Caribbeans, Reséndez vividly recounts the harrowing story of a previously little-known aspect of the histories of American slavery and of encounters between indigenes and invaders. Agent: Susan Rabiner, Susan Rabiner Literary.

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The Other Slavery
The Other Slavery
The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America
Andrés Reséndez
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