The Forgotten True Story of The White Slaves of Barbary

Slavery isn’t just a phenomenon unique to African-Americans, for, in truth, many different races and cultures have had ancestors that were enslaved and captured themselves. However, the story of white Europeans getting enslaved by North African pirates is one story that the politically correct media won’t be willing to tell you.

As many as 1.25 million Europeans were captured and enslaved by the so-called Barbary Corsairs, whose purpose was to capture slaves for the Ottoman and Muslim slave trade in the Middle East. Those unlucky Europeans lived as pitiful as their African counterparts, and have come to be known as the white slaves of Barbary, according to Ancient Origins.

It’s a story that the mainstream media will never acknowledge, but America doesn’t hold a monopoly on the vile institution of slavery. However, little attention has been given to the pirates and corsairs along the Barbary Coast, what is now Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, from around 1600 AD into the mid-1800’s.

Anyone who traveled in the Mediterranean at that time feared being captured by these raiders and having to endure either their death, slavery, or a life of prostitution beneath their new owners.

The boldness of these pirates, however, didn’t leave them satisfied with just plundering ships, for the corsairs sometimes raided coastal settlements in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, England, and even as far up as the Netherlands and Iceland.

“When we had arrived [in Cork], I made a request to Lord Inchaquoin to give me a passport for England. I took boat to Youghal and then embarked on the vessel John Filmer, which set sail with 120 passengers. But before we had lost sight of land, we were captured by Algerine pirates, who put all the men in irons,” wrote Reverend Devereux Spratt, who was enslaved for several years in 1641 as he tried to sail between Ireland and England.

Many who were captured died on the ships, shackled to the oars of galleys, where they ate, slept, and defecated. If they stopped rowing, they would be whipped until they began again or until they died.

Historian Robert Davis, author of Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, described in his book that the reason white slavery has been minimized or ignored by the mainstream is a growing preference to treat Europeans as “evil colonialists” rather than as victims.

In fact, the very word “slave” itself has its origin in the word “Slav,” referring to the large numbers of eastern European peoples who were taken as slaves by the Muslims of Spain during the 9th century AD, according to the BBC.

The issue became so grave that twice in American history, the United States declared war with Tripoli (in 1801 and 1815) to stop them from preying on American sailors. Before gaining their independence, American colonists enjoyed the protection of the British Navy. However, after securing independence, many of the Barbary states declared war on the United States, seizing their merchant ships and sailors for their own.

The story of these North African pirates finally ended when the French conquered Algeria in 1830, terminating their terrifying influence once and for all across the Mediterranean.

Slavery as an institution has existed for thousands of years, and all cultures and races have had to deal with it. It’s a lesson that Black Lives Matter and other such groups need to take to heart.