Dear Captain Philips,
I have written to you because I wish to help you decide whether or not to continue the slave trade. You should because according to Facts on File, at your time people believed that slavery in the Americas gave a better life for Africans and that slavery is a good thing because it showed Africans Christianity and Western Civilization. (Also mentioned in Zinn) People also believed that blacks were inferior to white people, and that because the Bible supports slavery and because even the Africans had slaves that slavery was okay. According to Facts on File, that even if slavery was morally bad, it was necessary for Europe’s and the Americas’ economies. And as mentioned in your diary, if there was no slavery, how would the people in the Americas get the necessary manual labor to grow crops and mine minerals that were the building blocks of development of this country? How would the new world develop? Without slavery, this country might be very different today.
On the other hand, there are many reasons opposing slavery. According to Facts on File, slavery was one of the worst crimes ever against humanity. Some examples of the cruelty are the branding of the slaves, the death marches from the African villages to the slave traders’ ships that killed millions of the slaves, the beating of slaves, the malnourishment and imprisonment on the long trip from Africa to the Americas that killed about 25% of the slaves, the killing of random slaves by the slave traders just to set an example, the threats of being eaten alive, and then to arrive at the Americas only to have to do hard manual labor in the fields of a plantation for no pay for most likely the rest of their lives. (According to Philips’ diary, Facts on File, Amistad Case, Amistad Case and Philips’ diary, Philips’ diary, Amistad Case, Facts on File, respectively) Both Zinn and Facts on File describe this as ‘inhumane treatment’. Both Zinn and Facts on File also talk about how the slaves were separated from family and culture in slavery. Most experts agree that 10 to 15 million Africans were transported in the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Millions upon millions of those slaves died or were killed. There should be equality. Blacks are just as much people as whites.
From watching Roots and reading your journal, it’s clear that you are ambivalent about slavery. According to your journal, you believe that blacks are just as much people as whites. Overall, for you, it is a tough decision to make. One side is weighed down by your sense of morality and what’s right, and the other side by the consensus of your time. Also, you have to think about yourself. Your source of income is the slave trade. Do you perhaps have any other talents? A shoemaker? A carpenter? Whatever. Luckily for you, I’m here to help you make that decision. My opinion is, well, I don’t want to make the decision for you… I don’t want to sound pushy, but…
SLAVERY IS BAD! IT’S TERRIBLE! QUIT YOUR JOB RIGHT NOW AND TURN YOUR SHIP RIGHT BACK AROUND TO AFRICA TO RETURN THE INNOCENT SLAVES YOU CAPTURED BACK TO THEIR HOME! As you can see, I feel strongly about this issue. I believe that slavery should have never happened. Millions upon millions upon millions of blacks killed- and tens of millions more forced to work their whole lives in plantations and fields. I know many people at your time believed that the economic benefit was worth it. I do not. Why couldn’t you have had paid labor? That would solve the problem for the colonists in the New World and would attract many workers. With better treatment probably many Africans would come to work on farms. A happy solution for everyone, and an even better solution for history.
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