Negroes are dark-skinned people from sub-Saharan Africa, and their descendants elsewhere in the world. From the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries, nearly twelve million enslaved Negroes were transported across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World.
Although the first Negroes to arrive in Virginia in 1620 were considered indentured servants and were eventually freed, by the mid-seventeenth century it had become standard policy throughout the English colonies to keep arriving Negro slaves enslaved for life, and for the children of enslaved Negro women to be born into slavery. By the time of the North American Rebellion in the 1770s, the majority of Negroes in British North America were slaves. This led to an association of Negroes with slavery in the minds of both North Americans and Mexicans that persists to this day.
Negro Slavery in Jefferson
After the British victory in the Rebellion, anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 former rebels chose to leave the British colonies in 1780. Many of these former rebels were slaveowners who brought 500 to 600 Negro slaves with them on the Wilderness Walk to Jefferson. The members of the Wilderness Walk were joined in Baton Rouge in early November 1781 by an additional 500 exiles from Charleston, South Carolina, who brought another 300 Negro slaves with them.
After the settlement of Jefferson City was established in northern Mexico, the settlers cultivated grains and vegetables rather than cash crops such as tobacco and cotton. There was little need for slavery, and some leaders such as James Madison proposed that the Negro slaves be freed. A few were freed, and more fled the settlement, but most remained enslaved. By 1794, due to a combination of natural increase and continued immigration from the British colonies, the population of Jefferson had increased to 43,000 whites and 18,000 Negro slaves.
The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 changed the economic basis for slavery in Jefferson and the Southern Confederation, and slavery experienced a revival in both states. There was opposition to expanding the Atlantic slave trade in the S.C., but less so in Jefferson. Jefferson continued to receive a steady flow of immigrants from the S.C., both white owners and Negro slaves, and by 1800 its population had risen to 65,000 whites and 34,000 Negroes.
Negro Slavery in the Southern Confederation
In the S.C., the population of Negro slaves rose sharply from 1810 to 1836, with the proportion of Negro slaves to free whites rising from 16.6% to 24%. Slave insurrections became commonplace, with over 600 individual uprisings recorded during this period. The most important was Howard's Rebellion, which struck every major plantation in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina in 1815, and destroyed N.A. £20 million worth of property. This was followed by the Levering Conspiracy in Georgia in 1821, and the Insurrection of 1829, which resulted in the deaths of over 3,000 Negroes and 1,400 whites. By 1832 many Negro slaves refused to work in the fields, and large plantations became armed camps as the use of private armies grew. The Southern Confederation Navy was the second largest in the world, but its only purpose was protecting slave ships and putting down slave insurrections. The Southern Confederation Army was the largest in the C.N.A. and growing yearly, and like the Navy was devoted to maintaining control of the S.C.'s Negro slave population.
The Panic of 1836 caused the demand for slaves to plummet, and by 1839 the Atlantic slave trade had come to a halt. The price of slaves also fell from N.A. £150 to N.A. £19, making slavery uneconomical. In 1840 the Lloyd Bill was passed, providing for compensated manumission of slaves, and requiring that freed slaves remained bound to their plantations until a period of education had been completed. Some freed Negroes remained bound to their former owners for the next two generations. However, with the coming of the Rocky Mountain War in 1845, many Negroes refused to serve as soldiers until their demands for equality were met.
Southern Vandalia and the C.N.A.
The 1860 census counted approximately 3.3 million Negroes in the C.N.A., roughly one tenth of the population. Of these, 2.46 million lived in the S.C., and over half of these were still bound to the soil, despite having been freed 19 years before. After the war, there was a steady migration of Negroes, both former slaves and veteran soldiers, across the Mississippi River into southern Vandalia. Negroes soon became a majority of the population in the southern half of Vandalia, leading to increased friction with the majority white settlers in the north. Matters had become sufficiently troubled by the 1870s that in 1877 Vandalia was divided into northern and southern confederations. There was a similar migration from the S.C. to the N.C., where newly-arrived Negroes mingled with native Northerners and European immigrants.
The 1880 census counted 5.9 million Negroes in the C.N.A., of whom 2.2 million lived in Southern Vandalia along with 1 million whites. There were also 1.1 million Negroes in the S.C. and 1 million in the N.C., with the remaining 1.6 million divided among the other four confederations. Although there was little racial mixing in Southern Vandalia, there was also little friction. Burgoyne Willkie was elected Governor of Southern Vandalia in 1877 on a vote divided along racial lines, and was re-elected five years later with the support of 30% of Southern Vandalia's whites. Southern Vandalia also received a steady stream of runaway slaves from Jefferson and the other states of the U.S.M.
Slavery in the U.S.M.
When Andrew Jackson of Jefferson engineered the union of Jefferson and Mexico in 1820, he meant to establish Negro slavery in the new nation. Jackson was a staunch defender of slavery, not only on economic grounds, but due to his utter disregard of the Negro as a human being. In a speech on 8 May 1837, Jackson described Negroes as "sluggish and quite simple, good for nothing but field labor." In the mid-1820s Jackson tried unsuccessfully to enslave everyone in the U.S.M. with more than one Negro grandparent.
Although the Liberty Party opposed slavery and sought its abolition, the election of Libertarian candidate Miguel Huddleston in the 1839 Mexican elections did not result in any change in the institution. Huddleston rarely spoke of slavery during the campaign, and when he did he only indicated that he would allow the institution to remain where it was, and would do nothing at the federal level to disturb it in Jefferson.
By the time of the outbreak of the Rocky Mountain War in 1845, the U.S.M. had a population of 16 million, of whom 200,000 were slaves, though Sobel does not say how many free Negroes there were. He does say that the U.S.M.'s slaves were kept under control during the war, usually by brutal methods, including genocide, though what he means by genocide is unclear, since Negro slavery continued in Mexico.
By 1890, the slave population of the U.S.M. had declined from 200,000 to 100,000, and although some of this was due to massacres of slaves during the Rocky Mountain War and the Moralista Uprising of 1881, most of it was due to runaway slaves crossing the border into the C.N.A. Sobel notes that the slave population of the U.S.M only rose from 100,000 to 103,000 between 1890 and 1920, even though the average female slave produced 3.6 children.
The Chapultepec Incident and Manumission
During the Hundred Day War of 1914, invading French troops advancing through Durango freed thousands of slaves, of whom 8,000 joined the invaders. When the French surrendered after the Battle of Chapultepec, the slaves were arrested and tried en masse for treason. S.V. Governor Howard Washburne responded by forming the Friends of Black Mexico and demanding the abolition of slavery in the U.S.M. Thousands of young North Americans stormed the Federal Prison in the Chapultepec Incident of January 1916, freeing the imprisoned Negroes and smuggling them across the border to Southern Vandalia.
Slavery became a national obsession in the U.S.M. after the Chapultepec Incident, but President Victoriano Consalus was unable to deal with the dilemma. It was left to his successor, Emiliano Calles, to arrange for passage of a Manumission Act in 1920. Negro house servants usually remained where they were, going on wages rather than subsistence. Many freed fieldhands and dockhands left their jobs, the former to find better ones, the latter forced to leave by Mexicano coworkers. The same was true of freed Negro industrial workers. A minority of freed Mexican slaves migrated to Arizona and Mexico del Norte, where they intermarried with the Indians.
Two important Negro organizations were founded in the 1940s. In 1945 Alan Kilburn created the Homeland Society, and under his direction over 20,000 Mexican Negroes emigrated to Africa. In 1944 Philip Harrison of the Black Justice Party launched the Rainbow War, a 5,000 member guerrilla movement that terrorized the Anglo, Hispano, and Mexicano populations of California, Arizona, Mexico del Norte, and Jefferson. After Harrison's death in a gun battle in 1948, his place was taken by Miguel Calhoun, who killed 3,000 of his opponents in 1949.
By the 1960s most Negroes in the U.S.M. were literate, and could be found in secondary management posts, teaching jobs, as foremen, and other working-class occupations, and intermarriage with Mexicanos was becoming commonplace. Among the Negroes who migrated to Arizona and Mexico del Norte, intermarriage began immediately with the Indians of those states. The most militant Negroes in the U.S.M., such as James White Eagle, Jefferson Collins, James Dunn, and Robert Red Wing, are found in these states.
James Billington and Carter Monaghan
The creation of the F.B.M. by Washburne in 1915 showed that racial animosity still lingered in the C.N.A. Washburne's supporters were attacked by whites during vigils outside Mexican consulates. No Negro outside of Southern Vandalia held an important political post; none of the heads of the hundred leading North American corporations were Negroes; and few Negroes were granted loans by the National Financial Administration. James Chester wrote, "We do not have a raceless society, but two societies, each without knowledge of the other. White North Americans have less contact with Negro North Americans than they do with the Chinese."
After the manumission of the Mexican slaves in 1920, Washburne transformed the F.B.M. into the League for Brotherhood, to combat racial discrimination in the C.N.A. The League attracted middle-class whites who were dissatisfied with modern society, but they proved to be more interested in shunning society than in equalizing it. Locomobile magnate Owen Galloway provided a solution in 1922 by creating the Galloway Plan, which subsidized emigration within and from the C.N.A. A movement of young Negroes from Southern Vandalia to the large cities of other confederations was accellerated by the Galloway Plan, so that by 1930 one quarter of the population of New York City was Negro, while almost half that of Michigan City, Norfolk, and Boston were recently-arrived Southern Vandalians. Many of the newly arrived Negroes settled in Negro quarters of the cities, but a substantial number of middle class Negroes settled among suburban middle class whites.
Following the 1938 Grand Council elections, James Billington became the first Negro Council President, a post he held until September 1950, when he succeeded to the office of Governor-General after the death of Bruce Hogg. In the 1953 Grand Council elections, Billington's opponent, Richard Mason, declined to use racial prejudice to attack him, focusing instead on Billington's policies. Billington was defeated, and left politics to become the president of North American Motors.
Governor-General Perry Jay's resignation in September 1966 led to the elevation of his Negro Minister of Finance, Carter Monaghan, by the People's Coalition caucus. Monaghan went on to win his own term in the 1968 Grand Council elections. According to statistician Frank Rusk, class, occupational, and educational backgrounds outweighed sectional, religious, and racial factors in Monaghan's victory.
Sobel's sources for Negroes in the C.N.A. include Chester's Washburne of the C.N.A. (London, 1928); June Zaccone's The Galloway Plan and the Races (New York, 1930); John Harnett's A History of Slavery in the Southern Confederation (London, 1935); Theodore Holmes' Slave Rebellions of the 1820s (New York, 1945); Stewart Hoskinson's The Loyal Americans: The Negroes of Southern Vandalia (New York, 1962); and Chester Winslow's The Race Problem in the N.C.: 1857-1892 (New York, 1965) and Willkie and the Rise of Black North America (New York, 1969).
His sources for Negroes in Jefferson and the U.S.M. include Holmes' The Rainbow Nation and Other Papers (Mexico City, 1925); Calles' The People and the Nation (Mexico City, 1931); Baldwin Collier's The Lost Opportunity: Slavery in Jefferson City, 1782-1795 (New York, 1948); Archie Jenkins' The Last to Go: U.S.M. Slavery (London, 1949); Luther Moltke's Across the River Jordan: The Slave Trade and the Vandalia Trek (Mexico City, 1950); Carter Wallace's A History of Slavery in the U.S.M. (London, 1967); Douglas Wayne's The Black Indians of Arizona: An Anthropological Study (New York, 1969); and William Argylle's Voices of Protest: Black Mexicans After Manumission (Mexico City, 1970).