You’ve heard about the Underground Railroad in the southern coastal states, and Harriet Tubman’s and Frederick Douglass’s heroism in aiding slaves escape to the northeastern states and Canada. The Railroad actually had several distinct routes to freedom, as shown on this map from National Geographic. The branch on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers was established … Continue reading The Quakers and the Underground Railroad
St Patrick & the Slave Trade
This post first appeared on giffordmacshane.com on 3/17/15
Read any biography of Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and you’ll find that he was born in the late 4th century somewhere on the island of Britain. Patrick was kidnapped while still in his teens, and sold as a slave in Ireland. Some histories place the blame on Irish pirates, while others blame the Romans who had conquered the island centuries earlier. Whoever was responsible, for six years Patrick was a slave, and then he escaped back to Britain.
Twelve years after his escape, having studied at a monastery and being ordained, Patrick returned to the Emerald Isle as a bishop and missionary. After twenty years, he left behind an organized church under the authority of the See of Armagh, and an island that was nearly completely converted to Catholicism.
Little did Patrick know that, over a thousand years later, those conversions would be the justification for a new…
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