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‘ [125] negroes are brought from Barbadoes and other of his Majesty's plantations and sold for twenty pounds apiece; so that there may be within the government about one hundred or one hundred and twenty, and it may be as many Scots, brought hither and sold for servants in the time of the war with Scotland, and about half as many Irish.’

The owning of a black or white slave, or servant, at this period was regarded as an evidence of dignity and respectability; and hence magistrates and clergymen winked at the violation of the law by the mercenary traders, and supplied themselves without scruple. Indian slaves were common, and are named in old wills, deeds, and inventories, with horses, cows, and household furniture. As early as the year 1649 we find William Hilton, of Newbury, sells to George Carr, ‘for one quarter part of a vessel, James, my Indian, with all the interest I have in him, to be his servant forever.’ Some were taken in the Narragansett war and other Indian wars; others were brought from South Carolina and the Spanish Main. It is an instructive fact, as illustrating the retributive dealings of Providence, that the direst affliction of the Massachusetts Colony—the witchcraft terror of 1692—originated with the Indian Tituba, a slave in the family of the minister of Danvers.

In the year 1690 the inhabitants of Newbury were greatly excited by the arrest of a Jerseyman who had been engaged in enticing Indians and negroes to leave their masters. He was charged before the court with saying that ‘the English should be cut off and the negroes set free.’

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