One of the most important books written in the last twenty years, this text accurately and systematically proves that the United States and the Revolution that brought it about had nothing to do with freedom for everyone but the opposite.
The Transatlantic Slave trade was slowing down and was becoming a liability to support on an international level. Many nations were slowing down the importation of slaves. One of them was England. Long drained from their illegal piracy operations in North Africa and the battles between them and the Moroccans (who forcibly would board these pirate ships and take their stolen countrymen back), the Jewel of Europe was now considering her options.
Leaving in place the slaves already present in the country, creating a several tier structure to keep them in line (light skinned offered education and house jobs and dark skinned would be the “saucy boys” and unskilled labour; this same thing was carried out when Jamaicans were offered passports to come to England and help clean up the country after a European Civil War), was the best option.
Further to this, offering a limited form of “freedom” was a way to appease any sentiments of dissatisfaction that might appear in this underclass while reorganising them. This was not the case for the United States. The author shows this in a brilliant fashion.
Enter into the equation a strapping young fella by the name of Somerset. “Purchased” by his “master,” a Mr. Charles Stewart, Esq. on 1 August 1749, he was given the name Somerset and like any property had his identity wiped out and that of his owner affixed onto his own, thus dubbing him “Somerset Stewart.”
Charles Stewart, from Norfolk, Virginia, brought the able bodied Somerset to England in 1769 to assist his sister after the death of her husband. Visiting and seeing Jamaicans, Trinidadians and Dominicans in London with something that was more freedom than what he would ever have in what was soon to become the United States, Somerset jumped at the chance to leave.
Going out one day under the illusion of running some errands for his master, he never returned, instead escaping into London’s underground scene of immigrants, saucy boys, freed slaves and night life.
As could be expected, Charles Somerset was beside himself with grief and wanted this slave returned immediately. Instead, a court case occurred in which the judge on 22 June 1772, ruled that Somerset could not be “returned” to his master that was going to the United States as he was a free man and one could not import and export slaves anymore in England.
This sent an earthquake through the colonies. If slaves could do this in England, what was to stop them from trying this in the soon to be United States? In fact, what was to stop the Crown from using this as a landmark case and putting it into practice across not just England but all colonies and places where British subjects reside.
This was the real starting point for the Revolution in the Colonies. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and others worked feverishly to craft a US Constitution that would under no circumstances include anyone as a white man as equal.
The first draft read, “All mean are born free,” but this lead to Jefferson being shouted down and told to modify it. And as is the case with all sleazy lawyers, he produced the clear yet cleverly ambiguous, “All men are created equal.” Blacks were not equal as they were only ¾ man.
This was no more evident than in the Dred Scott case of AD 1846 (file no. 60 U.S. 393 1857) and the subsequent decision handed down in AD 1857, in which the file documents read, Plaintiff in Error. The reason was that Scott was trying to do the same thing that Somerset did, but he was in the United States. His master wanted him returned and Scott did not want to at all.
The judge made it clear that Dred Scott is an Englishman’s name and since his name is not Scott and he could not produce any noble name, title, pedigree trace or other evidence of who he really was to give the court that would
establish that he was 1) human, 2) a man and 3) capable of being recognised in his full person in court and not a legal fiction or property (in which case he could not possibly be free as property is owned and property cannot own property and have inalienable rights like “freedom”), then he must be what his master described and be returned home.
No black had the right to sue for freedom, whether it lower court or supreme as they were not American citizens but property. The book gives a brilliant analysis of Somerset’s case and the subsequent war that ensued due to the case.
Every chapter has twists and turns and demonstrates how corrupt, depraved and despicable the “Founding Fathers” of that putrid nation state dynasty/empire were and why the Transatlantic Slave Trade and all of its’ after effects are cursed.
I strongly advise anyone who is able to take a good look through this book and benefit from all of the gems it has to offer. The book is well researched but not tediously bookish. Anyone who enjoys a good read can take this book for bedtime reading, on the beach, a cross country drive or plane ride. It is that good. More importantly, it explains the reasons why things are as they stand today. Perhaps within its’ pages is also the solution to this catastrophe.