The Native American slave trade

But Black oblivion is not the only kind of oblivion within American colonial slavocracy. Mystery compounds mystery with the southeastern states’ prolific investment in the Native American slave trade. Long before the first enslaved Angolans landed in Virginia in 1619, southeastern indigenous nations were pitted against one another and encouraged to sell their tribal enemies into slavery. The Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Choctaw, and Seminole Nations were devastated when the British Empire placed the Native American slave trade at the center of its economic structure. Whole villages were captured and sold to imperial outposts throughout the Caribbean, New England, and New York, and to settlers throughout South Carolina. By 1695, South Carolina had become the hub of the Native American slave trade in North America. Between 1650 and 1730, at least 50,000 Native Americans were exported from South Carolina for enslavement in the Caribbean. Within that period, the rate of capture, enslavement, and exportation of Native Americans was greater than the rate of importation of enslaved Africans. 

From “Fortune: How Race Broke My Family and the World–and How to Repair It All” by Lisa Sharon Harper