Slavery Facts

India has the largest slave population in the modern world with over 14 million slaves.

Ancient Romans celebrated “Saturnalia”, a festival in which slaves and their masters would switch places.

Benjamin Franklin attempted to abolish slavery already in 1790.

America’s first slave owner was a black man.

A Slave in America in 1850 would cost over $12,000 in 2013 dollars.

There are over 500,000 slaves in Mauritania today.

Part of the White House was built by slaves.

The concept behind the word “cool” might come from the African word “itutu”, brought to America by slavery.

The pyramids were built by paid laborers. Not slaves. That’s a myth by Herodotus, the Greek historian.

There are species of ants that enslave other ants.

Slavery was not made a statutory offense in the UK until April 6, 2010.

Mississippi didn’t ratify the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, until 2013.

Slavery was abolished in Saudi Arabia and Yemen as recently as 1962.

Ancient Greeks and Romans often bought slaves with salt.

About 4 million slaves were taken from Africa to Brazil, about 40% of all in the Americas.

Over a million Europeans were captured and sold as slaves to North Africa between 1530 and 1780.

Most Romans avoided being cruel to slaves. They used bonuses and branding to improve productivity, just like modern employers.

Before publishing “Don Quixote,” Cervantes was captured and kept as slave for 5 years in Algiers. A ransom was paid by his parents.

A former slave ship captain wrote the song “Amazing Grace.”

Richard Johnson, the 9th Vice-President of the U.S., openly treated an African-American woman as his wife, although legally she was his slave.

There are more people in slavery today than at any time in human history.

By 1850, American slaves were worth US$1.3 billion, one-fifth of the nation’s wealth.



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