James Alton James (17 September 1864, Jefferson, Wisconsin – 12 February 1962, Evanston, Illinois) was a United States educator and historian. He spent two years at the Platteville Normal School, and then, after teaching high school two years to pay for the University, entered the University of Wisconsin, where he graduated as valedictorian with an LL.B. in 1888. He received a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1893.
He was superintendent of schools in Darlington, Wisconsin, 1888–90; professor of history in Cornell College, Iowa, 1893-97. He became a professor of history at Northwestern University in 1897, becoming professor emeritus in 1935. He was head of the history department for over two decades, and was also the chairman of the graduate student work at the university 1917-1931. He was a member of several educational and historical societies.
In his book English Institutions and the American Indian: By James Alton James is found the following passages in relation to Moors.
“By far the largest number of slaves belonged to the first of the three classes, that is, captives taken in war. “Man-stealing was made a criminal offense.
It is argued that children born in the colony were not slaves; upon this point, however, there are wide differences of opinion. See Moore, History of Slavery in Mass., 15-28 ”
The discussion pertains chiefly to negroes. “Public Sentiment and opinion against Slavery were first aroused and stimulated in America in the latter part of the seventeenth century by Sympathy for the Christian captives, Dutch and English, who were enslaved by the Turks and the pirates of Northern Africa.” Whereas y unnatural practice in this state of holding certain persons in Slavery, more particularly those transported from Africa & y’ children born of such persons is contrary to y’ laws of Nature, a scandal to profiteers of the Religion of Jesus, & a discrage to all good Governments, more especially to such who are struggling against Oppression & in favor of y’ natural & unalienable Rights of human nature.”
The dread and alarm through the Peqoud attacls caused the colonists to take captives when possible. Governor Winthrop, reporting in 1637 an attack and defeat of this tribe, says: ” The Prisoners were divided, some of those of ye river and the rest to us. Of these we sent ye
A letter of I645 to Governor Winthrop discloses the Puritan inner consciousness on the subject of slavery It suggests another method of dealing with the Indian captives A warr with the Narragansett is verie considerable to this plantation for I doubt whither it be not synne in us having power in our hands to suffer them to maynteyne the worship of the devil which their powwayes often doe 21
If upon a just warre the Lord should deliver them into our hands wee might easily have men women & children enough to exchange for Moores which wil be more gaynefull pilladge for us than we conceive for I doe not see how wee can thrive until wee get into a stock of slaves sufficient to doe all our business for our children’s children will hardly see this great Continent filled with people soe that our servants will still desire freedome to plant for themselves & not stay but for verie great wages
And I suppose you know verie well how wee shall maynteyne 20 Moores cheaper than one Englishe servant. A similar view with regard to the desirability of negroes and the propriety of an exchange of Indians for them was maintained by the United Colonies.
In the early years of this confederacy of I643 it was agreed that Indians were no longer to be kept in prison because of the cost of maintenance. The delinquents or their tribe might make reparation. If this were not done then the magistrates were to Deliver up the Indians seased to the party or parties in damaged either to secure or to be shipped out & exchanged for negroes as the cause will justly beare English Institutions and the American Indian.”
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