White Cargo is the forgotten story of the thousands of Britons who lived and died in bondage in Britain s American colonies. n the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, upwards of 100,000 people became slaves there in all but name. Urchins were swept up from London s streets to labour in the tobacco fields, where life expectancy was no more than two years. Brothels were raided to provide 'breeders' for Virginia. Kidnappers combed ports for youngsters who d fetch a good price in America. Hopeful migrants were duped into signing as indentured servants unaware they d become chattels who could be bought, sold and even gambled away. Transported convicts were paraded for sale like livestock. rawing on letters crying for help, diaries, court and government archives, Jordan and Walsh demonstrate that the brutalities usually associated with black slavery alone were perpetrated on whites throughout British rule. Runaway white 'servants', identifiable from the whip scars on their backs, were being hunted until the War of Independence. he white slave trade bred corruption everywhere. One entire bench of judges was controlled by kidnappers, another was in the pay of agents working for Ame
Don Jordan is a television producer and director who has worked on dozens of documentaries and dramas. He also co-produced and co-wrote Love is the Devil, a film about the life of Francis Bacon. Michael Walsh spent twelve years as a reporter and presenter on World in Action and has won six awards for his work. He is now a producer, specialising in political and historical documentaries.