Newport, Rhode Island.  The epitome of a resort community.  Sparkling blue waters, stately and striking mansions, upscale and unaffected residents and tourists wearing their wealth with the ease of old pros.  Behind the scenes, however, lurks the legacy of chattel slavery.  Let’s examine some photos, shall we?

Long Wharf. This is where slave ships docked, and many enslaved Africans found themselves suddenly stranded in a strange new world.

Note the euphemism "a variety of commercial enterprises." He was a slaver.

The Whitehorne Mansion, a former plantation.

The Malbone House. Malbone was a captain in the Continental army, as well as a slaveowner.

Newport Friends Meeting House. Moses Brown, ardent abolitionist and John Brown's brother, attended there.

Touro Synagogue

Touro Synagogue, the oldest Jewish house of worship in the US. Established by Aaron Lopez, a slaver and close associate of Isaac Royall.

With the mansions, note the similarity in style.  These are the people the nouveau riche John Brown strove to emulate.  By all accounts he succeeded admirably.  As for Long Wharf, imagine the barrels upon barrels of rum traded for newly enslaved Africans.  One of them may have been Caesar, Moses Brown’s ultimately manumitted “servant.”  We’ll hear more about him in our next entry.

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