Sat Mar 17th, 2007 at 01:37:17 PM EST
Jerome asked that I turn this comment into a diary.
I've been doing research lately on my father's family, and I've come into something very bizarre. I'm as white as the driven snow, and although we know that my paternal grandmother's family came from Scotland to the United States, we never knew when or how. Going through records that my father has, we came across a possible answer, but I'm not sure it's even plausible. Apparently, my distant ancestor Tormut Rose was deported to America by Cromwell and sold as a slave.
I've always had the notion that slavery in America was a purely black African affair, but according to this copy of a page from an out of print book my father has, it was not. Tormut Rose was an officer in the Scottish Convenater army led by General David Leslie to drive Cromwell's forces from Scotland, retain the independence of the Scottish church, and restore Charles II to the throne of Scotland and England (that having been brought into personal union in 1604.) In 1650, after having driven the English back to Dunbar, the Scottish army came upon Cromwell's forces, but on the advice of preachers did not attack on a Sunday. Crowell's forces launched a sneak attack on the Scots that night, killing hundreds, and capturing the rest.
Fearing that the prisoners would only rise again if released, Cromwell, ordered them force marched to Durham, and from there deported to English colonial possessions in the Americas. Once in America, Tormut was sold into slavery to work in Saugus Iron Works, America's first integrated ironworks. From 1650 to roughly 1660 he was held as labor for the Iron Works. In 1660, he and others were release. Somehow his freedom was purchased. Later that year his son would found a settlement at Block Island in Rhode Island.
I've been able to confirm several things, there was a Battle at Dunbar in 1650, the survivors were deported to America. There was an ironworks at Saugus, but on the webpage of the offical historical site, there is no mention of Scottish slaves. I have a few questions, and I'm hoping that the UK continegent can help me out.
How many Scots were deported by Cromwell to the Americas?
Is it plausible that they were held in slavery?
How did they gain their freedom? Was there a subscription at the churches like when Christian were captured and held as slaves by Muslin Corsairs in Morrocco? Did the Scottish Goverment buy their freedom? Is it just that the Cromwell government fell?
If Tormut Rose was brought to America, and sold as a slave, then there's an entire American history of which most people here know nothing. And has not been acknowledge officially by the US government. Of course this was during the colonial period, so the truth mat lay in London rather than Washington. I just have to wonder if my family came to America as Scottish slaves, how many others have the same heritage and don't even know it?