Was there slavery in New Hampshire colony?

Answered by Robert Dupre

There was indeed slavery in the New Hampshire colony. Although it is often overlooked in discussions about slavery in America, New Hampshire had a significant involvement in the slave trade and the ownership of enslaved people.

The presence of African slaves in New Hampshire can be traced back to as early as 1645. They were primarily concentrated in the region surrounding Portsmouth, a major port city at the time. Slavery was not as widespread in New Hampshire compared to some other colonies, but it was still a significant part of the social and economic fabric of the colony.

One notable aspect of slavery in New Hampshire was its role as a base for the importation and smuggling of slaves into other colonies. Unlike many other colonies that imposed tariffs or restrictions on the importation of slaves, New Hampshire did not have such regulations. This made it an attractive location for slave traders who would bring enslaved people into New Hampshire and then smuggle them into neighboring colonies where demand was higher.

It is important to note that while New Hampshire did not have as large of a slave population as some other colonies, the institution of slavery still had a profound impact on the lives of enslaved individuals and their communities. Enslaved people in New Hampshire were subject to harsh labor and often faced brutal treatment by their owners. They were denied basic human rights and freedoms, living in a state of perpetual bondage.

As an expert, I have extensively researched the history of slavery in New Hampshire, but I also recognize the importance of acknowledging the personal experiences and perspectives of those who were directly impacted by this institution. Through primary sources and narratives from enslaved individuals, we can gain a deeper understanding of the daily struggles and resilience of those who were enslaved in New Hampshire.

To summarize, while New Hampshire may not be widely recognized for its role in slavery, it did have a significant presence of enslaved people. The colony served as a base for the importation and smuggling of slaves into other colonies, and the lives of those who were enslaved in New Hampshire were marked by hardship and oppression. It is crucial to recognize and confront this dark chapter in the history of the New Hampshire colony and the broader American experience.