Skip to comments.New find reveals Swedes' role in Ottoman sex-slave trade
Posted on 01/15/2012 8:40:00 PM PST by DeaconBenjamin
The recent uncovering of centuries-old documents has revealed that Swedish ships were used in the Mediterranean slave trade. Up to three quarters of the cargo was women who researchers have suggested were sold as sex slaves.
Swedish history must be rewritten, researcher Joachim Östlund told The Local.
Östlund, from the Department of History at Lund University, found that Sweden had an active role in the 18th century slave-trades through the discovery of forgotten ship registration documents stored in Stockholms consulate archives.
While not surprised about uncovering Swedens participation in the Ottoman Empire, he stresses the importance of shedding light on Swedens role in the affair.
Sweden actively participated in the Ottoman Empire slave trade with the Sub-Sahara and this is completely new, he said.
According to Östlunds findings, the shipping registries state that the Swedish ships cargo was "negroes".
While the slaves sent to America were predominantly men used for plantation work, the Ottoman Empire had a different agenda entirely.
Up to 75 percent of the passengers on board were women, said Östlund.
These women were used as servants and concubines, often both at the same time. They lived a relatively short time, research suggests an average of seven years after reaching the Empire, and this kept the slave trade between Africa and Tripoli going strong.
The only other alternative for freedom was marriage, and this, too, reduced slave numbers prompting an increase in demand.
Sweden had consuls in Tripoli in 1741, creating a peace agreement between the countries
According to Östlund, Sweden also had peace agreements with other states in the region meaning Swedish ships had extra leeway in international waters and used this to sail the Mediterranean uninterrupted.
Östlunds findings have created a heated discussion, and not everyone is taking the news well. While people have accused him of trying to drag Swedens history through the mud, Östlund explains that it was simply curiosity that motivated his research.
We cant always have this idea that Sweden is just a happy land in the North, isolated from the rest the world, he told The Local.
Sweden did this to protect itself and its people from attack by slavers.
I’m confused. The concubines taken to the ottomans were negros? I thought they only took fair skinned concubines?
Wow, the Swedes have been kowtowing to their Muslim overlords even longer than I thought.
They took anything that was female. Oh, and little boys too.
They owe us money for dropping people offf here.
Makes me even prouder that the US did not pay tribute on the “shores of Tripoli”.
Treaty of Peace and Amity, Signed at Algiers September 5, 1795
ARTICLE YE 22d
On the 21st of ye Luna of Safer 1210 corrisponding with the 5th September 1795 Joseph Donaldson Junr on the Part of the United States of North America agreed with Hassan Bashaw Dey of Algiers to keep the Articles Contained in this Treaty Sacred and inviolable which we the Dey & Divan Promise to Observe on Consideration of the United States Paying annually the Value of twelve thousand Algerine Sequins (1) in Maritime Stores Should the United States forward a Larger Quantity the Over-Plus Shall be Paid for in Money by the Dey & Regency any Vessel that may be Captured from the Date of this Treaty of Peace & Amity shall immediately be deliver’d up on her Arrival in Algiers.
In 1815, after the Treaty of Ghent ending the War of 1812, an American squadron commanded by Stephen Decatur sailed back to the Mediterranean and sailed to Algiers, Tunisia, and Tripoli in succession, demanding an end to future attacks on American shipping - there had been no American shipping in the Mediterranean during the war with Britain - and the abolition of the tribute payments made by the United States. These actions by the American fleet so inspired Europe that the European powers decided to end the paying of tribute by any Europeans as well. In 1816 a British-Dutch fleet sailed to Algiers and leveled the fortifications of the city and received the assurance of the ruler of Algiers that he and his citizens would no longer engage in piracy. Following the example made at Algiers, Tunisia and Tripoli soon agreed to end their pirate raids as well.
The U.S. can be proud that it stood up to the Barbary pirates and ended attacks on its citizens and shipping in 1815, but until that time it had been forced to pay tribute, just like any other country that wanted to trade in the Mediterranean.
Just to set the historical record straight.
This must be origin of the phrase: "A thousand Swedes were chased through the weeds by only one Norwegian."
There is “nothing new under the sun.” Sex, lust for power, envy, enslavement of other human beings for personal use and cruelties have always been with us in those who are evil..Unfortunately, only a small percentage of humanity is required for evil to ruin a nation for the rest of us.
Is there a Swedish Al Sharpton to be the middleman?
Because no one with any sense expects anything better from Muslims.
The book is unclear as to the extent, if any, tribute was paid between 1805 and 1815.
Incidentally, Algiers, Tripoli, and Morocco were essentially different jurisdictions at the time.
Source: Six Frigates, an early history of the US Navy.
Not new. The Vikings sold Slavs as slaves to the Abbasid Caliphate.
I admit that the US did pay tribute to Tripoli and Algiers. I don't know about Morocco. And I agree with your second point.