Chapter

The Nineteenth Century and After

BERNARD LEWIS

in Race and Slavery in the Middle East

Published in print June 1992 | ISBN: 9780195053265
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854561 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195053265.003.0010
The Nineteenth Century and After

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The chapter discusses slaves during the nineteenth century. From the late eighteenth century onwards, there are numerous accounts by contemporary observers of the processes by which African slaves were caught, transported, and sold in the markets of the Middle East and North America. The main purpose for which blacks were imported was domestic service. A certain number of free blacks also found employment. In Egypt their role was usually humble. Eunuchs were in considerable numbers for households from the palace downward. They were also employed in the service of mosques and made custodians of the tomb, which gave them an almost priestly status. By the nineteenth century, they were recruited overwhelmingly from Africa. In the course of the nineteenth century, black slaves or black freedmen were found to be occupying important positions and often exercised great power. This occurred frequently in Arabia.

Keywords: African slaves; Middle East; North America; blacks; domestic service; free blacks; Eunuchs; black freedmen

Chapter.  3004 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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