Like many Irish people I grew up with a minimal (inaccurate) picture of slavery, 'It happened in America and the Caribbean and Irish people were not involved' would probably be the extent of what we were taught. This however was not the case, Thanks to the work of Liam Hogan of Limerick we now have an increasing understanding of Ireland's involvement in slavery.
Researchers at the University of London have created an online database of those who were compensated by the British Government in the 1830's for the 'losses' they experienced after the abolition of slavery in most of the British Colonies on August 1, 1834. At the request of Daniel O'Connell, the names of those receiving compensation were made public. From the database, Liam Hogan has made a list of Irish people who received compensation. You can read it here
However, Ireland's involvement in slavery did not end in the 1830's. Research into the 1850 and 1860 Slave Schedules in America reveals Irish people or people of Irish descent as slaveholders.
One example is John McDonagh 1779-1850 New Orleans who was the son of John & Elizabeth McDonagh of Baltimore, Maryland who were both born in Ireland. At the time of his death, John McDonagh's net worth was found to be in excess of 2 million US dollars.
The reality of Ireland's deeper involvement in slavery will not come as a surprise to many Irish people who have undergone DNA testing and have discovered African American cousins. Just recently, my Autosomal DNA results have identified my own African American cousins, Brian Sheffey & Donya Williams, genealogy researchers & teachers, who have roots in Edgefield, South Carolina. Research into our connection is ongoing under the auspices of the Sheila Hightower-Allen Memorial Fund in partnership with Howard University, Washington D.C. Updates will follow as we gather more information.
Legacies of British Slave-ownership
Follow Liam Hogan on Twitter @Limerick1914
Follow the Sheila Hightower-Allen Memorial Fund in partnership with Howard University @genealogadvent
Comes to the Light by Donya C Williams www.bookdepository.com/Comes-to-the-Light/9781975649951
If you are aware of Irish born slaveholders or slaveholders of Irish descent in America please let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @martinewrites so that I can add them into the database I am building. Many thanks.