Debunking the imagery of the “Irish slaves” meme

Liam Hogan
Sep 14, 2015 · 13 min read

1. Sale of a Slave Girl in Rome by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1884)

The original

2. The “Redlegs” of Barbados

3. Survivors of a Japanese POW camp during World War Two

4. Union Army soldier on his release from Andersonville Prison in May, 1865

5. Child labourers on a Texan farm, 1913

6. The East India Company logo

7. Former Enslaved Children in New Orleans, 1864

8. Group portrait of child labourers in Port Royal, South Carolina (1911)

9. The HMS Owen Glendower, an anti-slave trade frigate

10. The Putumayo Atrocities, 1900s-1910s

11. Timucua men cultivating a field and Timucua women planting corn or beans (Florida, c. 1560)

Florida Indians planting seeds of beans or maize, c. 1560 by Theodor de Bry, (1528–1598) Engraver: Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, (1533?-1588)

12. An illustration of Elizabeth Brownrigg, a torturer and murderer who was executed in England in 1767.


13. ‘Mulatto’ slave being whipped in an anti-slavery novel

14. Breaker boys working in Ewen Breaker of Pennsylvania Coal Co. (1911)

15. A black man being whipped in Delaware (1920s)

from The Irish Slave Trade- White Cargo

16. A promotional photograph for a performance of Dion Boucicault’s play “The Octoroon” in London (c. 1862)

17. A stock photograph of a “crying black man” and a photo of Kevin Cunningham.

Racist meme that appeared on the “White History Month” Facebook Page (November 2015)

18. English Women being imported and sold to Planters in Colonial Virginia (1620s)

Barnes’ popular history of the United States of America, p. 38

19. Edwardian Servants, Byfield, Northamptonshire (c. 1920)

from the Irish Slave Trade, Ancient Order of Hibernians (Florida)

20. Two women setting seed potatoes in Co. Antrim (1890s)

Girls setting seed potatoes, breaking clods with spade, c. 1890s

21. The Damm family, Los Angeles, 1987

22. Italian Miners in Belgium (c. 1900)

23. A photograph of the Cliffs of Moher

24. An advert for two runaway Irish servants

25. An image from a Human Trafficking website and a photograph of President Obama’s visit to Moneygall, Ireland

26. A photo of the Irish actor Cillian Murphy

27. A photo of red-haired Dutch girls on a beach in the Netherlands

Liam Hogan

Written by

Librarian & Historian. Researching and writing about slavery, memory and power. Ko-Fi

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