“Mulatto Jack” was an Irishman kidnapped in Ireland and sold into perpetual slavery in Antigua. Sixteen years later he was imprisoned as a suspect during a slave conspiracy in 1736.

What does his plight tell us about Ireland’s historical relationship with the Black Atlantic?

Cutting the Sugar-Cane by William Clark (Delap Estate, Antigua, 1823) The Delaps were an Irish Presbyterian family, a branch of the Scottish Dunlop family who settled in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal, Ireland around 1600. Robert Delap, the grandson of Antiguan planter Francis Delap, was the deputy provost marshal during the slave conspiracy executions in Antigua of 1736 and was in charge of purchasing the firewood that was used to burn to death 77 enslaved people.

In October 1736 a cadre of enslaved people in Antigua allegedly planned to free the colony’s slave population by overthrowing the British slavocracy that had enchattled and exploited tens of thousands of people for over a century at that point. …

Their white nationalist strategy to deter non-white migration and naturalisation, for the benefit of the Republican Party, is identical.

A relatively overlooked aspect of the El Paso terrorist’s white nationalist manifesto was his specific rationalisation of violence against the Hispanic population vis-á-vis strengthening the Republican party’s future election prospects in the state of Texas and nationwide. …

The U.S. Immigration Act of 1917 included the establishment of the Asiatic Barred Zone, “the natives of which are excluded from the United States. “ The American Federation of Labor supported this classist and racist law which included a literacy test for all immigrants.

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There are many substantive critiques of Nagle’s reactionary anti-immigration article out there (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here) but I want to take a closer look at her use and abuse…

Liam Hogan

Librarian & Historian. Researching and writing about slavery, memory and power. Ko-Fi https://ko-fi.com/liamhogan

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