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A Key Word to Understanding Plantation America

In searching the origin of the word, which, in late modern and postmodern parlance means, headed for a destination, including the assumption that this is voluntary. Such postmodern assumptions lead to the misreading of early modern texts. For instance, “bound for Cancun” on vacation, or “outward bound” never jail-bound or prison-bound, represent common usage for the term bound, in the context of moving towards one’s destination, naturally, from our perspective, “bound up with” the idea of free choice. When the movie starring Liam Neison, about a father rescuing his trafficked daughter, was titled by the best and brightest in the business, it was not named Bound, but Taken.

However, as indicated by a perusal of the link below, and by further pervasive evidence, in early modern times, when the term came into general usage, if a story were to have been written for the stage identical to Liam’s action movie, Taken, would have most likely been titled Bound or Bound-Over. The relation to movement in the term does not come from a root word indicating animal mobility, such as a deer bounding along, but from the term bond, as in bondage.

The best source for English terminology in the Plantation Era is the King James Bible. Christians and Hebrews have told me that this is a terrible translation of the Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew originals. However, that book, if memory serves [and it may not, as I am writing without reference material other than it] first published in 1611, standardized already current usage and served as the common dictionary throughout the English-speaking world, in which most literate persons read but one book, that book. This did not change for common English usage until after the completion of the mighty dictionaries begun near the end of the Era and the institution of mandatory public schools.[1]

When one described a slave in the Bible he was generally a “servant” or “in bondage” or “bound” toward an unappealing fate such as those who fell into the hands of Saul, the Christian hunter:

ACTS 9:1-2

“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

“And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found [2] any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.”

When one spoke of being bound, it was to be carried off into bondage, of the common kind, the “Egyptian” kind or “worse than Egyptian bondage,” indicating being treated like the chattel of Muslims, who were famously, even sensationally, cruel to their Christian property.

Let us not forget that even the term husband, to be “bound by the bonds of matrimony” was a state of slavery, in which a man was thrice bound to his master, the Church and the State, his lifelong bond secured by his hostage family. To suppose that any Christian society Planted in the fresh soil of the New World could be anything but a slave society is absurd.


-1. See the Professor and the Madman, author forgotten, published in the early 2000s

-2. A nice poetic touch, editorial note, search found word origins, for relation to bound

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MannyMarch 1, 2019 3:54 AM UTC

Cracker Boy is on the way. Looking forward to it.

On this topic, were the Christian conquistadors a slave society?
responds:March 2, 2019 12:30 AM UTC

This deserves an article and is the subject of some recent reading.

Thanks for your support, El Cid!
BoswaldFebruary 26, 2019 4:14 AM UTC

The Germanic root for "bound" links to German "bund" pronounced "Boond", whence Bundesrepublik or Federal-Republic. Here the "Federal" reminds us of federated German troops under Roman command for, coin, p*ss* and land.

The bund root is used in Scandinavian and Dutch languages in similar ways, with a sense that something is 'bound together'. Such as a federal republic, where smaller entities are in thrall to a powerful central government, in an unassailable grip.
responds:February 27, 2019 3:28 AM UTC

Thank you!