If you are new to the white slavery question Jim and Gavin give a nice start.
More white lives were spent abolishing slavery [600,000 plus] than black slaves were imported into North America [400,000].
One question that is not often asked is why was the white slavery business conducted according to seven year terms?
Passages from the Book of Leviticus were cited by those who codified the fate of countless poor white folks: [passages 42-46 inspired the purchase of expensive Africans, and are quoted further down.]
39 “ ‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to you, do not make them work as slaves.
40 They are to be treated as hired workers or temporary residents among you; they are to work for you until the Year of Jubilee.
41 Then they and their children are to be released, and they will go back to their own clans and to the property of their ancestors.
47 “ ‘If a foreigner residing among you becomes rich and any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to the foreigner or to a member of the foreigner’s clan,
48 they retain the right of redemption after they have sold themselves. One of their relatives may redeem them:
49 An uncle or a cousin or any blood relative in their clan may redeem them. Or if they prosper, they may redeem themselves.
50 They and their buyer are to count the time from the year they sold themselves up to the Year of Jubilee. The price for their release is to be based on the rate paid to a hired worker for that number of years.
51 If many years remain, they must pay for their redemption a larger share of the price paid for them.
52 If only a few years remain until the Year of Jubilee, they are to compute that and pay for their redemption accordingly.
53 They are to be treated as workers hired from year to year; you must see to it that those to whom they owe service do not rule over them ruthlessly.
54 “ ‘Even if someone is not redeemed in any of these ways, they and their children are to be released in the Year of Jubilee,
55 for the Israelites belong to me as servants. They are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.
The Jubilee year was a 49-year cycle built on seven-year cycles, and was a year of redemption when debts were forgiven and slaves were freed. When looking for Biblical justification early English slavers looked to the Book of Leviticus, concerned with priestly instruction, for a term of service and choose the lunar-based building block of seven year cycles. Slaves use to prey for a Jubilee year in the American South and many cried Jubilee when they were emancipated. Ironically, this is all built on a concept that never left the ancient world, for the Jubilee was only in force when all of the tribes were together in the Promised Land.
This writer regards the passages above [which guided the enslavement of whites] as a key to the moral foundation of America as well as the following, which formed the moral basis for African slavery:
42 Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves.
43 Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God.
44 “ ‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
In the end these were simply excuses to own people, excuses that would be replaced with Darwinian arguments of racial inferiority toward the end of the plantation period of American history.