Ray DiLorenzo, Editor, Stand Up America: Slaves from Africa bore most of the burden, but slaves from countries like Ireland were also used. Irish slaves came to America as early as 1625 when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. It is estimated that approximately 100,000 Irish men, women, and children were transported to the colonies as slaves. Not to be called racist, Britain, in the 17th and 18th centuries, was an equal opportunity exploiter of human flesh, having sold over 600,000 Irish, Scottish, and Catholics into slavery. In early America, slavery was not a race issue, it was primarily a financial one.