White Slaves in the Sugar Plantations of Barbados. In the 17th century. Oliver Cromwell shipped Romanichal Gypsies as slaves to the American southern plantations and there is documentation of English Gypsies being owned by freed black slaves in Jamaica, Barbados and in both Cuba and Louisiana. Approx. 100,000 Irish Catholic men, women and children were enslaved in the British West Indies & British North America after the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland in the 17th century.