Book Review Fancy girls

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Are there any books on the unfortunate souls known as fancy girls during slavery. How long did these victims survive on average and when slavery was abolished what happened to those held as sex slaves. The fancy girls are one of the darkest chapters in the dark history of American slavery.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
“Fancy girls” was a marketing term that could carry several meanings. Well trained, skillful lady’s maids were sold under that designation, for example. That would happen in Louisville KY for example. It was, as I am sure you are referring to, in New Orleans, a very different category entirely, namely the sale of sex slaves.

Franklin & Armfield we’re partners in the highly lucrative transportation of “extras” ( another marketing term ) from VA to Natchez MS. Their business records & VA slave jail HQ still exist. In their correspondence they either stated outright their evaluation of the sexual performance of women they purchased or used a private code for the same purpose. Routine rape was the norm, not the exception, in the largest slave trading operation in America.

One of the most vocal & nationally recognized advocates for slavery ( whose name just left my head) wrote his son concerning a slave & her daughters. Both he & his son had fathered female children with her & her daughters. He advised that “children of the family” should not be sold. That was because their only hope for earthy happiness was living with the father’s family.

There were slave traders who demanded premium prices for their stock because they personally fathered every one of them. Blatantly claiming parentage like that was considered a bit much even for Virginians who depended on earth he sale of extras to keep their poorly performing plantations solvent.

There are accounts of pale skinned young women being sold under the most lurid conditions imaginable. Some of them were purchased by abolitionist & received extensive press coverage. “The Yellow Rose of Texas” was written to celebrate a light completed mulatta. The present day lyrics have been sanitized. The market for comely girls who could pass for white is not a subject for a polite vocabulary.

I have studied the slave trade for decades. The sexual exploitation of girls & boys was so ubiquitous that any book on the subject is a de facto “fancy girl” volume. I am not aware of a book dedicated to the sex slave fancy girl trade. I am not sure how it could be published, frankly. The routine nature of the sales would mean that excerpts could only be published in Penthouse Magazine. In any case, how many times can you describe a woman having her clothes ripped off in front of a howling mob & the auctioneer shouting look what you will be buying? Sale prices in the 100,000 2021 dollar range were achieved.

As Mrs Chestnut observed, slaveholders lived like patriarchs of old surrounded by the offspring of generations of their fathers, uncles & brothers. Everyone could point out which family the slaves belonged to because of their similarities with the white children. There are numerous biographies by individuals born into such families. Frederick Douglas is the most famous, I would suppose.

Your question about biographies of “fancy girls” is an interesting one. I can’t conceive of a 19th Century sex slave autobiography being published at that time. Somebody more conversant with the history of slave era bordellos will have to chime in on that subject.
 

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
“Fancy girls” was a marketing term that could carry several meanings. Well trained, skillful lady’s maids were sold under that designation, for example. That would happen in Louisville KY for example. It was, as I am sure you are referring to, in New Orleans, a very different category entirely, namely the sale of sex slaves.

Franklin & Armfield we’re partners in the highly lucrative transportation of “extras” ( another marketing term ) from VA to Natchez MS. Their business records & VA slave jail HQ still exist. In their correspondence they either stated outright their evaluation of the sexual performance of women they purchased or used a private code for the same purpose. Routine rape was the norm, not the exception, in the largest slave trading operation in America.

One of the most vocal & nationally recognized advocates for slavery ( whose name just left my head) wrote his son concerning a slave & her daughters. Both he & his son had fathered female children with her & her daughters. He advised that “children of the family” should not be sold. That was because their only hope for earthy happiness was living with the father’s family.

There were slave traders who demanded premium prices for their stock because they personally fathered every one of them. Blatantly claiming parentage like that was considered a bit much even for Virginians who depended on earth he sale of extras to keep their poorly performing plantations solvent.

There are accounts of pale skinned young women being sold under the most lurid conditions imaginable. Some of them were purchased by abolitionist & received extensive press coverage. “The Yellow Rose of Texas” was written to celebrate a light completed mulatta. The present day lyrics have been sanitized. The market for comely girls who could pass for white is not a subject for a polite vocabulary.

I have studied the slave trade for decades. The sexual exploitation of girls & boys was so ubiquitous that any book on the subject is a de facto “fancy girl” volume. I am not aware of a book dedicated to the sex slave fancy girl trade. I am not sure how it could be published, frankly. The routine nature of the sales would mean that excerpts could only be published in Penthouse Magazine. In any case, how many times can you describe a woman having her clothes ripped off in front of a howling mob & the auctioneer shouting look what you will be buying? Sale prices in the 100,000 2021 dollar range were achieved.

As Mrs Chestnut observed, slaveholders lived like patriarchs of old surrounded by the offspring of generations of their fathers, uncles & brothers. Everyone could point out which family the slaves belonged to because of their similarities with the white children. There are numerous biographies by individuals born into such families. Frederick Douglas is the most famous, I would suppose.

Your question about biographies of “fancy girls” is an interesting one. I can’t conceive of a 19th Century sex slave autobiography being published at that time. Somebody more conversant with the history of slave era bordellos will have to chime in on that subject.
Thanks for your response. I find this aspect of our slave history very repugnant, not only the sexual abuse but the fact that people were selling their own offspring into a life of abuse.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Thanks for your response. I find this aspect of our slave history very repugnant, not only the sexual abuse but the fact that people were selling their own offspring into a life of abuse.
I began my investigation of the realities after reading the names of enslaved people in an ancestor’s will. Who were these people? In all candor, a part of me wishes I had never done it. There was nothing that the peculiar institution touched that was not contaminated. The ordinary, everyday functions of slaveholding would gag a buzzard.
 
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