Molly No Name, Sold 1859

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JPK Huson 1863

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I've been poking around in the subject of slave' sales 'occurring during the war. This ' sale ', and I use that term loosely since it was people held against their will and exchanged from one person keeping them captive to another.

This one was held in the teeth of growing opposition- war was on the doorstep yet Molly and her fellow captives were posed, poked, prodded and featured as exhibits for all the world like one of our present day horse auctions. Those are repulsive enough, cannot imagine humans standing there, not even able to deliver a good, swift kick like I've see one of those poor horses to on occasion.
auction.JPG


http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/slaveauction.htm

This site will haunt me, the content but it is indeed ' Eyewitness to History '. It's something everyone should read on the grounds we can forget this population who built entire economies- heck, a lot of our present day America rests on the shoulders of an African American anonymously toiling in virgin fields.

Obviously am not using the entire site, trying to set the story of Molly No-name. Wish we knew who she was, what happened to her before she vanishes in History and Time.


" In early March 1859 an enormous slave action took place at the Race Course three miles outside Savannah, Georgia. Four hundred thirty-six slaves were to be put on the auction block including men, women, children and infants. Word of the sale had spread through the South for weeks, drawing potential buyers from North and South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana. All of Savannah's available hotel rooms and any other lodging spaces were quickly appropriated by
slaveauction1.jpg

Announcing a Slave Auction, 1829
the influx of visitors. In the days running up to the auction, daily excursions were made from the city to the Race Course to inspect, evaluate and determine an appropriate bid for the human merchandise on display. "

" The sale gained such renown that it attracted the attention of Horace Greeley, Editor of the New York Tribune, one of America's most influential newspapers at the time. Greeley was an abolitionist and staunchly opposed to slavery. He sent a reporter to cover the auction in order to reveal to his readers the barbarity inherent in one human being's ability to own and sell another. "

" The slaves remained at the race-course, some of them for more than a week and all of them for four days before the sale. They were brought in thus early that buyers who desired to inspect them might enjoy that privilege, although none of them were sold at private sale. For these preliminary days their shed was constantly visited by speculators. The negroes were examined with as little consideration as if they had been brutes indeed; the buyers pulling their mouths open to see their teeth, pinching their limbs to find how muscular they were, walking them up and down to detect any signs of lameness, making them stoop and bend in different ways that they might be certain there was no concealed rupture or wound; and in addition to all this treatment, asking them scores of questions relative to their qualifications and accomplishments. "


" 'Elisha,' chattel No. 5 in the catalogue, had taken a fancy to a benevolent looking middle-aged gentleman, who was inspecting the stock, and thus used his powers of persuasion to induce the benevolent man to purchase him, with his wife, boy and girl, Molly, Israel and Sevanda, chattels Nos. 6, 7 and 8. The earnestness with which the poor fellow pressed his suit, knowing, as he did, that perhaps the happiness of his whole life depended on his success, was interesting, and the arguments he used were most pathetic. He made no appeal to the feelings of the buyer; he rested no hope on his charity and kindness, but only strove to show how well worth his dollars were the bone and blood he was entreating him to buy. "

" Molly advances, with her hands crossed on her bosom, and makes a quick short curtsy, and stands mute, looking appealingly in the benevolent man's face. But Elisha talks all the faster.
'Show mas'r yer arm Molly - good arm dat mas'r - she do a heap of work mo' with dat arm yet. Let good mas'r see yer teeth Molly - see dat mas'r, teeth all reg'lar, all good - she'm young gal yet. Come out yer Israel, walk aroun' an' let the gen'lm'n see how spry you be. "

" The auctioneer brought up Joshua's Molly and family. He announced that Molly insisted that she was lame in her left foot, and perversely would walk lame, although, for his part, he did not believe a word of it. He had caused her to be examined by an eminent physician in Savannah, which medical light had declared that Joshua's Molly was not lame, but was only shamming. However, the gentlemen must judge for themselves and bid accordingly. So Molly was put through her paces, and compelled to trot up and down along the stage, to go up and down the steps, and to exercise her feet in various ways, but always with the same result, the left foot would be lame. She was finally sold for $695. [equivalent to approximately $15,300 in today's dollars]
Whether she really was lame or not, no one knows but herself, but it must be remembered that to a slave a lameness, or anything that decreases his market value, is a thing to be rejoiced over. A man in the prime of life, worth $1,600 [equivalent to approximately $35,200 in today's dollars] or thereabouts, can have little hope of ever being able, by any little savings of his own, to purchase his liberty. But, let him have a rupture, or lose a limb, or sustain any other injury that renders him of much less service to his owner, and reduces his value to $300 or $400, and he may hope to accumulate that sum, and eventually to purchase his liberty. Freedom without health is infinitely sweeter than health without freedom. "
 

18thVirginia

Major
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Sep 8, 2012
JPK Huson, that was the sale of Pierce Butler's slaves, many of whom had never been sold before and had lived only on the Georgia plantations owned by his family.

There's a very small pamphlet that you can add to your Kindle for $1.99, What Became of the Slaves on a Georgia Plantation: Great auction sale of slaves, at Savannah, Georgia, March 2d & 3d, 1859. A sequel to Mrs. Kemble's Journal., that describes the slave auction. It's really only a few pages and is a New York newspaperman's account of the slave sale. You can also read it here: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/timeline/expref/slavery/georgia.html.

The amazon Kindle copy is at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004AYD7R0/?tag=civilwartalkc-20.

It's a fairly chilling read.
 
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18thVirginia

Major
Joined
Sep 8, 2012
Here's also a blog post about the sale, often referred to as The Weeping Time, and where it occurred:

http://southernspaces.org/2010/unearthing-weeping-time-savannahs-ten-broeck-race-course-and-1859-slave-sale

It has a companion advertisement to your slave bill above:


His advertisement in The Savannah Republican on February 8, 1859 reads:

FOR SALE. LONG COTTON AND RICE NEGROES.
A Gang of 460 Negroes, accustomed to the culture of Rice and Provisions; among whom are a number of good mechanics, and house servants. Will be sold on the 2d and 3d of March next, at Savannah, by JOSEPH BRYAN. Terms of Sale—One-third cash; remainder by bond, bearing interest from day of sale, payable in two equal annual instalments, to be secured by mortgage on the negroes, and approved personal security, or for approved city acceptance on Savannah or Charleston. Purchasers paying for papers. The Negroes will be sold in families, and can be seen on the premises of JOSEPH BRYAN, In Savannah, three days prior to the day of sale, when catalogues will be furnished.

*** The Charleston Courier, (daily and tri-weekly, Christian Index, Macon, Ga; Albany Patriot, Augusta Constitutionalist, Mobile Register, New Orleans Picayune, Memphis Appeal, Vicksburg Southern, and Richmond Whig, will publish till day of sale and send bills to this office.

1b-004-ss-10-kdegra_sm.jpg


Location of Butler Island
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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I remember doing this thread, thinking gosh- ' sales' of enslaved right up to the time of the war, how shocking! Alan then shocked me elsewhere with ' Er, wait... '.

Molly would have had quite a few years before being safe. Here are 2 ads from early 1865- which means ' buyers'. The latest ad I've found has been May, 1865. May., word not having reached the poor people being ' sold' this was even less kosher than previously. Gee whiz, insult to injury or what?

slave s 1865.JPG


slave s 18652.JPG
 

Pat Young

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I remember doing this thread, thinking gosh- ' sales' of enslaved right up to the time of the war, how shocking! Alan then shocked me elsewhere with ' Er, wait... '.

Molly would have had quite a few years before being safe. Here are 2 ads from early 1865- which means ' buyers'. The latest ad I've found has been May, 1865. May., word not having reached the poor people being ' sold' this was even less kosher than previously. Gee whiz, insult to injury or what?

View attachment 80439

View attachment 80440
These were sales of humans who were legally free. White people selling their black neighbors.
 

Anna Elizabeth Henry

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@JKP Huson 1863 I read a story in a book "Ashes of Glory" about the rise and fall of Richmond during the war and was shocked that when Richmond was being evacuated and all the government officials were running for their lives that Robert Lumpkin owner and operator of Lumpkin's Jail, a slave auction house was busy rounding up dozens of slaves in his possession for sale trying to evacuate them further south in the hopes he could retain his 'property' before the Federals set them free. Thankfully he was unable to get them out of the city.
 
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Pat Young

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@JKP Huson 1863 I read a story in a book "Ashes of Glory" about the rise and fall of Richmond during the war and was shocked that when Richmond was being evacuated and all the government officials were running for their lives that Robert Lumpkin owner and operator of Lumpkin's Jail, a slave auction house was busy rounding up dozens of slaves in his possession for sale trying to evacuate them further south in the hopes he could retain his 'property' before the Federals set them free. Thankfully he was unable to get them out of the city.
It is a disturbing story. In Carl Schurz's letters duirng his tour of the South in the summer of 1865 he says he spoke to many Southerners who beleived that now that the war was over, things would go back to the way they were before the war with regard to the labor system. Many thought a modified form of slavery would be reintroduced.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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S0- just became sidetracked for an entire 45 minutes looking for a photo of Lumpkins Jail- do not attempt this at home. Ended up at RE Lee's grave via Richmond, Arlington, Libby, back to Richmond with a side trip reading someone's abandoned blog from 2012. It was a long trip.

This rings a bell- someone traveling years post war, a timid black family not quite able to believe their freedom, living on an estate where former ' owners ' had not quite managed to get around to filling them in. That takes gall. Of course his stuff would not be documented- how could it? Makes you wonder what pockets, where, were slowly ' freed ', what stories may exist of enslaved remaining in their state post-1865. ' Freed', in quotes used only because it is extremely difficult for me to recognize anyone ' owning ' another human in the first place. I personally cannot do it. Screaming all about what the law said means nothing, honest. No one can convince me this was a ' thing ' in the first place.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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These were sales of humans who were legally free. White people selling their black neighbors.

I realize you have plenty to maintain your BP at outrageous levels right here in 2015. Should it ever register at safe levels, check out
http://www.gdg.org/gettysburg magazine/gburgafrican.html
and also @Anna Elizabeth Henry , OH my gosh, talk about selling your black neighbors! Some stories, Gettysburg citizens certainly went to bat for their fellow citizens, hiding them with great compassion, others? Nope. One famous example is cited in the article- I'll never be able to use her with enthusiasm again. The Confederate army behaved as if they came up north, found jellybean trees everywhere- helped themselves to all these treats everyone left out in plain sight.

While I'm here, will get to our Elizabeth Thorn yet again ( speaking to Pat Young, our immigrant attorney ). SO much fuss made over her all these year later- how this woman, in a patriotic fervor took pity on all the dead soldiers in Evergreen Cemetery and would not rest until she buried all of these men. Pregnant, 90 degree weather, what a hero! Well, she WAS, but nope. She was bullied- as an immigrant, her home threatened,( bury 100 dead soldiers ' or else' ) no one protecting her, husband away FIGHTING for his new country, and by a wealthy man. Who could have helped, the schmuck.

Think I'll go bump that thread while I'm annoyed.
 
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Pat Young

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I realize you have plenty to maintain your BP at outrageous levels right here in 2015. Should it ever register at safe levels, check out
http://www.gdg.org/gettysburg magazine/gburgafrican.html
and also @Anna Elizabeth Henry , OH my gosh, talk about selling your black neighbors! Some stories, Gettysburg citizens certainly went to bat for their fellow citizens, hiding them with great compassion, others? Nope. One famous example is cited in the article- I'll never be able to use her with enthusiasm again. The Confederate army behaved as if they came up north, found jellybean trees everywhere- helped themselves to all these treats everyone left out in plain sight.

While I'm here, will get to our Elizabeth Thorn yet again ( speaking to Pat Young, our immigrant attorney ). SO much fuss made over her all these year later- how this woman, in a patriotic fervor took pity on all the dead soldiers in Evergreen Cemetery and would not rest until she buried all of these men. Pregnant, 90 degree weather, what a hero! Well, she WAS, but nope. She was bullied- as an immigrant, her home threatened,( bury 100 dead soldiers ' or else' ) no one protecting her, husband away FIGHTING for his new country, and by a wealthy man. Who could have helped, the schmuck.

Think I'll go bump that thread while I'm annoyed.
Interesting stuff.
 

Allie

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Dec 17, 2014
S0- just became sidetracked for an entire 45 minutes looking for a photo of Lumpkins Jail- do not attempt this at home. Ended up at RE Lee's grave via Richmond, Arlington, Libby, back to Richmond with a side trip reading someone's abandoned blog from 2012. It was a long trip.

This rings a bell- someone traveling years post war, a timid black family not quite able to believe their freedom, living on an estate where former ' owners ' had not quite managed to get around to filling them in. That takes gall. Of course his stuff would not be documented- how could it? Makes you wonder what pockets, where, were slowly ' freed ', what stories may exist of enslaved remaining in their state post-1865. ' Freed', in quotes used only because it is extremely difficult for me to recognize anyone ' owning ' another human in the first place. I personally cannot do it. Screaming all about what the law said means nothing, honest. No one can convince me this was a ' thing ' in the first place.
You know it just occurred to me I know I have Lumpkin ancestors from Oglethorpe county. Farther back than this era, and it was a huge family, but I wonder what the relationship is.
 

ErnieMac

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S0- just became sidetracked for an entire 45 minutes looking for a photo of Lumpkins Jail- do not attempt this at home. Ended up at RE Lee's grave via Richmond, Arlington, Libby, back to Richmond with a side trip reading someone's abandoned blog from 2012. It was a long trip.

This rings a bell- someone traveling years post war, a timid black family not quite able to believe their freedom, living on an estate where former ' owners ' had not quite managed to get around to filling them in. That takes gall. Of course his stuff would not be documented- how could it? Makes you wonder what pockets, where, were slowly ' freed ', what stories may exist of enslaved remaining in their state post-1865. ' Freed', in quotes used only because it is extremely difficult for me to recognize anyone ' owning ' another human in the first place. I personally cannot do it. Screaming all about what the law said means nothing, honest. No one can convince me this was a ' thing ' in the first place.
I don't know of any photos of Lumpkin's complex, of which the jail was apparently only a part. A 2009 article in the Smithsonian notes archaeological excavations at the site and fills in some biographical details and includes a sketch of the jail. Lumpkin lived with and fathered five children with a freed slave named Mary. According to the article Lumpkin sent two of his daughters to Massachusetts to be educated and later sent them with Mary to Pennsylvania for fear that financial difficulties would result in their being sold into slavery to pay his debts. Despite this knowledge Lumpkin was considered one of the crueler individuals in an occupation that defined cruelty.
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/digging-up-the-past-at-a-richmond-jail-50642859/?all

Other articles concerning the diggings can be found on line. One thing I learned was that the complex had been previously owned by Bacon Tait, a name that has graced our pages in other threads.
http://www.jriarchaeology.com/pages/lumpkin.htm
 

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Anna Elizabeth Henry

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I don't know of any photos of Lumpkin's complex, of which the jail was apparently only a part. A 2009 article in the Smithsonian notes archaeological excavations at the site and fills in some biographical details and includes a sketch of the jail. Lumpkin lived with and fathered five children with a freed slave named Mary. According to the article Lumpkin sent two of his daughters to Massachusetts to be educated and later sent them with Mary to Pennsylvania for fear that financial difficulties would result in their being sold into slavery to pay his debts. Despite this knowledge Lumpkin was considered one of the crueler individuals in an occupation that defined cruelty.
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/digging-up-the-past-at-a-richmond-jail-50642859/?all

Other articles concerning the diggings can be found on line. One thing I learned was that the complex had been previously owned by Bacon Tait, a name that has graced our pages in other threads.
http://www.jriarchaeology.com/pages/lumpkin.htm
I had read a report from a Richmond government website detailing the excavation of Lumpkin's Jail site that included a sketch of what the jail looked like. I've included the link since it wouldn't allow me to copy the photo from the pdf file on the site into this message. It was very nondescript and reminded me more of a barn. For some reason I pictured some far more secure looking with iron bars, etc. There's also a survey map of lots from around 1835 that show its location.

http://www.richmondgov.com/CommissionSlaveTrail/documents/historyLumpkinJail.pdf

Lumpkin was quite a man of contrasts marrying a freed slave and having children with her and then selling slaves to boot. Makes you wonder what was going on inside his head, clearly nothing good! I'm sure @JPK Huson 1863 would agree that brings selling your neighbors to a whole new level. So many injustices.

As for the Gettysburg citizens some were amazing and hide their neighbors in attics, barn lofts, etc. While others were not so kind. In the weeks leading up to the battle and the constant harassment by Confederates to free blacks, many were cruelly rounded up while their white neighbors stood by helpless. Women, children and old men were no match against the Rebel calvary units who raided for supplies and the people they took as contraband. Such a horrible time for all involved. Many blacks disappeared further north leaving their homes vacant in fear of being captured. Some though were too old. There was one I remember reading about, his name escapes me, but he was well into 80s I believe and lived in Gettysburg and the only place he could find to hide was a giant pile of hay. He stayed inside that pile of hay for almost a week!!! Imagine hearing the horrific noise of the battle for days while suffocating in the heat of July under a pile of hay to stay free because you were too old to flee? Goodness when you think what people went through back then. :frown:
 
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