Negroes Wanted! Want Ads for Slaves in the Last Years of Slavery and Reports of Sales

matthew mckeon

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#21
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This is one of the most famous advertisements because of the association with Gen. Forrest. Again I am struck with the banality of it, the vocabulary of the salesman, and that the business is called "Negro Mart."
 

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Pat Young

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#27
Sun
Tuesday, Jul 17, 1860
Baltimore, MD
Vol: XLVII
Issue: 51
Page: 2

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In this context, what does "slave for life" mean, as opposed to "slave for eight years." One was owned by the Cecils their entire life, and the other was owned by the Cecils for eight years?
I am not sure. I have seen that a few times in the Maryland ads.
 

diane

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#35
These are very interesting, Pat. Most are from SC and MD, aren't they? There was a division in the slave states between selling states and buying states - the selling states being border states like Virginia or SC and the buying states being the Deep South, because of agriculture. There was an incentive in the selling states for breeding - quite odious but there it is - so some of these ads are a bit misleading. Tennessee, particularly the area around Memphis, was a distribution hub for slave traders - receiving and purchasing 'stock' arriving from the upper South and eastern slave states. The profit was enormous in Memphis - Forrest, for example, could purchase a slave in Virginia for a couple hundred dollars and resell him in Mississippi for a thousand. However, there was a big jump in the prices in both buying and selling due to speculation - which got to be pretty wild - in the run-up to the Civil War. It seems to me that the timing of these sales you illustrate is important to note.
 

Pat Young

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#37
These are very interesting, Pat. Most are from SC and MD, aren't they? There was a division in the slave states between selling states and buying states - the selling states being border states like Virginia or SC and the buying states being the Deep South, because of agriculture. There was an incentive in the selling states for breeding - quite odious but there it is - so some of these ads are a bit misleading. Tennessee, particularly the area around Memphis, was a distribution hub for slave traders - receiving and purchasing 'stock' arriving from the upper South and eastern slave states. The profit was enormous in Memphis - Forrest, for example, could purchase a slave in Virginia for a couple hundred dollars and resell him in Mississippi for a thousand. However, there was a big jump in the prices in both buying and selling due to speculation - which got to be pretty wild - in the run-up to the Civil War. It seems to me that the timing of these sales you illustrate is important to note.
I only did searches in a few states, so I would not assume it reflects a lesser interest in other states. I picked Maryland as one state to see if ads were different in a border state with a large free black population.

Since I can only spend a limited time on research, I have not looked in all 14 slave states.
 

diane

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#40
I only did searches in a few states, so I would not assume it reflects a lesser interest in other states. I picked Maryland as one state to see if ads were different in a border state with a large free black population.

Since I can only spend a limited time on research, I have not looked in all 14 slave states.
It's very interesting what you've been able to do - appreciate that! Slaves and land went hand in hand, so the price of land for cotton in particular was tied to the price of the slaves available to work it. When one begins to investigate the land-cotton-slave circle the planters were in, one sees why people who were opposed to secession were willing to fight about it when their state went out - Davis with Mississippi, Forrest with Tennessee, Hampton with SC and so on. Sometimes you wonder who was really the slave!
 



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