Notable Antebellum Slave Traders

byron ed

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...I have used the analogy before of a farmer who treats his cattle kindly, but in the end, slaughters and eats them.

It's simply that some traders and owners practiced good livestock management, which increased their return on investment. NBF was nobody's fool, he was a self-made man that was really capable at whatever he chose to do. In many ways it was never personal to him. After the war he assisted freedmen.

In the South there were agricultural organizations that discussed and promoted good animal husbandry generally, which included proper handling of disobedient field slaves (which were "all the same" after all).

Traders also had what today we call "best practices." One was to completely dominate ("break") your new charges into submission - making yourself their only source of survival. Another is that when you physically punish you don't leave marks. Human traders in the U.S. today use the exact same techniques.
 
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WJC

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It's simply that some traders and owners practiced good livestock management, which increased their return on investment. NBF was nobody's fool, he was a self-made man that was really capable at whatever he chose to do. In many ways it was never personal to him. After the war he assisted freedmen.

In the South there were agricultural organizations that discussed and promoted good animal husbandry generally, which included proper handling of disobedient field slaves (which were all the same after all).

Traders also had what today we call "best practices." One was to completely dominate ("break") your new charges into submission - making yourself their only source of survival. Another is that when you physically punish you don't leave marks. Human traders in the U.S. today use the exact same techniques.
Thanks for your response.
All facts we can agree on. But a discussion of Forrest, though always interesting, is peripheral to this thread.
 
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It's simply that some traders and owners practiced good livestock management, which increased their return on investment. NBF was nobody's fool, he was a self-made man that was really capable at whatever he chose to do. In many ways it was never personal to him. After the war he assisted freedmen.

In the South there were agricultural organizations that discussed and promoted good animal husbandry generally, which included proper handling of disobedient field slaves (which were all the same after all).

Traders also had what today we call "best practices." One was to completely dominate ("break") your new charges into submission - making yourself their only source of survival. Another is that when you physically punish you don't leave marks. Human traders in the U.S. today use the exact same techniques.
I deleted my question. Let's not get diverted.
 

WJC

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Slave traders were also called "speculators" -- some were just "planters/farmers" who enslaved of all size plantations and farms.

I know way more about the Interregional slave trade/traders/breeders -- than the trader/traders before the abolition of Transatlantic slave trade in 1809.

I have ran across many - but here are some notable ones:

Isaac Franklin and John Armfield: Franklin and Armfield Office was started in 1828 by Isaac Franklin and John Armfield. The office was known to have been the largest slave trading firm in the antebellum south. At its height in the 1830s, the firm transported between 1,000 and 1,200 slaves from Alexandria to New Orleans each year. Source

Nathan Bedford Forrest: He made his pre and post Civil War fortunes off of Black bodies.
Slave trading was not for the morally sensitive, but Forrest stood out even among slave-traders in his oppression of his human property. In January of 1860 his “Slave Mart” collapsed in a heavy rain, “burying beneath its ruins six valuable slaves,” killing at least two. He was also certainly the source of an article published in January of 1859 claiming that he was in possession of a daughter of “Fred Douglass.” Emphasizing that she was “of the class known among the dealers as a ‘likely girl,’” Forrest cruelly noted her vulnerability to rape. The article called out Douglass for hypocrisy in failing to purchase her. We can assume that she was not actually a daughter of Douglass. Chronicling America is in the Home Journal (Winchester, Tennessee), on January 20, 1859, “Fred Douglass’ Daughter for Sale.” Source

Austin Woolfolk: One of the most prominent of these controversial figures was a Georgian named Austin Woolfolk who dominated the border state trade from his headquarters in Baltimore during the 1820's and 1830's. Source He became notorious for selling Frederick Douglass's aunt, and for assaulting Benjamin Lundy after the latter had criticized him.

Joseph Bruin of Bruin & Hill/Bruin's Jail: Bruin, along with his partner Henry P. Hill, operated Bruin & Hill in Alexandria with a slave jail located on Duke Street that still stands today. Bruin gained his notoriety in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin because of his involvement in incidents following the attempted slave escape aboard the Pearl in April 1848. Read more here: http://www.virginiamemory.com/blogs/out_of_the_box/2013/12/04/12-years-a-slave/

Bernard Kindig: was known for selling disease and wounded aka "defective"slaves. Bernard Kendig, a slave trader in New Orleans, landed in court thirteen times in ten years. Four times there was no verdict in the case, once he was found not guilty, three times he was found guilty of fraud, three times he was found to have sold defective slaves, and twice he sold stolen slaves. Source: Slavery and Medicine: Enslavement and Medical Practices in Antebellum Louisiana

Hope Hull Slatter/Shadrach F. Slatter: native of Clinton, Georgia, became a leading slave dealers in Baltimore after the era of Woolfolk. With a building centrally located on Pratt Street, Slatter used trains to transport slaves to Georgia and boats to transport others to New Orleans. Baltimore was a large slave trading location. Source

John Brown (Rhode Island) and his brothers: Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade, and the American Revolution

Nathaniel Gordon: was the first and only slave trader in the U.S. to be tried, convicted, and executed "for being engaged in the Slave Trade," under the Piracy Law of 1820.

Hector Davis: One of Richmond’s large-scale traders, selling people from the 1840s until just before his death in 1863. Source

Thomas Ryan and James Marsh of Charleston: Ryan's Mart originally consisted of a closed lot with three structures— a four-story barracoon or slave jail, a kitchen, and a morgue or "dead house."

James Bowie
Hatcher & McGehee Slave Depot. Slave trading in Columbus, Georgia
John Montmollin and Alexander Bryan of Savannah's Montmollin Building
Lafitte Barthe & Co.
T. C. Weatherly
Austin Moses
Pickett & Williamson

If you want to see who the more successful and well-known traders in the South were - I would recommend looking at Slave Ship Port Manifest like U.S., Southeast Coastwise Inward and Outward Slave Manifests, 1790-1860 and the Port of Savannah Slave Manifests, 1790–1860 and Mobile.


Some resourceful books on the topic are:

Speculators and Slaves: Masters, Traders, and Slaves in the Old South
The Chattel Principle: Internal Slave Trades in the Americas
The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation
Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market
Sold Down the River: Slavery in the Lower Chattahoochee. Valley of Alabama and Georgia
A Troublesome Commerce: The Transformation of the Interstate Slave Trade
Thanks for all of this information! There is certainly a lot there to digest....
 

MattL

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A very interesting thread, have been curious about this. Also I must admit I've had a morbid curiosity if any of my own relatives were involved in slave trade, not exactly the thing that's passed down in genealogy that your 6th cousin 3x removed was a slave trader.
 

W. Richardson

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This bunch of Rhode Island boys made their fortunes in slaves. They're not nationally known but are pretty famous in RI. You can Google them and find a lot of info about them. One of them was involved in founding Brown Univ. for example.

The "other" John Brown (of Rhode Island), d. 1803
James DeWolf, d. 1837
Aaron Lopez, d. 1782

Lots of times posters remind us of New Englanders making their fortunes in slaves sent to the South. These characters are the poster boys for such endeavors.



I wonder why they aren't nationally known? :smile:


Respectfully,
William
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O' Be Joyful

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I wonder why they aren't nationally known? :smile:


Respectfully,
William
View attachment 175245

I suspect there hasn't been much of a call or commotion for a national holiday of such. Well, at least not since 1865. Ya know, When it was legal.

But it should be more well-known. As Mr. Lincoln noted, It was a National Sin, all had a part in it whether they were personally involved or not. Those Truths should not to be hidden from anyone today. And neither should the hard truths of the pasts of those whom participated and profited from it, as painful as they may be.

And I know you agree with me on that William. As I have seen you express such many times. All the history should be told, the good and the Bad.
 

James N.

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I'm reminded and motivated to at least mention other aspects of the Anglo-American settlement of Texas, apart from Jim Bowie who came early and on his own, marrying into the Veramindi family of San Antonio, settling down, and becoming somewhat "respectable" after his shenanigans and land frauds in Louisiana. Mexico had outlawed slavery after its independence in the Constitution of 1821, so when Moses Austin came to Mexico City to secure a large land grant as an Impresario he naturally agreed to abide by Mexican law in that regard. Unfortunately, he died upon his return the the United States, but his son Stephen carried on his father's plan. Austin's Colony was a popular destination and for several years there was NO slavery. Other entrepreneurs soon followed and they too agreed to abide by the laws when establishing their own colonies.

However in the 1830's more and more Americans began to arrive and saw no reason why they couldn't bring their chattels, beginning the run-up to the Texas Revolution. Among these newcomers were men like lawyer William Barrett Travis from Alabama, who soon had run-ins with Mexican officials. There was a growing tension between the Old Settlers of Austin's and the other colonies and these newcomers that was blurred or forgotten in the events of the Revolution, which had largely been spurred on by men like Travis. The business over slavery (which was of course allowed under the new Republic of Texas) was the main reason the admission of Texas to the Union as a state was opposed for ten years by abolitionist New Englanders in Congress until 1845.
 
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W. Richardson

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I suspect there hasn't been much of a call or commotion for a national holiday of such. Well, at least not since 1865. Ya know, When it was legal.

But it should be more well-known. As Mr. Lincoln noted, It was a National Sin, all had a part in it whether they were personally involved or not. Those Truths should not to be hidden from anyone today. And neither should the hard truths of the pasts of those whom participated and profited from it, as painful as they may be.

And I know you agree with me on that William. As I have seen you express such many times. All the history should be told, the good and the Bad.


I most certainly do agree with you, ALL history, the good, the bad, the ugly, the pros, and the cons. It was a National sin!!!!!!!! But more than that it was a worldly sin as well.

I think it is not as well known due to it being the part of history that hurts, the truth does hurt and slowly things are coming to light, but some are fighting and defending those things now coming out..............Slavery in the North, Slave Traders, and even forcing some into the military, into labor............It's been known about the Confederacy, and has been known about the North, but never truly publicized and taught as it is starting to now.


My favored quote by my favored actor Denzel Washington, as private Trip from the movie Glory sums it up...............

Trip : Yeah, It stinks bad. And we all covered up in it too. Ain't nobody clean. Be nice to get clean, though.


Respectfully,
William
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Dedej

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Just an FYI. The numero uno slave traders par excellance were the Portuguesa. With the Canary Islands and the Azores as jumping points they far outdid any other European country hands down. The African slave trade, east and west coast, is now considered a "Holocaust" of the first magnitude. The Portuguese were major players.

American slave traders were also famous American "heroes" like Jim Bowie, Lafite (the pirate & helper at the Battle of NO) and Alexander Hamilton of $10 fame whose. mama was not "white".

Patty Canon intrigues me the most. Trying to find more info on her. Operated on the Mason-Dixon line. Any human who wasn't white and got in her sites was bound for slavery.

Patty Cannon intrigues me too. She was portrayed on the now cancelled Underground. I know she was apart of the "Reverse Underground Railroad" with John Crenshaw.

http://ashorthistoryblog.com/madame-lalaurie-of-the-north-the-dark-heart-of-patty-canon/
https://theswamp.media/patty-cannon-the-infamous-slave-trader-of-the-1800s


I have also seen two other women mentioned being part of the trade. One was C.M.Hyams out of Louisiana - but I can't find any additional info on her other than her being mentioned in a court case.

The other was described as a "mulatto" woman named Rosaline Canot who is speculated to have helped her husband trade.

We learn about most through the logs of slave ships but there are some notable exceptions such as Theodore Canot whose memoirs were published in 1854. Of Italian and French parents, he had fallen into the slave trade as a slave ship captain and then a trader on the West Coast of Africa. His wife Rosaline, born in Georgia, gains several mentions for example during dinner with Captain Bell, a Navy officer, she refilled the wine glasses.

It is assumed that Rosaline, even though a Mulatto, was also involved in the selling of slaves. One of the glimpses of this was found during the research into the slave ship Troubadour that sank in the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1841. The Pitsfield Sun, dated April 29, 1841: A SLAVE SHIP WRECKED – The brig Troubadaur, under Spanish colors, reported as belonging to Rosaline Kitan, of Bissau, (Africa) with 289 slaves on board, from the coast’

Researchers believe that Rosaline Kitan is probably a misspelling of Rosaline Canot who lived at Cape Mount in northern Liberia. The Canots had a connection with Bissau, capital of Portuguese Guinea, an active slave trading port. Theodore had agreed to stop slaving in 1840 but it is known that he went back on his word. Maybe this is why his wife could have been trading in slaves at this time. Source: Women and their forgotten role in Slavery by Nigel Sadler

Below is great panel with Walter Johnson, Stephanie Jones-Rogers and Adam Rothman -- it focuses on New Orleans. But, it mentions some names of women who were involved in slave trading.

 
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James N.

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My favored quote by my favored actor Denzel Washington, as private Trip from the movie Glory sums it up...............

Trip : Yeah, It stinks bad. And we all covered up in it too. Ain't nobody clean. Be nice to get clean, though.
My own personal favorite was Jimhi Kennedy's (Private Jupiter Sharts) line as he crawled beneath his blanket in the tent,
"Lawdy - the whole world hate the ni**er..."
 

MattL

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A very interesting thread, have been curious about this. Also I must admit I've had a morbid curiosity if any of my own relatives were involved in slave trade, not exactly the thing that's passed down in genealogy that your 6th cousin 3x removed was a slave trader.

In researching Nathan Bedford Forest's history (and subsequently his ancestry) more I've learned he likely is a cousin of mine twice over (including his Forest/Forrester ancestry). So answered part of that question I've been wondering.
 

MattL

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I most certainly do agree with you, ALL history, the good, the bad, the ugly, the pros, and the cons. It was a National sin!!!!!!!! But more than that it was a worldly sin as well.

I think it is not as well known due to it being the part of history that hurts, the truth does hurt and slowly things are coming to light, but some are fighting and defending those things now coming out..............Slavery in the North, Slave Traders, and even forcing some into the military, into labor............It's been known about the Confederacy, and has been known about the North, but never truly publicized and taught as it is starting to now.


My favored quote by my favored actor Denzel Washington, as private Trip from the movie Glory sums it up...............

Trip : Yeah, It stinks bad. And we all covered up in it too. Ain't nobody clean. Be nice to get clean, though.


Respectfully,
William
View attachment 175315

The reality is much of it just isn't well known at all to the general population, North, South, West, whatever. Such as details. You implied that the Northern slave traders weren't nationally known because they were Northern and not Southern, when slave traders on either side in general aren't known Nationally. Really only NBF because of his Civil War status and even he is unknown by many who don't care about the Civil War that much (for example when sharing with my wife that I learned his is likely a cousin twice over to me she didn't know who he was).

The other part is topical. Slavery will always have a weighted balance regarding the South. It's just geography. Doesn't matter who the people in the South were, the combination of the system, the timing, and the agriculture in the geography mean it was destined to be the epicenter of slavery in the US. That doesn't mean slavery isn't indeed a National sin, but when you talk details about something it eventually has to become focused on the areas that it was most present and involved in.

With that said there is a greater topic of both racism and racial mistreatment that stems far beyond slavery. Slavery being the most obvious offender, but far from the only offender. Even this will get weighted by the scale, by 1860 under 18% of the Black population (free or slave) were outside of what would become CSA States. With that said it is an important history nation wide and racial mistreatment is truly the National sin that goes far beyond slavery and the South.

With that said every time a slaver, slavery, or mistreatment comes up it doesn't need to become a point about how the North was bad too. Like in this thread, just talk about Northern slavers too (which were already mentioned since you responded to such).
 
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A very interesting thread, have been curious about this. Also I must admit I've had a morbid curiosity if any of my own relatives were involved in slave trade, not exactly the thing that's passed down in genealogy that your 6th cousin 3x removed was a slave trader.
I recently discovered that one of my 4th great grandfathers, an Englishman, immigrated to Puerto Rico, and with the blessings of Spain, became the owner/operator of a large sugarcane plantation. This venture began in about 1815, and lasted until well after slavery was abolished in 1873. The genealogy and history don't mention slavery. It's completely avoided.
 

Bruce Vail

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Adolphus Philipse

220px-Portriat_of_Adolphus_Philipse.jpg


from the New York Times

Plantation on the Hudson
By SANDEE BRAWARSKY JAN. 19, 2003

MOST visitors reach for their cameras when they first glimpse the cluster of historic buildings at Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow. A narrow bridge crosses over a pond, leading to a whitewashed fieldstone manor house. With its large wheel in the water, a weathered wooden mill sits at the foot of the bridge, and a rustic barn is off to the side.

On a wintry day last month, guides were dressed in layers of sweaters and capes -- and britches for men, long wide skirts for women -- that might have been worn at the midpoint of the 18th century, the time the calendar is set here. But most of the people who lived at Philipsburg then probably did not have a minute to admire the view. They were slaves.

Back then, Philipsburg was the center of Adolph Philipse's commercial business, which involved trade between New York, the West Indies and Europe. In 1750, when he died, his probate inventory listed 30 sheep, 6 spinning wheels, silverware, pewter dishes, 3 feather beds and 23 men, women and children. Although slavery was legal then in the colonies, it was unusual for one family to have more than two or three slaves.

The Philipse family was among the wealthiest in New York. Adolph Philipse was a member of the New York Assembly. They were also among the largest slaveholders in the area, perhaps in the Northeast. In addition to their dealings in grain and farm goods, they engaged extensively in the slave trade.

A National Historic Landmark that is now a living history museum, Philipsburg Manor is closed for the winter. But when it reopens on March 3, its tours and hands-on exhibits will more closely reflect its actual history: The Philipses were rarely there. The property was managed by an overseer, who was a nearby tenant farmer. Skilled slaves who spoke several languages ran the international shipping operations, as well as the mill and the dairy.

Continue reading the main story
 
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Bruce Vail

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I wonder why they aren't nationally known? :smile:


Respectfully,
William
View attachment 175245


The Browns of Providence are nationally known, at least to the extent that any of the leading merchant families of that era are nationally known today. Brown University, of course, is very well known as one of the finest universities in the country, and the Brown family is discussed in many, many history books, especially books about slavery in America.
 
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