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Slave Sale Broadside
Slave Sale Broadside
Resource Typeimage
TitleSlave Sale Broadside
Coverage / Year1823 to 1852
Description"Credit Sale of a Choice Gang of Slaves, Comprising Mechanics, Laborers, etc." The sale, Tuesday, February 5, 1856, by J. A. Beard and Maj. J. a. Beard, auctioneer, was held for the settlement of a co-partnership of railroad contractors. The description of the sale of "A Very Valuable Gang of Slaves, " is: "Belonging ot a co-partnership and sold to close the same. The said slaves comprise a gang of 41 choice Negroes. On the list will be found a good Blacksmith, one superior Bricklayer, Field Hands, Laborers, on Tanner, one Cooper, and a first rate woman Cook." A list follows with the names, ages, and skills of the slaves. Most are in their early twenties. The text continues: "The slaves can be seen four days previous to the day of sale. They are fully guaranteed against the vices and maladies proscribed by law, and are all selected slaves. TERMS OF SALE - One year's credit for approved city-accept accts or endorsed paper, with interest at 7 per cent from date and mortgage on slaves if required. ACTS OF SALE SURPLUS with E. SCASSONS, NOTARY PUBLIC, AT EXPENSE OF PUCHASERS. After the sale of the above list of Slaves, will be sold another lot of Negroes, comprising Field Hands, House servants, and Mechanics. A full description of the same will be given at that sale. The slaves can be seen two days previous to the sale." This broadside is on display in the Chicago Historical Society exhibit, "A House Divided."
InterpretationThe monetary value of slaves depended upon their age, sex and skill. As noted on the "Credit Sale" broadside, experienced field hands sold for more than $1, 000 each, while a skilled bricklayer/mason sold for $2, 700. Sales often broke up families as seen in the "Public Sale of Negroes, " which states that children would be sold separately from their mother "if it best suits the purchaser." The terms "mulatto, " "griff, " and "yellow" all refer to people of mixed black and white ancestry; "likely" means suitable and "do" is an abbreviation of "ditto." (This copy is from the Chicago Historical Society.) Blacks were brought into Jamestown, Virigia, in 1619 as indentured servants. After working four to seven years, they were free, but remained at the lowest level of society. Slavery was introduced into the American colonies early in the seventeenth century and by 1750, there were about 200, 000, most living in the South. More than half of the slaves worked on a small number of large plantations. Others worked for owners who had small farms and fewer than twenty slaves. Some owners allowed their slaves to be hired out to work for others, bringing income to both the slaves and their owners. Slave codes, laws passed by the colonies in the mid-seventeenth century, place many restrictions on slaves, such as prohibiting them from owning weapons, receiving an education, moving about without permission of their owners, or testifying in court. (The Africian American Journey: The Slave Trade in Colonial America.
Lesson Plans / ThemesAntebellum Society and the Civil War; The Underground Railroad
Learning Standards15 Economics; 16 History; 17 Geography; 18 Social systems
Author or CreatorIllinois Heritage Association; Chicago Historical Society
SourceChicago Historical Society collection
Subject / KeywordsSlavery; Civil War; Fugitive slaves; Auctions;
Collection PublisherIllinois Heritage Association
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statement
Resource IdentifierIHA00148
CONTENTdm file name8282518432002_AHD006, -IC-22001, -Broadside.jpg
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