Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Slave Auction

From Three Months in the Southern States, April - June 1863 by Lieut-Col.
Fremantle. Fremantle was an English "tourist" who came to America to see the conflict firsthand.

June, 12th, 1863  (Charleston SC)
I went to a slave auction at 11; but they had been so quick about it that the whole affair was over before I arrived, although I was only ten minutes late. The negroes — about fifteen men, three women, and three children — were seated on benches, looking perfectly contented and indifferent. I saw the buyers opening the mouths and showing the teeth of their new purchases to their friends in a very business-like manner. This was certainly not a very agreeable spectacle to an Englishman, and I know that many Southerners participate in the same feeling ; for I have often been told by people that they had never seen a negro sold by auction, and never wished to do so.
Dealers inspecting a negro at a slave auction in Virginia., from the Illustrated London News
(as part of the NYPL Digital Collection)

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