Advertisement for a Slave

Advertisement for a Slave Visual Arts American History African American History Civil Rights Slaves and Slave Owners Social Studies

This advertisement, for an 1863 slave auction, was typical for the time frame.  While America was fighting a Civil War, people were still being bought and sold in slave states.

The Library of Congress provides more background on the activities before such an auction took place:

...In the days before the auction, potential buyers went to the racetrack to look over the people for sale. The slaves were humiliated when the buyers pulled open their mouths to see their teeth and they pinched their arms and legs to check for muscle strength. The slaves said nothing, unless they hoped to be bought by the person examining them. They knew they were to be sold in families, but "family" was defined as husband and wife, mother and young child, not brother or sister or parent. Some tried to convince prospective buyers to purchase their entire family.

Click on the image for a better view.

Media Credits

Stephens, H. L., artist. "The Sale," ca. 1863. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Reproduction Number LC-USZ62-41837.

Image online, courtesy Library of Congress.



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"Advertisement for a Slave" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jul 19, 2018.
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