Show image list »
The brutality of a slave auction, reported by an eye-witness...
Item # 629640
February 2, 1855
NEW YORK SEMI-WEEKLY TRIBUNE, Feb. 2, 1855
* Southern slave auction eyewitness account
* Barbarism & cruelty of the event told
The front page contains an incredibly graphic eye-witness account of a slave auction by one totally unfamiliar to such a scene. His comments are both objective & horrific as he relays what he sees. Datelined at New Orleans, he notes near the beginning: "I have just returned from a; slave auction...I as little dreamed, two hours ago, of attending a 'negro auction' as I did of taking a trip to the moon..." with details on how he came across the auction. Then he delves into the details of what he witnesses, his comments including: "...He is now engaged in hauling upon the 'block' a feeble negro woman with a sad & sickly countenance....he informs the spectators that 'this girl' (she is aged at least 40) is always pretending to be sick...On the block...was one of the most beautiful young women I ever saw. She was aged about 26 years...I could not discover a single trace of the African about here features. She was much whiter than the average of Northern white women; her form was graceful in the extreme...She was stuck off for $1,250 to one of the most lecherous-looking old brutes I ever set eyes on...". Perhaps the most heart-wrenching report is the sale of a woman with two young children: "...the babe in her arms and the little boy clinging to her skirts. The auctioneer offered to sell the 'lot' together, but no responsible bids having been made, the mother and little boy were put up separately and sold to separate parties...the final separation of the mother and child took place a few minutes afterward. I shall never forget the horror and the agony of that parting..." with much more.
This is perhaps the most detailed and graphic account of a slave auction we have discovered in any period newspaper, and terrific to have on the front page.
Complete in 8 pages, a minimal amount of rubbing at a fold juncture (see photos), nice condition.
Category: Pre-Civil War