Christian Slavery – Letter II

Re-lie-zionFrom American Scenes, and Christian Slavery
by Ebenezer Davies

Letter II

From some of the officers, our captain obtained another newspaper. It was the _New Orleans Daily Picayune_ for January 26. Getting hold of it, I found whole columns of slave-sale advertisements. A few specimens will illustrate better than any description the state of things in this “land of liberty!”

“NEGROES FOR SALE.–The subscribers No. 56, Esplanade-street, have just received a lot of valuable Slaves from Virginia and Maryland, consisting of Mechanics, Farm Hands, and House Servants, and have made _arrangements not to be surpassed_ in this market for a _regular supply_ from the above markets, as also Alabama. We hazard nothing in saying, if our former friends, and others wishing to purchase good servants or hands, will give us a call, they shall not be disappointed.

“N.B. All Negroes sold by the undersigned are fully guaranteed.


“56, Esplanade-street.”


“FOR SALE.–A likely Mulatto Negress, aged twenty-two years,–she is a first-rate cook, and a good washer and ironer, besides being a tolerable good seamstress.


“38, Camp-street.”


“SLAVES FOR SALE.–I have just received, and offer for sale, a very likely lot of Virginia Negroes. Those wishing to purchase will do well to give me a call at my office, No. 157, Gravier-street, between Carondelet and Baronne streets. I will be _constantly receiving_Negroes from Virginia and North Carolina during the winter.



“SLAVES FOR SALE.–No. 165, Gravier-street.–The subscriber has always on hand a number of Slaves, consisting of House Servants, Field Hands, and Mechanics, which will be sold low for cash or negotiable paper. Persons desirous of purchasing will find it to their interest to call and examine. The subscriber will also receive and sell on consignment any Negro that may be intrusted to his care.

“He would also respectfully notify persons engaged in the Slave Trade, that he is prepared to board them and their Slaves on the most reasonable terms.



“References–J.A. Barelli, C.J. Mansoni.”

“ONE HUNDRED NEGROES.–For Sale at No. 13, Moreau-street.–All of which have just been received from Maryland and Virginia. My old friends, and others wishing to purchase Slaves, will find it to their interest to call on me before purchasing elsewhere. Also will receive _large shipments during the season_ from the above States.


“13, Moreau-street.”


Runaway slaves seem to be constantly advertised, with (as in the case of ship advertisements) a small woodcut figure representing them in the very act of making their escape. Indeed, almost everything advertised is accompanied by its picture,–ships, houses, bonnets, boots, leeches,oysters, and so forth. Even a strayed horse or a strayed cow is advertised with a picture representing the animal in the very act of going astray. On the same principle, and in like manner, human chattels assuming their natural right to go where they please, are advertised with a woodcut representing them as bending forward in the act of running, and carrying with them a small bundle containing their scanty wardrobe,–a pitiable figure! And yet this is done, not to awaken sympathy, but to excite vigilance, as in the following instances, which I have picked out of the _Picayune_:–

“ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD.–The aforesaid sum will be given to any person who will bring back to the undersigned the negro-girl Eugenia, and her mulatto child aged two years. Said slave has been purloined or enticed away by her former owner, Madame Widow Decaux, who secretly went out of this State on the 12th December, 1846. Said Widow Decaux is well known in New Orleans as a notorious swindler, having been prosecuted for having pawned logs of wood to a merchant of this city instead of dry goods. She has a scar on her forehead, and several others on her neck, and is accompanied by her aged mother, and her boy aged ten years.



“Ran away from the subscriber, on the 20th November last, a negro man named Sandy, about twenty-five years of age, five feet five inches high, very dark complexion, speaks both French and English, _shows the mark of the whip very much_. A liberal reward will be paid for his apprehension, either by confining in any gaol, so that I can secure him, or his delivery to me at Plaquemine, La.

“W. H. CARR.”


Letter -> III


3 comments on “Christian Slavery – Letter II

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s