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Human Cattle for Sale

HumanCattle for Sale

Thetitle of this primary source is “HumanCattle for Sale”.It was created in 1853, and the author is Northrup Solomon. Thetargeted audience is all those people who are interested to know howhuman beings were traded at the era when the slave business wascarried on.


Theauthor made three important observations. First, people were soldjust like cattle to the customers who needed them for use in theirplantations. This is important because it shades light on the type ofactivity that was conducted by colonial masters. Similarly, the menand women available for sale were inspected before the clients boughtthem. Those with scars would not be sold. This indicates that theslaves were subject to abuse in case their actions were regarded asrude to their masters. Lastly, they would be forcefully separatedfrom the ones they loved like the case of Randall and his mother,Eliza. This shows that the colonialists never regarded the familiesof the slaves.

“Freemanturned round to her, savagely, with his whip in his uplifted hand,ordering her to stop her noise, or he would flog her (Northrup,1853).” As one of the masters, the Freeman and the whip in his handindicates that the slaves could be thoroughly beaten if they neverrespected the orders. Similarly, they could not listen to the criesof the parents especially the mothers who never wanted to beseparated from their children. This chapter is discussed in chapter16, page 347-348 of the core textbook.


Isit true that the scars that were at the back of the slaves were asign of unruly spirit or being rebellious? Why did the masters neverpay attention to the cries of the parents? This article contributesto my understanding of the slave trade business and the processesthat they were exposed to before being purchased.


Northrup,S. (1853). HumanCattle for Sale.New York: Orton &amp Mulligan, 79-82.