The Slave Trail of Tears...

5fish

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There is a slave trial from the tobacco south to the cotton south, some called it the second middle passages... It was the transfer of slaves from the upper south to the deep south. WE mention before about the slave farms in Virginia. Where they prepared slaves for the trip to the deep south either by land or ship...


When we think of the image of slaves being sold “down the river” on auction blocks — mothers separated from children, husbands from wives — it was during this period that these scenes became increasingly common. The enslaved were sometimes marched hundreds of miles to their destinations, on foot and in chains. Indeed, the years between 1830 and 1860 were the worst in the history of African-American enslavement.

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Most of us are familiar with the dreadful Trail of Tears, which in 1838 removed the last of the Chickasaw, the Cherokee, the Creek, the Choctaw and the Seminoles from the region of the South known as the “black belt,” resettling them to “Indian Territory,” which became the state of Oklahoma in 1907. Ever wonder why this was necessary? In a word, cotton. These Native American people were living on what was perhaps the richest cotton soil in the world. And their removal, following the Louisiana Purchase, created a scramble to settle their lands and raise cotton, leading to one of the greatest periods in economic expansion and profitability in American history.

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The number of slaves needed in the new states of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, where cotton reigned, increased by an average of 27.5 percent each decade, demanding that entire families be relocated from plantations in the East and Upper South. As Steven Deyle points out, “Southern slave prices more than tripled,” rising from $500 in New Orleans in 1800, to $1,800 by 1860 (the equivalent of $30,000 in 2005). Of the 3.2 million slaves working in the 15 slave states in 1850, 1.8 million worked in cotton.

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Meanwhile, since the slave trade from Africa was ended in 1808, slaves in the Upper South had become extremely valuable commodities. Their owners, whose tobacco plantations were no longer, say, sufficiently profitable, sold them south, in droves. As Ira Berlin concludes in The Making of African America: The Four Great Migrations, “the internal slave trade became the largest enterprise in the South outside of the plantation itself, and probably the most advanced in its employment of modern transportation, finance and publicity.
 

Matt McKeon

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Young Lincoln noted seeing a coffle of slaves being marched south. In the book section, I review a book called "Help Me Find My People" about the efforts of the newly freed people to locate relatives sold away.
 

5fish

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Here a summary of the event:


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A Studio in the Woods and the New Orleans Center for the Gulf (Nola Gulf South) welcome you to Slave Trail of Tears: The Forgotten Journey of a Million. Edward Ball tells the story of a migration twice as large as the wagon train journey that would carry half a million whites west, a movement twenty times bigger than the Native American “Trail of Tears” that led into Oklahoma. During the fifty years before the Civil War, close to one million people, enslaved African Americans, were pushed out of the Upper South and forced to journey to the Deep South to work the cotton and sugar plantations. On the “Slave Trail of Tears,” people marched 1000 miles in chained “coffles” of 20 to 100 from the Chesapeake to Louisiana. Or, they were herded onto ships that sailed from near Washington, DC, around Florida, and up the Mississippi River to be sold in New Orleans. Ball asserts that the “Slave Trail of Tears,” and not the African slave trade, is the reason why most black people have roots in the Delta South. This is a migration that changed 500,000 families, populated the Southeast, and reshaped America.
 

5fish

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Here the Smithsonian writing an article about the topic... samples from it... it a long article...


Virginia was the source for the biggest deportation. Nearly 450,000 people were uprooted and sent south from the state between 1810 and 1860. “In 1857 alone, the sale of people in Richmond amounted to $4 million,” McInnis said. “That would be more than $440 million today.”

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The phrase “sold down the river,” for instance. During the move to the Deep South, many slaves found themselves on steamboats winding down the Mississippi to New Orleans. There they were sold to new bosses and dispersed in a 300-mile radius to the sugar and cotton plantations. Many went without their parents, or spouses, or siblings—and some without their children—whom they were made to leave behind. “Sold down the river” labels a raft of loss.

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The “chain gang” also has roots in the Slave Trail.We were handcuffed in pairs, with iron staples and bolts,” recalled Charles Ball, who marched in several coffles before he escaped from slavery. Ball was bought by a slave trader on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and later wrote a memoir. “My purchaser...told me that we must set out that very day for the South,” he wrote. “I joined fifty-one other slaves whom he had bought in Maryland.” A padlock was added to the handcuffs, and the hasp of each padlock closed on a link in a chain 100 feet long. Sometimes, as in Ball’s case, the chain ran through an iron neck collar. “I could not shake off my chains, nor move a yard without the consent of my master.

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Franklin & Armfield put more people on the market than anyone—perhaps 25,000—broke up the most families and made the most money. About half of those people boarded ships in Washington or Norfolk, bound for Louisiana, where Franklin sold them. The other half walked from the Chesapeake to the Mississippi River, 1,100 miles, with riverboat steerage for short distances along the way. Franklin & Armfield’s marches began in the late summer, sometimes the fall, and they took two to four months. The Armfield coffle of 1834 is better documented than most slave marches. I started following its footsteps, hoping to find traces of the Slave Trail of Tears.
 
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