Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market

By Bolton, S. Charles | The Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Spring 2001 | Go to article overview

Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market


Bolton, S. Charles, The Arkansas Historical Quarterly


Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market. By Walter Johnson. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999. Pp. 283. Introduction, illustrations, notes, acknowledgments, index. $26.00.)

This excellent book provides a wealth of new details about the buying and selling of black people in the antebellum South and remarkable insights into the minds of both the seller and the sold.

Of perhaps a million slaves who traveled from the declining tobacco lands of the Chesapeake region into the rich cotton acreage of the southwest, two-thirds were brought by professional slave-traders. Including local sales by owners, the antebellum slave trade may have involved two million transactions and accounted for 15 percent of the economic activity of the South.

Soul by Soul describes the familiar story of people wrested from their loved ones and marched away in coffles_ the males chained two by two and the women and children following behind. Arriving at the point of sale, they were crowded into prison-like slave pens where they were cleaned and clothed, and even fattened and given medical treatment, to increase their value. When the spruced-up slaves were placed on display, potential buyers questioned them in hopes of learning their histories and assessing their character and examined their bodies to judge their health, strength, and beauty (and occasionally for sexual gratification).

Johnson's focus is on the New Orleans market, the largest in the South, whose operation he documents in detail. His most important evidence are court records arising out of redhibition laws that governed the circumstances under which a buyer could return his human merchandise if the seller had either misrepresented or failed to disclose critical aspects of the health or character of the slave. Here he makes a major contribution to our knowledge of the mechanics of buying and selling people. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.