`` Soul By Soul `` By Walter Johnson

1741 WordsMar 14, 20157 Pages
“Soul by Soul” is a book written by a leading American historian Walter Johnson in 1999. This book takes us to nineteenth century American cities such as, New York, Philadelphia, Charleston, Washington, and finally New Orleans, where one of the biggest slave markets could be found. At slave markets, such as the one in New Orleans, black people were dehumanized, treated as products, priced and ultimately sold at exhibitions. With subsequent chapters, based on the Louisiana Supreme Court’s records, sales papers, letters of slaveholders, sale advertisements and diaries, Johnson tells the story of American slavery, both from the slave’s and slaveholder’s perspective. This book is intended to not only show the examples of the collapse of humanity but also the development of the brutal, antebellum Southern economy. An economy where the sale of slaves was regulated by Supreme Courts and numerous laws such as redhibition laws, which were made to facilitate the purchase and sale of slaves. The daily stories of the "slave pens", shuffling coffles, and two million people who everyday fought for survival is the picture of Antebellum slavery. Slaves were being priced since their early age. Like other pieces of property slaves also had their monetary value. The Common price of the average slave could be determined by multiplying the price of cotton by ten thousand, therefore seven hundred dollars (cost of the cotton yield seven cents per pound). Already as children, slaves were trained
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