The Southern Anti-Slavery Slate
January 1860 Edition
The Weeping Time
It was the second day of March, 1859. On the Broeck racetrack, in Savannah, Georgia, an unforgettable event took place. This was the Butler slave auction, or the largest slave auction the southern colonies have ever seen. Coming from Pierce Butler’s rice plantations, 436 slaves stood on the racetrack, waiting to be sold. We call this event the weeping time because it was raining throughout the whole entire auction; it is said that the heavens were weeping due to its inhumanity. Also, the slaves were weeping because they were being separated from many loved ones.
The horror of this auction started even before the event itself. The slaves were taken to the racetrack several days before the auction even began, where any potential buyers allowed to go and see who they wanted to buy. They looked at the slaves’ teeth, strength, good features, and any accomplishments they had. They also checked for weaknesses which some slaves faked so they could be sold for a low price. This way, they would have better chances to buy their freedom.
The slaves that were being sold at the Butler slave auction were feeling anxious. The person who bid the highest while they were on those blocks determined the fate of the rest of their lives. They were also feeling very sorrowful. They had spent so many years growing up on this plantation, with all their friends and family. After this day, they would never see them again. The auction did have a rule that slaves had to be sold with their families; however, this only included a husband, a wife, and any offspring.
Overall, the Butler slave auction was no success for the slaves, or for us abolitionists. This wasn’t the only auction with a sad outcome for the slaves. Slave auctions have been very popular events lately, but no one really stops to think about what they’re like for a slave. To them, being sold at an auction is a constant reminder that you were born without an identity. Stories about slave auctions like this one show what it feels like to be a slave around this time, and why we should support them in every way possible. No one deserves to be treated like a slave.
By Isabel Roman
Feature Biography - The Grimke Sisters
By Joonbum Lee
The Grimke Sisters are very influential women abolitionist. They are two sisters, Sarah Grimke and Angelina Grimke. Their family owned a slave plantation, so the sisters experienced the cruelties of slavery firsthand, and the sisters became abolitionist.
In 1821 Sarah Grimke moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she became a Quaker. Later, during 1829, Angelina followed suit. The start of their abolitionist role began when Angelina joined the Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Society. There she wrote anti-slavery letters to different newspapers from a woman's point of view. Their fame started when Angelina wrote a letter against slavery to the publisher of the Liberator, William Lloyd Garrison. Garrison published Angelina’s letter, which received a lot of attention. Soon after, Angelina wrote her most famous pamphlet, “Appeal to the Christian Woman of the South,” urging white women to help end slavery. This caused so much hate and hostility that the sisters could never be able to visit their South Carolinian home.
Perhaps what the sisters are most known for is their speeches. Religious leaders and traditionalists did not believe it was a woman’s place to speak in public. Also, the sisters spoke to mixed crowds, containing both male and females, which is an atrocity. The sisters toured throughout the Northeast, giving speeches along the way. These speeches spoke for abolition and against slavery, changing many people’s views for the better. Angelina’s final speech of the tour was when was speaking to the Massachusetts Legislature, becoming the first women to speak to an American legislative body.
The Grimke Sisters, though there was a lot of aggression towards them, were very powerful and passionate writers and speakers. Angelina led very powerful speeches, touring across the Northeast. They both wrote strong letters to target specific groups into helping the abolitionist cause.. Their writings and speeches moved many and helped fuel the fight against slavery. They truly are great abolitionist.
Hardships Faced By Women Slaves
By Ananya Natchukuri
Slavery is an important part of our lives that is immoral and should be banned. Slaves face many hardships. This is especially true for women. Owners treat their women slaves very harshly. Because of the many hardships that women slaves face, slavery should be made illegal.
Women are forced to work on silk, rice, and indigo plantations. Others are hairdressers, washerwomen, nurses, midwives, and servants to the children. They work eighteen hours a day, leaving them with only six hours of sleep. They are also not provided with enough food and nutrition. Because of the lack of sleep and food they receive, women slaves are often sick and live short, unhappy lives. It is wrong for these women to be treated this way.
Being forced to work while pregnant is another hardship that women slaves face. Until the child is born, the women are forced to continue working on plantations,and in their owner’s home. After the child is born, he, or she is sold. Women are often separated from from their children and family when bought or sold. Other women are forced to give birth to more children so the master could make a profit. Because of the lack of nutrition, the baby is born unhealthy, or the mother will die while giving birth. Overall, women who work as slaves are treated very harshly by their owners, and face many hardships throughout their lives.They are forced to work everyday, and have no choice but to live unhealthy, and unhappy lives. Because of this, slavery should definitely be banned from our country.
Letter to The Editor
Currently, there are more than 4 million slaves inhabiting the south involuntarily. I agree that slavery is an important issue that should be dealt with by abolishment. It is a malfeasance to a human's civil rights. By the 1750’s there were more babies born into slavery than slaves brought to America.Innocent infants forced to work the rest of their lives for no pay, all due to a false anti civil rights assumption.How do we get Independence from tyrants if our own society is a tyrant itself.
Solomon Northup was a free, happy, African American former slave living in Saratoga New York. However he was captured by a bounty hunter. All of the hard work he put into becoming a free man was taken away from him simply because of a false assumption due to the color of his skin. His name, family, job, and the rest of his possessions were stripped from him. He was sold into slavery in Orleans. Twelve years passed and he finally escaped. This was all caused by naive slave owners who can’t seem to understand the obscenity of slavery.It is no less than an abomination that anyone with common sense could hold a hard working man hostage. Solomon Northup is one of the lucky ones, he escaped. While well-informed people are already working towards right now. There are dead brained, rude, ill-informed slave owners that are constantly whipping and beating normal people without any punishment. Nobody should want to be a dead brained, rude, ill-informed, slave owner.
The Southern Anti-Slavery Slate Theme Song
Written By Joonbum Lee
Ding ding ding da ding ding ding, oh slavery is bad,
Ding ding ding da ding ding ding, oh join the abolition cause,
Ding ding ding da ding ding ding, oh slaves are treated harsh,
Ding ding ding da ding ding ding, I hate slavery!
Ding ding ding da ding ding ding, oh slavery is bad,
Ding ding ding da ding ding ding, oh help free the slaves!
Ding ding ding da ding ding ding, oh every man is free,
Ding ding ding da ding ding ding, abolish slavery!