Thursday, July 15, 1852 page icon [Intro & Addenda] pdf icon [PDF]

Saw one col.d man (25 or 30 yrs old). Another & his wife, smart, pleasant looking couple & a little girl (not theirs) sold at Hills. The first for abt $730 to 50—man & wife for $1570 & the little girl some 8 or 9 yrs old for $450. The sales being done here the buyers are then invited across the way to Dickenson & Dickensons, where there were some 15 to 20 men women & children to be sold. I saw one very fine tall & large looking yellow woman (about 25 or 30 years of age) long, straight black Indian looking hair & Indian face & soft & sorrowful expression. She looked permanently pensive & sad & when put on the "block" while the sale of her was going on, I saw the big tears slowly & as if imperceptibly to her trickling down her cheeks—she seemed instinctively modest & disdainful about free examinations usually made of their ancles [sic] & legs and when the black man whose business it was to show them off &c was on one and the only one raising her dress & clothing, she jerked them out of his hand with decided promptness & an unaffected exhibition of genuine modestly. After she had been sold I heard several questions asked of her as to where she came from & why sold &c. She said she came to this place from Washington within a day or two but was raised in some county she named in this state I think—and that the only reason she knew for her Master selling her might be the want of money. She had had 3 children but all dead as she said. Her appearance, and serious & sad expression of countenance were very interesting. I heard her inquire once very anxiously if the man that bought her was a Hrader? They appear to have a horror of being sold to traders. These sales are attended by some 75 to 100 persons who look to me to be generally traders—one of the girls above mentioned being some 18 yrs of age and a very smart, and good natured looking girl sold for over 800 say about 830 dolls. The men & women generally sold from 6 to 800 Dolls. After this I went down to Branton's Jail about 11 1/4 A.M. Saw Jim—he was called out of Jail Yard & had hobbles on—a chain about as heavy as an ox chain link of some 8 to 10 links from one leg to the other. I told him in their presence that I had heard from H[arrisbur]g. and that they expected to send me money to buy him in about 2 weeks, and that Mr. B[ranton]. had promised to give them that chance. He seemed greatly affected but as if hejeared to exhibit his distress by much expression or indulging freely in tears though they seemed to come against his terrors & his consent. I cheered him with the prospect of soon getting to Penna. and that for certain, and he seemed satisfied. I saw him again in the Evg. about 6 o'clock when Mr. B. by my request took me through his Jail. He has some 25 or 30 negroes in there altogether Men & Women, boys & girls & some few babies—the Males & females are kept separate as he informs me although the Yards seemed to be communicating by a gate open when I was in. The Males have a large room down stairs with a number of windows strongly barred & a strongly barred door to sleep in on the floor without any beds that I saw but old clothing, blankets &c. and the females a like room over it. He showed me 3 boys, 2 abt 12 yrs old that he said he gave 700 apiece for & another abt 8 or 9 $600 and a man a brick layer who had lost an eye & perhaps near 50 yrs old he said he would not take less than $1000 for. The more I see however the More I detest & abhor the accursed business. That it is accursed of Heaven I as firmly believe as that I believe in the Justice and goodness of God. And this Nation will yet weep over this National sin of slavery & a slave trade in sackcloth & ashes and the severer Judgment of a righteous God who will surely visit us as a Nation with our National sins.

Note: The next transcribed journal entry jumps to July 30, 1852.

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