Ads from South Carolina Gazette for the sale of a "choice Cargo of Healthy Negroes" and a "very fine Cargo of able-bodied Gambia Negroes" in Charleston, June 1739

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Advertisements for the sale of slaves appeared regularly in colonial newspapers and can offer insight into the culture of a slave based society.  Advertisements generally highlight marketable aspects of what is being sold and in these the origin, relative age, and health of the enslaved workers is emphasized.  These attributes let us know what potential buyers might look for when adding to their enslaved labor force.  It is important to note as well that the selling of human life took place surrounded by advertisements for household items and in the case of the second ad, in conjunction with other consumer goods.   The images associated with the advertisements sheds light on colonial perceptions of Africa and its native people. 


“TO BE SOLD,” “TO BE SOLD,” and “ON WEDNESDAY”.  (Charleston) The South Carolina Gazette.  Saturday June 2 to Saturday June 9, 1739.  p 3, c 1.  Records of the States of the United States microfilm series.  Thomas Cooper Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.


“To BE SOLD in Charleston, a choice Cargo of Healthy Negroes, just imported in the Ship Amoretta, John Crode Master directly Africa by Benj. Savage & Comp.
NB. But two Persons have the Small Pox in Town and they are near White – Point, therefore no Danger of coming here.

TO BE SOLD at Mr. Wragg’s House where the SECRETARY’S OFFICE was lately kept in Charlestown, on Wednesday the 29th Instant, a choice Cargo of young healthy Negroes, just imported in the ship Shepheard, Maurice Power [illegible] directly from the Coast of Angola by Joseph Wragg and Com.
NB. Extraordinary Encouragement will be given for present pay
They have also to be sold, a cargo of excellent Maderia WINE, just imported in the Duke of Berwick, Capt. Bassett

ON WEDNESDAY the 15th Instant, will be sold in Charleston, a very fine Cargo of able-bodied Gambia Negroes, just imported from Gambia directly by Hill & Guerard.
NB. The Negroes will be kept at the House built by the late Charles Hill Esq. About a Mile up the broad Path, until the Morning of the Sale.  And very great Regard will be had to ready Pay.

Correlating SC Social Studies Academic Standards:

Standard 3-2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the exploration and settlement of South Carolina and the United States.

Indicator 3-2.7 Explain the transfer of the institution of slavery into South Carolina from the West Indies, including the slave trade and the role of African Americans in the developing plantation economy; the daily lives of African American slaves and their contributions to South Carolina, such as the Gullah culture and the introduction of new foods; and African American acts of resistance against white authority. (H, E, P, G)

Standard 4.2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the settlement of North America by Native Americans, Europeans, African-Americans and the interactions among these peoples.

Indicator 4-2.5 Summarize the introduction and establishment of slavery in the American colonies, including the role of the slave trade; the nature of the Middle Passage; and the types of goods—rice, indigo, sugar, tobacco, and rum, for example—that were exchanged among the West Indies, Europe, and the Americas. (E, H, G, P)

Standard 8-1: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the settlement of South Carolina and the Untied States by Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans.

Indicator 8-1.4 Explain the growth of the African American population during the colonial period and the significance of African Americans in the developing culture (e.g., Gullah) and economy of South Carolina, including the origins of African American slaves, the growth of the slave trade, the impact of population imbalance between African and European Americans, and the Stono Rebellion and subsequent laws to control the slave population. (H, G, P, E)

Standard USHC-1: The student will demonstrate an understanding of exploration and settlement of North America.

Indicator USHC-1.1 Summarize the distinct characteristics of each colonial region in the settlement and development of America, including religious, social, political, and economic differences. (H, E, P, G)


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