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In Their Own Words

January 08, 1857

Letter Offered Advice on Slave Purchase

From Charleston, S.C., planter Charles Manigault wrote to his brother Louis Manigault, who managed two family plantations near Savannah, with advice on purchasing slaves:

“I went yesterday to see Carson’s Negroes. They are indeed a most inferior gang, more than half old and scarcely a single prime field hand, so that I would not event attend the sale this morning. When one buys 15 or 20 Negroes, it is of great importance as possible to select them all from one gang. They then, in a strange place, have ties to bind them all together. But when you buy several small parcels and throw them all together among strangers, they don’t assimilate and they ponder over former ties of family, &c. and all goes wrong with them.”

Mills Lane (ed.), Neither More Nor Less Than Men: Slavery in Georgia (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1993), p. 129.