Brushed Cotton by Gitman Brothers Vintage
A slave auction block and auctioneer’s stand at the Green Hill Plantation, Virginia.
America has gone a long way since the days of slavery but it is important to shed light on this integral chapter of history. The first case of slavery was recorded to be in 1619 in British Colonial America.
From then on until Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, African people were viewed as property and always risked losing family members if their owners wanted to sell them for profit or to pay debts. Public flogging was common if a slave worked inefficiently, misbehaved, tried to run away or reject authority. It was a lesson for the other slaves. The whip was the most common weapon that was used to punish them but guns, knives, tools, dogs, hot irons, chains and shackles or any nearby objects were also used. The torture had gone as far as metal collars ringed with spikes being attached to the necks of the slaves. The heavy metal collars made it difficult and painful to work and they prevented the slaves from sleeping. Because Black women were treated as the rightful property of their owners, it was not unusual for them to be sexually abused by their owners or their owner’s family members and friends. The children that were born from these rapes also became slaves. For the White man, it was against the law to not punish slaves or to aid a slave in escape. By 1860, there were nearly 4,000,000 slaves in America,
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. This document would free all slaves on January 1, 1863. Slavery would become abolished in 1865 with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. However, there have still been cases of modern day slavery. For instance, since 1997, 1000 slaves have been freed from Florida.