quote: “Nor was Jefferson a particularly kind master. He sometimes punished slaves by selling them away from their families and friends, a retaliation that was incomprehensibly cruel even at the time. A proponent of humane criminal codes for whites, he advocated harsh, almost barbaric, punishments for slaves and free blacks. Known for expansive views of citizenship, he proposed legislation to make emancipated blacks “outlaws” in America, the land of their birth. Opposed to the idea of royal or noble blood, he proposed expelling from Virginia the children of white women and black men.”
In a Smithsonian Magazine article, I read that Jefferson shocked George Washington by recommending raising kids for sale to bolster their plantation’s income.
Here is this week’s New Yorker article on the subject: https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/juneteenth-and-the-detention-of-children-in-texas?
quote: “A common refrain is that such actions are “un-American” and run counter to the nation’s values. Yet the separation of families has deep roots in the American past. It was not at all uncommon for children to be sold separately from their parents on the auction block. In fact, the sale of children was such a common feature of slavery that Daina Ramey Berry, a professor of history at the University of Texas, was able to construct a database of their pricing and sales history for her book “The Price for Their Pound of Flesh.” This is the same nation that, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, intent on executing a self-proclaimed civilizing mission, separated Native American children from their families.”
https://www.amazon.com/Price-Their-Pound-Flesh-Enslaved/dp/0807047627 (see customer reviews)
“People know abut slavery and the breakup of black families. This book highlights the cost that was paid for slaves based on sex and age”. - Sonja Andrews
“We have never been taught this—-so read this book and you’ll know why the US struggles with racism.
Stunning reportage and historical detective work, which is clarified through dignified yet mournful codas that explain the fear and trauma of each enslaved person’s life.” - Tina - (Amazon customer review)