“As I Have Seen and Known It”: Ex-Slave Autobiographers and the New Orleans Slave Market

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Four major accounts written by formerly enslaved people of their experiences as they were trafficked through the New Orleans slave markets can tell us a great deal about human trafficking in antebellum New Orleans, and in turn the Southern United States. Specifically, the autobiographies of Henry Bibb, William Wells Brown, Josiah Henson, and Solomon Northup showcase the way the New Orleans slave market worked. These four, of the many tens of thousands sold through New Orleans, together offer a composite view of this epicenter in the larger network of human trafficking and enable speculation, in turn, on the nature of the experience of those who endured it in terms of severe alienation, trauma and certain limited possibilities to act by way of shaping their fate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNew Orleans
Subtitle of host publicationA Literary History
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages29-42
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781108632690
ISBN (Print)9781108498197
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Henry Bibb
  • Josiah Henson
  • Solomon Northup
  • William Wells Brown
  • alienation
  • chattel principle
  • human trafficking
  • slave market
  • slave trade
  • slavery
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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