Enslaved children left behind in the antebellum Chesapeake faced an unforgiving landscape of challenges as their parents were sold off to the cotton plantations of the Deep South. Forced separations orphaned countless youngsters, as slaveholders broke up, through sales, one in three marriages among the people they owned each decade between 1820 and the onset of the American Civil War in 1861. Slaveholders hired other spouses away at considerable distances and converted one in five enslaved people of any age into cash. Children witnessed thefts of fathers, dislocations of mothers, and the scattering of siblings, uncles, aunts, and cousins. In one of the largest forced migrations in modern history the market prized the fit and the fertile, which left children behind, bereft, but-as children-also innocent to the systemic implications of their losses.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Children in Slavery Through the Ages|
|Publisher||Ohio University Press|
|Number of pages||21|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2009|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities(all)