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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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	The Selling of a Negro,
on the stand.    He was rather a stumpy  boy,  com-
monly dressed, ordinary looking, and his black
face wore an expression of wistfulness as his
white eyeballs turned towards the auctioneer, a
stout man in black, with a heavy gold watch-
chain, a pencil and note-book (like those
used by boys in writing copies at school), who
stood on the table beside the human merchan-
dize.     At the further end, near but not on
the table, were the other  boys  awaiting their
turn.      The auctioneer said that he believed the
boy was  sound    his master averred it, so
did Isaac himself   he invited bidders to question
and examine him.      The bidding was not brisk,
Secession having damaged the market, and the
auctioneer endeavored to stimulate it by  Going!
Once! Twice!  when he generally obtained a
bid in advance.    Once he said  Cane, gentle-
men! it s what we are fighting for!    Sitting
or standing around, some smoking cigars, the
spectators outnumbered the bidders.   Once a negro
woman passed through the hall, half laughing
in recognition of the black faces awaiting her at
the gate, where, too, some white idlers were loun-
ging indifferently in the sunshine.     Isaac was
sold for $655, a very low price.           Then  Prince 
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Fifteen: page one hundred and twenty-six
Description:Regarding a slave auction held in Charleston.
Date:1861-01-31
Subject:African Americans; Auctions; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Isaac; Prince; Secession; Slaveholders; Slavery; Slaves
Coverage (City/State):[Charleston, South Carolina]
Scan Date:2010-05-11

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Fifteen
Description:Describes Gunn's experience as a correspondent for ""The New York Evening Post"" in Charleston, South Carolina, in the aftermath of South Carolina's secession from the federal government, including a conflict between A.H. Colt and Mr. Woodward, a visit to Sullivan's Island, John Mitchel's tale of assisting with the lynching of an abolitionist, attending a celebration in honor of Benjamin Mordecai, Will Waud's arrival in Charleston, the scene in Charleston the day the ''Star of the West'' was fired upon by the Morris Island battery, pistol and rifle practice with various Charlestonians, a rumor in New York about his having been tarred and feathered in Charleston, a visit to the quarters of the ''Richland Rifles,'' witnessing a slave auction, and a visit to Colonel Bull's home.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Books and reading; Civil War; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Military; Publishers and publishing; Secession; Slavery; Slaves; Travel
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Charleston, South Carolina
Note:Thomas Butler Gunn was born February 15, 1826, in Banbury, England, and came to New York in 1849. During the Civil War he worked as a correspondent for the New York Tribune and the New York Evening Post. He returned to England in 1863, and died in Birmingham in April 1903. The collection includes twenty-one volumes of his diaries, including newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, sketches, and various other items inserted by Gunn. Diary entries date from July 7, 1849, to April 7, 1863, and include his experiences with the New York publishing and literary world, his descriptions of boarding houses, his travels throughout the United States, and his experiences traveling with the Federal army as a Civil War correspondent.
Publisher:Missouri History Museum
Rights:Copyright 2010 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.