Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thomas Thistlewood - sales and branding

An account of slave auctions by plantation owner Thomas Thistlewood.

"In regard to buying of Negroes, I would choose men-boys and girls, none exceeding 16 or 18 years old, as full grown men or women seldom turn out well; and besides, they shave the men so close and gloss them over so much that a person cannot be certain he does not buy old Negroes. Have observed those with cut faces (Chamboys I think they call them) do not do vastly well at Egypt plantation, yet as that may only be by chance, have no great objection to them.

Have also observed that many new Negroes, who are bought fat and sleek from aboard the ship, soon fall away much in a plantation, whereas those which are in a moderate condition hold their flesh better and are commonly hardier.

On the 7th December 1761 I paid Mr John Hutt 112 for two men and 200 for one boy and three girls. The new Negroes were soon branded with my mark TT on the right shoulder.

Coobah: 4 foot 6 inches tall, about 15 years old, Country name Molia, an Ebo. I put him to live with the Princess.

Sukey: 4 foot 8 inches tall, about 14 years old, I put her to live with Job.

Maria: 4 foot 11 inches tall, about 15 years old. Country name Ogo. I put her with Lucy.

Pompey: 4 foot 9 inches tall, about 16 years old. Country name Oworia, a Coromante. Put to live with Plato.

Will: 5 foot 3 inches tall, about 22 years old. Country name Sawnno, alias Dowotronny.

(All of them were sent off to Egypt plantation as quickly as possible, arriving there by 8pm) as the smallpox is prodigiously here at Lucea. (I gave the sailor who brought them ashore 4 bitts, and provided them with 14 bitts worth of bread and saltfish.)" (source: Liverpool Museum of International Slavery, UK)


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  3. Would like to hear about the Arabs that actually caught the slaves and then sold them to the English.

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  4. Where can I read Thomas Thistlewood's full diary?

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