Friday, August 26, 2011

Selling "Fancy Girls"

Slave Market, ca. 1850-1860.

New Orleans and Lexington, Kentucky, had active markets in "fancy girls," beautiful young girls and women, often mulatto or quadroon, who were sold not as domestics but as concubines. They were presented at auction well dressed and coiffed, sometimes with jewelry. In the 1850s, beautiful teenage girls were valued at more than $1,500 (close to $30,000 in today's dollars), which made them as "expensive" as prime male field hands. Buying a "fancy girl" was a status symbol for traders, gamblers, and saloonkeepers. Because New Orleans attracted a large population of gamblers, debauchees and revelers for Carnival, it was the largest market for those girls and young women who were sent there from the Upper South.

9 comments:

  1. hi, do you have any information on the artist who painted this picture?

    thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  3. I feel for their suffering. This is an example of ska very that should be more publicized. Slavery was not the happy town black person. It was an evil, America will one day have to account for. I recommend to all Coursera's class on slavery. It is free and all Americans should be mandated to learn about slavery and our Forefathers who abetted this criminal activity.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Only 10% of Americans owned slaves. So GET OVER IT. My family was not Slave owners. 99% of the white people you come in contact with have no traces of owning slaves in their family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, ____ (insert percentage) of Americans aren't gay, or pedophiles, or wife-beaters, or prostitutes -but we still have to hear about gay issues (because gays insist everyone does hear), pedophilia, domestic issues, and other moral issues. Demanding that folks "get over it" only exposes a person as one who prefers to remain ignorant, nicht wahr? No one has personally accused "your family" : they've simply invited a dialogue about the issue. It's a mistake to take it as a personal threat. (Besides, what American can claim to truly know ALL that their family was involved in, or not, generations ago?)

      Delete
    2. I'm a white Irish girl who is doing a masters in American slavery, having never been, I don't know how it is treated in the U.S, so forgive me for ignorance. However, I do think it is an extremely important thing for every one to learn. Modern white Americans should not be held accountable for what some of their ancestors did a hundred and fifty years ago, neither should modern black Americans be reimbursed for something they did not suffer. Slavery won't happen again. But that is not the point. Americans need to learn about slavery to realise where the roots of racism began and to correct it, because racism is a very real problem in America and real action needs to be taken against it. Modern black Americans are still suffering the consequences of a system which was abolished in 1860 and THAT is why we can't 'get over it'.

      Delete
    3. You live in a dream world with Rosie glasses on. They couldn't possibly teach you to think outside of that box that you are in. Racism and oppression still exits. I'm a decedent of Fancy Girls and I have felt the suffering even in these days of what the mulatto slaves went through. Not black enough and not black enough but I have learned to create my own way in this world.

      Delete
  5. The United States' economic, political and social foundation was created from the sale of black bodies and the genocidal removal of red bodies. The wealth of this nation was predicated on the African, and later African American slave trade. Just as the scars of slavery continue to impact African Americans, so do the benefits of that system to varying degrees continue to inure to whites in this country.

    ReplyDelete

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