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Jump Back in Time Western Expansion & Reform (1829-1859)
The Sale, 1863.
An advertisement for a slave auction, 1863

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The Largest Slave Auction
March 3, 1859

The sale had been advertised for several weeks. Every hotel in Savannah was filled with potential buyers. In the days before the auction, potential buyers went to the racetrack to look over the people for sale. The slaves were humiliated when the buyers pulled open their mouths to see their teeth and they pinched their arms and legs to check for muscle strength. The slaves said nothing, unless they hoped to be bought by the person examining them. They knew they were to be sold in families, but "family" was defined as husband and wife, mother and young child, not brother or sister or parent. Some tried to convince prospective buyers to purchase their entire family.
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