Slave trading in southern Appalachia
Aaron Purcell is the author of the article, “A Damned Piece of Rascality: The business of slave trading in Southern Appalachia” The article has laid focus on Meek, Hayne, and Company, a firm that dealt with slave trading in Southern Appalachia. The article, which was published in the east Tennessee history journal, won the author, Aaron Purcell, the 2006 McClung Award. Through the article, Purcell has been able to demonstrate how the county of southern Appalachia played a crucial role in the slavery institution.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
Purcell has also been able to make use of various original correspondence and documents as a way of exhibiting the extent to which this company was active in the arena of the slave trade. That was during the mid-1830s, and the company had jurisdiction in Southwest Virginia, the whole of East Tennessee, as well as Eastern Kentucky. In these regions, the slave-trading firm of Meek, Hayne, and Company bought slaves whom they later sold for a profit at such lucrative markets as the Deep South and New Orleans.
According to Purcell, the financial success of this firm was enabled by the presence of overland routes that were quite well developed. In addition, rigid economic structures were also in place, while contact points were to be found all over the region. Compared to other southern parts, Appalachia had a lesser concentration of slaves. Nevertheless, slave trading still contributed significantly to local commerce.
For every one dollar that the southern Appalachians accumulated as a result of trading in agricultural commodities, slave trading brought in $ 1.6. Slave masters in the Appalachian region labeled slaves as fragile beings who did not institute similar family ties or allegiances as whites. Despite their family ideals, Appalachian slave masters as well as their female counterparts created an ethnocentric ideology based on the supposition that slaves did not build permanent marriages, and also that they did not institute strong emotional bonds with children. Additionally, the masters held an ideology that slaves lacked a value for extended kinship ties.
Moreover, slave masters thought that the slaves could as well operate in an atmosphere of disrupted families. The argument here was that ideally, a slave was supposed to first love his master, who also acted as his protector, guide, and friend. Thus, his relationship with the master was paramount, and a slave was not supposed to have ties with his black kin. Just like their counterparts in the south, Appalachian masters unemotionally restructured that any family interruption could be revolutionized by having a slave either remarry or be impregnated.
In the face of such a dehumanizing system, there was no room for the slaves to fulfill their emotional needs, or enjoy family ties with their kinsmen. This is even though the slaveholders continued to adopt ferocious devotion to their white kingship ties. The Appalachian slave owners destroyed black families in large numbers. In a bid to increase profits out of their investments, the slave owners in the region had to routinely remove slaves by way of forced migrations.
In the process, the white slave owners made use of racial pigeonholes as a justification for their merciless actions. In addition, the mountain owners also terminated two out of every five marriages that had been formed by the slaves they owned. In total, 16 percent of a complete family union amongst the slaves had to be disrupted merely because the father of such a household now was owned by a different slave master.
100% original paper
on any topic
done in as little as
Purcell, in conclusion, has observed that the region of southern Appalachia assumed the role of a central region for an emerging interregional slave business and the growing southern markets.