Black women were the sexual prey of white men since the 1600s. During the domestic slave trade, a new category of enslaved women emerged, known as “fancy girls.” Young and usually light-skinned, these black women were purchased explicitly for sexual exploitation, at rates four to five times the price of women field laborers.
Source: Nancy Bercaw, Curator, Slavery and Freedom
Bill of sale of an enslaved girl named Clary[?] to Robert S. Jardine for the price of fifty pounds. The document is written on yellowed paper in brown colored ink. The document is severely creased and contains numerous holes at center along the creases. It is separated into two pieces. The two original pieces of paper are adhered to a newer piece of paper. The bill of sale begins with “Know all men by these Presents that we / the Subscribers have Bargained, sold, / Transferred and Delivered, and by these Presents / doath Bargain Sel, Transfer and deliver unto / Robert S. Jardine a negro girl named / Clary[?] for the Consideration of Fifty Pounds / Current Money of Virginia…” the document has the names of sellers and witnesses written at the bottom. Additional unrelated writing is written vertically in red ink on the upper left corner.
This letter was written in Richmond, Virginia, on December 19, 1840 by T. Heatherly to Doctor M. C. Taylor in Richmond, Kentucky. The letter details Heatherly's trip by ship and rail from Charleston, South Carolina, to Richmond, Virginia. He speaks about an acquaintance who lost money through a crooked card game. At the end of the letter he lists current price ranges for young adult enslaved men and young adult enslaved women and notes, "young women are fetching a better price than any other description." He continues, "I think of dealing in women and children tho it will be very hard to get them home," meaning taking them from Virginia to Kentucky. The paper is folded in half with the letter written on the right hand side and continuing onto both sides of the reverse. The address is written on the left hand front side with a postmark dated December 21 in Richmond, Virginia.
This pre-printed and handwritten form is a slave manifest for the ship Fashion with a home port of New York traveling from Port Pontchartrain in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Mobile, Alabama, dated January 27, 1844. The document is signed by the ship's owner, John P. Torrey and the ship's master, S. W. Fullerton. One enslaved girl named Sally, aged 14, is listed on the manifest. The reverse of the form has pre-printed and handwritten text granting permission for the ship's travel to Mobile.