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[70] relays of horses, prearranged in the absence of telegraphs, conveyed from the deeply interested negro-traders, who were watching the doings of Congress at the national metropolis, to their confederates and agents in the slave-selling districts of the neighboring States, the joyful tidings which insured an advance of twelve to fifteen per cent. in the market value of human flesh, and enabled the exclusive possessors of the intelligence to make it the basis of extensive and lucrative speculations.

Slave-breeding for gain, deliberately purposed and systematically pursued, appears to be among the latest devices and illustrations of human depravity. Neither Cowper, nor Wesley, nor Jonathan Edwards, nor Granville Sharp, nor Clarkson, nor any of the philanthropists or divines who, in the last century, bore fearless and emphatic testimony to the flagrant iniquity of slave-making, slave-holding, and slave-selling, seem to have had any clear conception of it. For the infant slave of past ages was rather an incumbrance and a burden than a valued addition to his master's stock. To raise him, however roughly, must cost all lie would ultimately be worth. That it was cheaper to buy slaves than to rear them, was quite generally regarded as self-evident. But the suppression of the African Slave-Trade, coinciding with the rapid settlement of the Louisiana purchase and the triumph of the Cotton-Gin, wrought here an entire transformation. When field-hands brought from ten to fifteen hundred dollars, and young negroes were held at about ten dollars per pound, the newly born infant, if well-formed, healthy, and likely to live, was deemed an addition to his master's wealth of not less than one hundred dollars, even in Virginia or Maryland. It had now become the interest of the master to increase the number of births in his slave-cabins; and few evinced scruples as to the means whereby this result was attained. The chastity of female slaves was never esteemed of much account, even where they were white; and, now that it had become an impediment to the increase of their masters' wealth, it was wholly disregarded. No slave-girl, however young, was valued lower for having become a mother, without waiting to be first made a wife; nor were many masters likely to rebuke this as a fault, or brand it as a shame. Women were publicly advertised by sellers as extraordinary breeders, and commanded a higher price on that account.1 Wives, sold into separation from their husbands, were imperatively required to accept new partners, in order that the fruitfulness of the

1 Mr. Edward Yates, a zealous and active friend of the Union cause, in “A letter to the Women of England, on Slavery in the Southern States of America,” founded on personal observation in 1855, gives revolting instances of the brutal handling of delicate and beautiful women, apparently white, by slave-dealers and their customers, in Southern sale-rooms. He adds:

At Richmond and New Orleans, I was present at slave-auctions, and did not see one instance of a married pair being sold together, but, without exception, so far as I was able to learn from the negroes sold by the auctioneers, every grown — up man left a wife and every grown — up woman a husband. * * * I saw Mr. Pulliam (of Richmond) sell, to different buyers, two daughters away from their mother, who was also to be sold. This unfortunate woman was a quadroon; and I shall not soon forget the large tears that started to her eyes as she saw her two children sold away from her.

Testimony like this is abundant.

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