Throughout the eighteenth century, advertisements offering enslaved infants and children for free appeared in New England newspapers; historians have not previously discussed this apparently anomalous northern practice of giving away children. Scholars of slavery are increasingly accentuating the implications of human property embodying profit, but this article uses these advertisements to consider what it meant to embody financial loss, and how the ‘giving away’ of enslaved children complicates the current historical framing of American slavery as a capitalist enterprise. That not all enslaved people embodied a positive value only accentuates the calculations at the heart of American chattel slavery.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science