Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ads that I like am glad are long gone: #90


Can you imagine buying someone?

Not buying their labour - we do that all the time - but buying the person?


I can't.

But for all of the problems I have with conceiving purchasing another human being, can you imagine selling someone?

6 comments:

Magpie said...

Oh, my goodness...I can't imagine what life must have been like during these times. Did you see the ages?? This is so sad.

Roddy said...

In 1859 possibly, today, doubtful. Dependent on your background and standing. To have a coloured manservant was the epitome of success.
If only our pets could tell us what they are thinking.

Lorenzo at the Alchemist's Pillow said...

The ads in this post remind me of a visit I made in the mid-1970s to the old Slave Mart Museum in Charleston South Carolina. I am not sure that was still the name when I was there. There were specimens of documents like the ones you show in the post, but many were accompanied by spurious apologistic "explanations" by the museum.

For example, to a bill of sale which featured a 21 year woman accompanied by the word "breeder", the museum directors added that this did not necessarily mean she would be used for breeding purposes. No alternative "explanation" was offered.

But the most ludicrous bit of all was a statement by the museum that went something like (and I paraphrase from memory here): "Africans were not the only people to endure great hardship on their way to America. The Irish, for example, suffered enormously and even had to pay their own ship fare".

I kid you not. This was really there. I assume it has long since disappeared. But can you imagine the workings of a mind that so many years later tries to assuage our horror over the barbarity and cruelty of slavery by reminding us that the slaves, at least, got a free ride?

Kris said...

Magpie, and not that long ago, really.

Kris said...

Roddy, there is a difference between servant and slave.

Kris said...

Lorenzo, I believe it. I guess the logic that 'we did them a favour' makes one feel better about the whole thing.