Slavery and the Making of AmericaPolitical caricature depicting black and white men and women interacting
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Original Documents Men, Women & Gender

January 4, 1861
Courtesy of "Valley of the Shadow:" Two Communities in the American Civil War,
Virginia Center for Digital History,
University of Virginia
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Photo of a classified ad from the REPUBLICAN VINDICATOR
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Document Description
This notice in an 1861 paper indicates slaveholders' preference for female slaves. By this date, the advantages of purchasing enslaved women were well recognized. A female slave was valuable both for her abilities to work and for her reproductive capacities.

A few negro women were hired publicly in this place on New Year's day, by Col. R. Turk. One of them brought $86.50 and another $84, large increase [sic] over last year's prices. Women servants are in great demand, while men are less sought after.

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