Advertisement for sale of sugar plantation and slaves, Bellechasse, Louisiana, 1852. [NLS shelfmark: H.S.632 (2)]
Owning a plantation in Louisiana before the American Civil War was key to success in the state's politics.
Attorney Judah P Benjamin invested in the extensive Bellechasse Plantation, and styled himself as a 'Sugar Master'.
On selling Bellechasse in 1852, he took office as Senator. He joined President Jefferson Davis' Confederate cabinet and championed Southern positions on states' rights, slavery and secession.
The St Louis Hotel Rotunda, where Benjamin sold his slaves, is said to have inspired scenes in 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'.
Skilled slaves, such as some of those listed on this advertisement, were particularly sought after by planters.
These items featured in our American Civil War display, 'Yankee cries and Rebel yells', at the Library from 21 January to 29 March 2015.