of sugar plantation and
slaves, Bellechasse, Louisiana, 1852.
[Library reference: H.S.632(2).]
Owning slaves and land in antebellum Louisiana was necessary for success in the state's politics.
Attorney Judah P Benjamin invested in the Bellechasse Plantation, equipping it with the latest 'Rillieux apparatus' to generate profit and quality sugar.
In 1852, Benjamin sold his plantation and took office as Senator. When the Confederacy formed, Benjamin joined President Jefferson Davis' cabinet. Known as 'the statesman of the Lost Cause', Benjamin championed extreme Southern positions on states' rights, slavery and secession.
The St Louis Hotel Rotunda, where Benjamin sold his plantation and slaves was said to be the inspiration for scenes in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel 'Uncle Tom's cabin'.
Skilled slaves such as those listed on the advertisement would have been particularly sought after by Deep South plantation owners.
Slaves listed on the advertisement include:
- 'Charles Patterson, Carpenter, 35 yrs.'
- 'Tom Fulcher, Engineer and Blacksmith, 45 yrs.'
- 'Mitchell, second Engineer, 30 years.'
- 'Valentine, Vacuum pan sugar boiler, 21 years.'
- 'Squier, 70 years.'
- 'Little Sophy, 17 years.'
This slave sale advertisement also featured in our American Civil War display, 'Yankee cries and Rebel yells'. Read more about slave and plantation sales, and the St Louis Hotel Rotunda