Slave Auctions Slaves were typically purchased at auction Families were often split up Upon arriving in America, slaves were placed in pens, washed up, then greased While on the auction block potential buyers could inspect the slaves and often poked and prodded them and looked inside their mouths This was a terrible ordeal for the slaves who often did not understand what was happening to them
The Cost of Slaves According to the author, Eugene D. Genovese, “A prime field hand might sell for about $1,800, and a first-class blacksmith for $2,500, a young attractive light-skinned mullatto woman could go for as much as $5000.” However, most slaves sold for anywhere between $100-$900 A $1500 slave bought in 1850, would cost around $30,000 in today’s money
The Underground Railroad from DiscoveryEducation
FOLLOW THE DRINKING GOURD – Slave song on YouTube
Since slaves were not allowed to read or write many communicated with song.
Many songs contained coded messages instructing slaves when, how, and where to escape.
Some codes referred to the “stations” or “depots of the Underground Railroad.
Some codes included warning signals such as “wade in the water” to inform slaves to travel along the riverbank so hound dogs couldn’t track them as easily.
Click on the following link to listen to the song. As you listen write down the clues or directions the song is giving about the route the slave must take to escape. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoeVUYHooSw