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Chicago Historical Society [ICHi-30547]

Bilingual Poster in St. Louis

Missouri, which was part of the Louisiana Purchase, had an important French-speaking population. This poster for a sale of twenty-four enslaved men, women, and children was printed in both English and French to reach a wider public. It describes their ages and skills, and other traits of interest to the buyer. Their "racial" characteristics are mentioned: Negro, mulatto, or griff (a person of mixed African-American Indian ancestry.) One defect is mentioned: Barnett has a hernia. In the English version, all men-even those in their fifties and sixties-are called boys.

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