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The Domestic Slave Trade
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Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division

South Carolina, Exporting State

Broadside announcing the sale of twenty-five people in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1852. South Carolina was a major exporter of slaves. About 65,000 people were transported out of the state in the 1850s. At least ninety-seven slave-trading firms operating in the 1850s have been documented. Thirty-two were located in Charleston and eleven in Sumter district. Ziba Oakes, a well-known trader who operated in Charleston, left more than 650 letters that were retrieved from a slave pen at the end of the Civil War. They give a detailed view of the workings of the domestic slave trade.

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