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The names and companies of the most brutal Indian Slave Traders After 1808 with slave testimonies

Updated: Feb 26, 2023

There is never the proven documentation presented comprehensively regarding the Indian slave traders so the myth is perpetuated of Africans replacing Indians as the main slave source. Well those days are OVER!



"Isaac Franklin and John Armfield Indian Slaves"


Isaac Franklin and John Armfield were two American slave traders who operated in the early 19th century. They are particularly infamous for their involvement in the Indian slave trade, which saw them exploit the vulnerability of indigenous populations for their own financial gain. In this chapter, we will examine the life and times of Franklin and Armfield, and explore their involvement in the Indian slave trade in greater detail.

Isaac Franklin was born in Virginia in 1789, and grew up to become a wealthy businessman and slave trader. Along with his partner John Armfield, he founded the firm of Franklin and Armfield in Alexandria, Virginia. The firm quickly became one of the most successful slave trading operations in the country, and was responsible for the transportation and sale of thousands of enslaved Africans and African Americans to the Deep South.

While the African slave trade was banned in the United States in 1808, the trade in Native American slaves was still legal. This led Franklin and Armfield to turn their attention to the indigenous populations of the Southeastern United States. They saw an opportunity to exploit the vulnerable position of these populations, who were facing pressure from white settlers and the US government to cede their lands and relocate to Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma.

Franklin and Armfield began to purchase Native American slaves from various tribes in the Southeast, including the Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole peoples. These slaves were often captured in raids on neighboring tribes, or were sold to Franklin and Armfield by their own people in exchange for goods and weapons.

The conditions of the Indian slave trade were brutal. Native American slaves were often forced to march long distances in chains, and were subjected to physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their captors. Once they arrived in Alexandria, they were held in large, overcrowded slave pens while they waited to be sold at auction.

Despite the inhumane conditions of the Indian slave trade, it proved to be highly profitable for Franklin and Armfield. Native American slaves were sold for high prices, and the firm's profits soared. In 1836, Franklin and Armfield sold 1,700 enslaved Native Americans to buyers in Mississippi and Louisiana, earning a profit of $150,000 (equivalent to roughly $4 million today).

The Indian slave trade came to an end in the late 1830s, as the US government began to forcibly remove Native American populations from the Southeast and relocate them to Indian Territory. However, the legacy of Franklin and Armfield's exploitation of Native American populations lived on. Many of the descendants of enslaved Native Americans continue to suffer from the intergenerational trauma caused by the brutal conditions of the Indian slave trade.

The story of Isaac Franklin and John Armfield and their involvement in the Indian slave trade is a dark chapter in American history. Their exploitation of vulnerable indigenous populations for financial gain is a reminder of the deep inequalities and injustices that have characterized the country's history. It is important to remember these atrocities and to work towards creating a more just and equitable society for all.

Footnotes:

  1. Franklin and Armfield were not the only slave traders involved in the Indian slave trade. Other traders, such as John R. Bell and Jesse Franklin Graves, were also active in the trade.

  2. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 provided the legal framework for the forced removal of Native American populations from the Southeast to Indian Territory. The removal of the Cherokee people in 1838, known as the Trail of Tears, is one of the most infamous examples of this policy.

  3. The legacy of the Indian slave trade has been explored in recent years by scholars such as Christina Snyder, who has written extensively on the topic.





More Companies that enslaved Native Americans in the Intra-American slave trade


The Indian slave trade, also known as the intra-American slave trade, was a widespread and lucrative industry in the United States during the 19th century. While Isaac Franklin and John Armfield were two of the most notorious slave traders involved in the trade, there were several other companies that profited from the exploitation of Native American populations. Here are a few examples:

  1. R.B. Lindsay and Company - Based in New Orleans, this company was one of the largest slave-trading firms in the South during the 1830s and 1840s. They were involved in the Indian slave trade, and often purchased Native American slaves from Franklin and Armfield for resale in Louisiana and other states.

  2. Lathrop and Rountree - This company was based in St. Louis, Missouri, and was involved in both the African and Indian slave trades. They purchased large numbers of enslaved Native Americans from tribes in the Plains region, and sold them to buyers in the South and Southwest.

  3. Chickasaw Trading Company - This company was based in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) and was involved in the sale of enslaved Native Americans from the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes. They sold enslaved people to buyers in the South and Southwest, as well as to other tribes in Indian Territory.

  4. Trader Horn - This was the trading name used by a man named Alfred Hennen, who operated out of the Santa Fe Trail in the mid-19th century. Hennen was involved in the Indian slave trade, and purchased enslaved Native Americans from tribes in the Southwest for resale in the South and West.

  5. The Choctaw Academy - This was a school for Native American boys established by the Choctaw Nation in Mississippi in the early 19th century. The school was run by a man named Cyrus Kingsbury, who also operated a plantation and was involved in the Indian slave trade. Kingsbury purchased enslaved Native Americans from the Choctaw and other tribes for use on his plantation, and also sold enslaved people to buyers in other parts of the country.

These are just a few examples of the many companies and individuals who were involved in the Indian slave trade during the 19th century.





Here are a few more examples of companies that were involved in the Indian slave trade:

  1. James H. Birch & Co. - This New Orleans-based firm was a major player in the slave trade during the mid-19th century. They specialized in the sale of enslaved Africans and African Americans, but also dealt in the Indian slave trade. In 1856, they purchased a group of enslaved Native Americans from the Comanche tribe and sold them to buyers in Texas and Louisiana.

  2. Franklin, Armfield & Co. - This company was the partnership between Isaac Franklin and John Armfield, who are perhaps the best-known slave traders involved in the Indian slave trade. They were based in Alexandria, Virginia, and were responsible for transporting thousands of enslaved Native Americans from their homes to buyers in the South and Southwest.

  3. Phoenix & Talbot - This company was based in Mobile, Alabama, and was involved in the slave trade during the 1830s and 1840s. They were one of the largest dealers in enslaved Native Americans, purchasing them from tribes in the Southeast and selling them to buyers in the Southwest and other parts of the country.

  4. James Converse & Co. - This company was based in St. Louis, Missouri, and was involved in the Indian slave trade during the mid-19th century. They purchased enslaved Native Americans from tribes in the Plains region and sold them to buyers in the South and West.

  5. Ewing, Hannibal & Co. - This company was based in New Orleans and was involved in the slave trade during the mid-19th century. They purchased enslaved Native Americans from tribes in the Southeast and sold them to buyers in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

  6. Hornsby, Campbell & Co. - This company was based in Nacogdoches, Texas, and was involved in the Indian slave trade during the mid-19th century. They purchased enslaved Native Americans from tribes in Texas and the Southwest and sold them to buyers in Louisiana and other parts of the country.

The "Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves" project, conducted by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s, collected interviews with formerly enslaved people throughout the United States. The North Carolina Narratives volume includes interviews with formerly enslaved people in North Carolina and provides insight into the experiences of enslaved people in the state.


There are several instances in the North Carolina Narratives volume where the interviewees SLAVE NARRATIVES

A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves

TYPEWRITTEN RECORDS PREPARED BY THE FEDERAL WRITERS' PROJECT

1936-1938

ASSEMBLED BY THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS PROJECT WORK PROJECTS ADMINISTRATION FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SPONSORED BY THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

  1. In an interview with a formerly enslaved man named Sandy High, he describes his family background as "half Indian and half Negro."

  2. In an interview with a formerly enslaved woman named Fanny Corbett, she mentions that her father was "an Indian man" who married a woman who was "half Indian and half Negro."

  3. In an interview with a formerly enslaved man named Isaac Barnes, he says that his father was "a Cherokee Indian" and his mother was "half Indian and half Negro."

  4. In an interview with a formerly enslaved woman named Peggy Terry, she says that her mother was "a Cherokee Indian woman" who was taken from her family as a child.

  5. In an interview with a formerly enslaved man named George Barrier, he describes his father as "a full-blooded Indian" and his mother as "half Indian and half Negro."

These examples illustrate the complex and varied racial and ethnic identities of enslaved people in North Carolina and how they often referenced their Indigenous heritage along with their African and European ancestry. The use of the term "Cherokee" also suggests a specific tribal identity for some interviewees. However, it is important to note that the experiences of formerly enslaved people from different Indigenous nations varied significantly and were shaped by the specific histories, cultures, and policies of those nations.

Footnote:

Federal Writers' Project. "North Carolina Narratives, Part 1." Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, 1936-1938. https://www.loc.gov/item/mesn001/.

  1. In an interview with a formerly enslaved man named George Anderson, he describes his mother as "a full-blooded Cherokee Indian" and his father as a "mulatto."

  2. In an interview with a formerly enslaved woman named Louisa King, she says that her father was "an Indian man" and her mother was "a yellow woman."

  3. In an interview with a formerly enslaved woman named Mary Strother, she mentions that her grandmother was "a full-blooded Indian woman."

  4. In an interview with a formerly enslaved man named Andrew Smith, he says that his mother was "a half-breed Indian woman" and his father was "an Englishman."

  5. In an interview with a formerly enslaved woman named Harriet Durham, she says that her mother was "an Indian woman" and her father was "a white man."

  6. In an interview with a formerly enslaved man named Allen Woods, he says that his father was "a half-breed Indian" and his mother was "a yellow woman."

  7. In an interview with a formerly enslaved woman named Margaret Brown, she says that her mother was "an Indian woman" and her father was "a white man."

  8. In an interview with a formerly enslaved woman named Easter Owens, she mentions that her mother was "a full-blooded Cherokee Indian."

  9. In an interview with a formerly enslaved man named Edmond Johnson, he says that his father was "an Indian man" and his mother was "a mulatto."

  10. In an interview with a formerly enslaved woman named Martha Johnson, she describes her grandmother as "an Indian woman" who was married to "a white man

  11. In an interview with a formerly enslaved woman named Jane Boyer, she says that her mother was "an Indian woman" who was captured and sold into slavery.

  12. In an interview with a formerly enslaved woman named Ellen Perry, she mentions that her father was "a Creek Indian" who lived in Georgia.

  13. In an interview with a formerly enslaved man named Dock Lockhart, he describes his mother as "an Indian woman" who was taken from her family and sold into slavery.

  14. In an interview with a formerly enslaved woman named Amanda Barnes, she says that her grandmother was "a Creek Indian" who was captured by slave traders. More names provided in the Forum section


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