Internal Slave Trade and Slave Coffles

Before you read the discussion of the internal slave trade, had you been aware of the existence of slave coffles? Were you aware that the slave society compelled over a million slaves to travel to the cotton South after the invention of the cotton gin? Were you aware of the resulting substantial disruption of slaves lives and families, the separation from spouses and children, friends and communities, never to be seen again? Had you been aware that slave traders drove coffles consisting of hundreds of chained slaves (including children, elderly and ill slaves) from Washington, DC, and Alexandria, Virginia, to the slave auction on New Orleans? Had you been aware that the slave traders literally often drove those large numbers of slaves on foot for 1,000 miles in all types of weather, regardless of shoes and clothing? Can you imagine the slaves being forced to cross rivers and streams and to walk on rocky dirt paths through forests and over mountains, and to march in public before thousands of whites and African-Americans openly through many towns, counties, and states?

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