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The Second Middle Passage: America’s Domestic Slave Trade

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, February 7, 2023 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1M2241
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Slave pen of Price, Birch, & Co., Alexandria, Virginia ca. 1860–1865

In the years between the American Revolution and the Civil War, an American slave trade rose to compete with, and ultimately replace the transatlantic slave trade. Owners in the Upper South sold more than one million enslaved African Americans to planters  setting up cotton plantations in the Deep South. The massive and forced migration from places like Maryland to places like Mississippi was more than twice the size of the first Middle Passage.

Historian Richard Bell takes you inside this domestic slave trade, tracking its rise and its impact on the expansion of slavery into new territories and states. He examines the lives and careers of the professional slave traders who brokered these sales. Bell also discusses the unrelenting and often subversive resistance Black families mounted against enslavers’ attempts to divide their families and achieve absolute mastery over their destinies.

Bell is a professor of history at the University of Maryland.

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