Frederick Douglass: Buyers & Sellers of Men

Posted by admin on Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Frederick Douglass Money Quote saying in his July 5th, 1852 speech to the Rochester Ladies Antislavery Society that evil men sold slaves like animals in the Northern U.S where slavery was outlawed. Frederick Douglass said:
caprice and rapacity of the buyers and sellers of men. My soul sickens at the sight Quote

“I hear the doleful wail of fettered humanity on the way to the slave-markets, where the victims are to be sold like horses, sheep, and swine, knocked off to the highest bidder. There I see the tenderest ties ruthlessly broken, to gratify the lust, caprice and rapacity of the buyers and sellers of men. My soul sickens at the sight” — Frederick Douglass


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In this quote, Frederick Douglass is vividly describing the horrors of the slave trade from his perspective. He speaks of hearing the “doleful wail” or cries of anguish from enslaved people being forcefully taken away in chains and transported to “slave-markets”. There, human beings would be treated as commodities and “sold like horses, sheep, and swine” to whoever offered the highest price through an auction.

Douglass emphasizes how deeply traumatic this was, as the “tenderest ties” or closest familial bonds were “ruthlessly broken” without regard for the people involved. All of this was done to satisfy the “lust, caprice and rapacity” or greedy, cruel and exploitative desires of those buying and profiting off the slave trade.

Douglass expresses his deep personal revulsion and sickness at witnessing the inhumane system of people being reduced to property and sold without mercy for the benefit of slave traders.

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