Slave Auctions and "Chains"

By Kit Mallett

Primary Source

To be sold at the office of William Tongue, Broker, at the house of the late Mr. Waldon near the Exchange. The following goods and merchandise, viz.: One negro wrench, has had small pox, is a useful domestic price € 80... one negro boy, 16 years old, price 90, one negro wrench, 30 years old, with or without her son 5 years old 60 or 80.


Laurie Halse Anderson chose this source because it references the upcoming event in the chapter in which Ruth was sold to another person, therefore tying back to ad. The New York gazette has also published ads such as, “Negroes for Sale” or “To be for no Fault, Likely Negro man”. This all relates to Chains because it is all about slave auctions and being sold to someone. It is also gives the reader some context information about slaves being sold. By giving readers context info, the author is also able to give the reader a reference to the upcoming events in the book like Ruth being sold.

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