Hosted by The Hard History Project

Tuesday, July 6, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. ET

Click here to join session on July 6th

This month Dr. Josh Rothman, Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at the University of Alabama, will be talking with us about his newest book “The Ledger and the Chain: How Domestic Slave Traders Shaped America.” Dr. Rothman is excited to share with us some of the key takeaways from his research. He’ll also spend some time answering our questions, so feel free to turn your camera on and engage in the conversation! 

Here is a little more about the book: “The terrors inflicted upon those held in bondage in America are notorious. Much less well-known are the slave traders who trafficked and sold over half a million enslaved people from the upper South to the lower South. Although these men and their cruelties have largely slipped into obscurity, they were essential to American slavery’s expansion in the decades before the Civil War. Indeed, their work helped fuel the growth and prosperity of the United States itself. In The Ledger and the Chain, acclaimed historian Joshua D. Rothman recounts the shocking story of the domestic slave trade by tracing the lives and careers of three men who built the largest and most powerful slave-trading operation in American history. Far from being social outcasts or bit players, Isaac Franklin, John Armfield, and Rice Ballard were rich and widely respected businessmen, and their company sat at the very center of the capital flows that connected southern fields to merchant houses and banks across the country. A sobering story of entrepreneurial ambition and remorseless violence toward the enslaved, The Ledger and the Chain paints a haunting portrait of the unfathomable brutality and enormous power held by slave traders. This eye opening, deeply researched book brings to light legacies long held in the dark.”

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