But fewer probably know that it was his wife, Martha , who dramatically increased the enslaved population there. When they wed in , George may have owned around 18 people. Martha, one of the richest women in Virginia, owned The high number of people Martha Washington owned is unusual, but the fact that she owned them is not. Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers , a history professor at the University of California-Berkeley, is compiling data on just how many white women owned slaves in the U. White women were active and violent participants in the slave market. They bought, sold, managed and sought the return of enslaved people, in whom they had a vested economic interest.
A family tree built on slavery
The daguerreotype shows a 7-year old girl. Her face is pale, her expression somber. Her elegant plaid dress, trimmed in lace, and the notebook on the cloth-covered table behind her, suggest that she comes from a prosperous family. Though modest, the photograph taken in Boston in , is actually historic.
On February 19, , Charles Sumner, the Massachusetts senator, wrote his supporters about an enslaved 7-year-old girl whose freedom he had helped to secure. She would be joining him onstage at an abolitionist lecture that spring. She is neatly outfitted in a plaid dress, with a solemn expression on her face, and looks for all the world like a white girl from a well-to-do family. Newspapers from Maine to Washington, D. The name referred to the title character of Ida May: A Story of Things Actual and Possible , a thrilling novel, published just three months earlier, about a white girl who was kidnapped on her fifth birthday, beaten unconscious and sold across state lines into slavery.
The history of sexual slavery in the United States is the history of slavery for the purpose of sexual exploitation as it exists in the United States. African-American slaves were systematically raped or forced to breed with other slaves. Early American colonists were largely male, and some men resorted to force to procure wives. Native American women were often captured to be traded, sold, or taken as wives. Currently, under federal law , a prostitute is considered a victim of human trafficking if he or she is either under 18 or is being controlled through force, fraud or coercion.