412 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR
CHAPTER XXX. .
THE SLAVE WAREHOUSE.
A slave warehouse ! Perhaps some of my readers conjure uj) horrible visions of such a place. They fancy some foul, obscure den, some horrible Tartarus " informis, ingens, cui lumen aderrvptum." But no, innocent friend ; in these days men have learned the art of sinning expertly and genteelly, so as not to shock the eyes and senses of respectable society. Human property is high in the market ; and is, therefore, well fed, well cleaned, tended, and looked after, that it may come to sale sleek, and strong, and shining. A slave warehouse in New Orleans is a house externally not much unlike many others, kept with neatness ; and where every day you may see arranged, under a sort of shed along the outside, rows of men and women, who stand there as a sign of the property sold within.
Then you shall be courteously entreated to call and examine, and shall find an abundance of husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, and young children, to be " sold separately, or in lots, to suit the convenience of the purchaser ; " and that soul immortal, once bought with blood and anguish by the Son of God, when the earth shook, and the rocks were rent, and the graves were opened, can be sold, leased, mortgaged, exchanged for groceries or dry goods, to suit the phases of trade, or the fancy of the purchaser.
It was a day or two after the conversation between Marie and Miss Ophelia, that Tom, Adolph, and about half a dozen others of the St. Clare estate, were turned over to the loving-kindness of Mr. Skeggs, the keeper of a depot on ------Street, to await the auction next day.