Vente d'une esclave
"Sale of a Slave" (caption translation). Benoit described this particular scene because a European friend of his owned this slave. His friend lived with a young and very beautiful creole slave woman by whom he had two children and who he intended to marry. The friend had promised to free/manumit her, but he died on the very day that he was going to town to process the papers. Thus, the woman and her children were still enslaved and were sold by the will's executors. Benoit wrote how this sale was a truly sad and heartbreaking spectacle to witness. He explained how this woman brought tears to the eyes of all who knew her and who had considered her as a legitimate wife and free woman (p. 55). Pierre Jacques Benoit (1782-1854) was a Belgian artist, who visited the Dutch colony of Suriname on his own initiative for several months in 1831. He stayed in Paramaribo, but visited plantations, maroon communities and indigenous villages inland.
Pierre Jacques Benoit, Voyage a Surinam. . . cent dessins pris sur nature par l'auteur (Bruxelles, 1839), plate xliii, fig. 89. Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.
Benoit, Pierre Jacques
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"Vente d'une esclave", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed April 10, 2020, http://www.slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/1916