Monday, September 14, 2009

Looney Vagrants in Cape Girardeau County

The following was published in a Macon, Georgia newspaper, January 16, 1884.

Auction of Vagrants

The negro is free in Missouri; but white slavery still exists in that commonwealth. A few days since there was posted on the courthouse at Jackson in Cape Girardeau county, this notice:

"Public Hire of Vagrants--Notice is hereby given that I, the constable of this county, will on January 12, hire out to the highest bidder, cash in hand, at the court house door in Jackson, the following vagrants for a term of six months: Tabitha Looney, aged forty-five; Barbara C. Looney aged eighteen, and Fanny Looney, aged twenty.
(Signed) "Henry D. Loomis, Constable."

The local paper says of the sale that followed: "The above notice drew quite a crowd to the court house steps in Jackson to-day. The vagrants were brought to the front one by one and their services auctioned off. The crowd and the manner of the auctioneers savored of the days of slavery, but the bidding was not as brisk as it used to be in those times. The oldest vagrant's services were not in much demand, and were taken for $12. Barbara brought $18, and Fanny $24."

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