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.
Wreckage of the Last U.S. Slave Ship Is Finally Identified in Alabama
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. It shows not a white child but a black girl — Mary Mildred Williams — who was born into slavery. It was an image so compelling to white Americans at the time that it helped transform the abolition movement.
The institution of slavery in North America existed from the earliest years of the colonial history of the United States until when the Thirteenth Amendment permanently abolished slavery throughout the entire United States. It was also abolished among the sovereign Indian tribes in Indian Territory by new peace treaties which the US required after the war. For most of the seventeenth and part of the eighteenth centuries, male slaves outnumbered female slaves, making the two groups' experiences in the colonies distinct. Living and working in a wide range of circumstances and regions, African-American women and men encountered diverse experiences of enslavement. With increasing numbers of kidnapped African women, as well as those born into slavery in the colonies, slave sex ratios leveled out between and From to an estimated number of 43, slaves were imported into Virginia, and almost all but 4, were imported directly from Africa. African values were prevalent and West African women's cultures had strong representations. Some prevalent cultural representations were the deep and powerful bonds between mother and child, and among women within the larger female community. All came from worlds where women's communities were strong,  and were introduced into a patriarchal and violently racist and exploitative society; white men typically characterized all black women as passionately sexual, to justify their sexual abuse and miscegenation. Virginia girls, much less black girls, were not educated, and most were illiterate.
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. Owning a large number of enslaved people made a woman a better marriage prospect.