The Baton Foundation Presents Professor Joshua D. Rothman - The Ledger and the Chain Virtual Event

The Baton Foundation Presents Professor Joshua D. Rothman - The Ledger and the Chain Virtual Event

Sunday, Sep 12, 2021 3:00 PM

The Baton Foundation on Zoom

The Baton Foundation, in partnership with the Auburn Avenue Research Library for African American Culture and History, welcomes award-winning historian Joshua D. Rothman for an online discussion of his book, “The Ledger and the Chain,” the harrowing forgotten story of America's internal slave trade--and its role in the making of America.

This event is free and open to the public. Register for the the discussion via the link below.

A Cappella Books will have copies of “The Ledger and the Chain” available after the event. Pre-order via the link below. At checkout, choose between in-store pick-up or shipping options. 

About the Book

The terrors inflicted upon Black women, children and men held in bondage in America are notorious. Much less well-known are the slave traders who trafficked and sold over half a million enslaved Blacks from the Upper South to the Lower South. Although these men and their cruelties have largely slipped into obscurity, they were essential to the expansion of Black enslavement in America in the decades before the Civil War. Indeed, their work helped fuel the growth and prosperity of the United States itself.

In "The Ledger and the Chain” (Basic Books, 2021), acclaimed historian Joshua D. Rothman recounts the shocking story of the domestic slave trade by tracing the lives and careers of three men who built the largest and most powerful slave-trading operation in American history. Far from being social outcasts or bit players, Isaac Franklin, John Armfield, and Rice Ballard were rich and widely respected businessmen, and their company sat at the very center of the capital flows that connected southern fields to merchant houses and banks across the country.

A sobering story of entrepreneurial ambition and remorseless violence toward the enslaved, ”The Ledger and the Chain” paints a haunting portrait of the unfathomable brutality and enormous power held by slave traders. This eye opening, deeply researched book brings to light legacies long held in the dark. 

About the Author

Joshua D. Rothman is Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at the University of Alabama. He is the author of two previous books about slavery, ”Notorious in the Neighborhood: Sex and Families across the Color Line in Virginia, 1787-1861,” and "Flush Times and Fever Dreams: A Story of Capitalism and Slavery in the Age of Jackson.”