Joseph Mosley

Joseph Mosley lived in enslavement from 1853 until Emancipation.  In this excerpt, he describes his enslaver, who was a slave trader who made those he enslaved march from Virginia to Kentucky, or Mississippi to Virginia, chained together.
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Formerly enslaved person
Birth Year (Age)Interviewer
WPA Volunteer
Enslaver’s Name
Joseph Mosley1853Anna PritchettTim Mosley
Interview LocationResidence StateBirth Location
Indianapolis, INIndianaHopkinsville, KY
Themes & KeywordsAdditional Tags:
Violence, economicsFirst person, Slave trader


Joseph Mosley, one of twelve children, was born March 15, 1853, fourteen miles from Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

His master, Tim Mosley, was a slave trader. He was supposed to have bought and sold 10,000 slaves. He would go from one state to another buying slaves, bringing in as many as 75 or 80 slaves at one time.

The slaves would be handcuffed to a chain, each chain would link 16 slaves. The slaves would walk from Virginia to Kentucky and some from Mississippi to Virginia.

In front of the chained slaves would be an overseer on horseback with a gun and dogs. In the back of the chained slaves would be another overseer on horseback with a gun and dogs. They would see that no slave escaped.


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