Slaves Awaiting Sale, New Orleans, 1861


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Image Reference
NW0028

Source
The Illustrated London News (Jan-June, 1861), vol. 38, p. 307. (Copy in Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library)

Comments
Caption, "Slaves for Sale: A Scene in New Orleans." Shows formally dressed men, with top hats, and women, presumably house servants, waiting to be sold; sign over doorway reads "T. Hart Slaves." According to the article in the ILN, "The accompanying engraving represents a gang of Negroes exhibited in the city of New Orleans, previous to an auction, from a sketch made on the spot by our artist. The men and women are well clothed, in their Sunday best-- the men in blue cloth . . . with beaver hats; and the women in calico dresses, of more or less brilliancy, with silk bandana handkerchiefs bound round their heads . . . . they stand through a good part of the day, subject to the inspection of the purchasing or non-purchasing passing crowd . . . . An orderly silence is preserved as a general rule at these sales, although conversation does not seem to be altogether prohibited "(The Illustrated London News [p. 307]). The same image appears a few years later in Harper's Weekly (Jan. 24, 1863,p. 61), with the caption "A Slave Pen at New Orleans Before the Auction"; there is no accompanying explanation for this image which appears to have been taken from the Illustrated London News.