Slave Auction, Charleston, South Carolina, 1853


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This record was last updated on 17 Dec 2009

Image Reference
NW0277

Source
The Illustrated London News (Nov. 29, 1856), vol. 29, p. 555. (Copy in Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library)

Comments
Men, women, and children being sold are displayed on a raised platform. Illustration accompanies an article ("Sale of Slaves at Charleston, South Carolina") by an unidentified English traveler who observed the scene that is shown. The traveler was, in fact, the English artist Eyre Crowe who visited Charleston in March 1853. He compares slave auctions in South Carolina and Virginia. In the latter (see image NW0278), the auction is "hidden as much as possible in out-of-the-way places" while in Charleston, it takes place in a central part of the city; a detailed description of the Charleston auction is given (p. 556). A similar description is given in Eyre's account of his visit to the United States in 1852-53, With Thackeray in Americať (New York, 1893), pp. 150-152.