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Slaves at Auction
Slaves at Auction

This broadside advertises a slave auction, at which slave traders would buy and sell African-Americans. In 1808 the United States banned the foreign slave trade, an action which blocked traders from bringing more Africans to America for servitude. This measure forced slaveholders in the rapidly expanding South to rely upon the slave populations of Maryland and, in particular Virginia, for the new bondsmen required in the new areas. Thus many African-Americans were removed from their families and slave communities in the Upper South and sent to work in the cotton belt of Alabama and Mississippi.

Image source: Chicago Historical Society
©Copyright 2002 Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project