Slaves Waiting to be Sold, Richmond, Virginia, 1853

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This record was last updated on 26 Jan 2015

Image Reference

The Illustrated London News (Sept. 27, 1856), vol. 29, p. 315.

Caption, "Slaves waiting for sale, Virginia." An engraving taken from an eyewitness sketch by the English artist, Eyre Crowe who observed this scene on March 3, 1853. Crowe reports that the sketch "was took on the spot, for which we narrowly escaped . . . being . . . ignominiously expelled. A brood of young ones are seen sitting on a rude bench, nestling close to their mother, who clasps the youngest in her embrace . . . . The auctioneer hauls them up one after the other to his stand, and so are they daily consigned to an unknown fate" (p. 314). See also image NW0276. The engraving published in the ILN was cropped from a larger sketch done by Crowe. This sketch appears in his travel account of the United States which he visited from October 1852 to April 1853, With Thackeray in America (New York, 1893), p. 132. The book also includes additional details on the sale, after which, Crowe writes, aOoewe saw the usual exodus of negro slaves, marched under escort of their new owners across the town to the railway station, where they took places, and went South (p. 136). (Thanks to Maurie McInnis for her assistance with this and other images by Crowe.)