View of a Section of Alexandria
Original Author: American Anti-Slavery Society; William S. Dorr, printer
Created: 1836
Medium: Letterpress with wood engraving

View of a Section of Alexandria

This 1836 wood engraving, a detail from a broadside published by the American Anti-Slavery Society, depicts slaves being transported onto a ship sitting in the Alexandria harbor. The text beneath the image includes an advertisement for the Alexandria slave-trading firm of Franklin and Armfield. The ad boasts that the company's brigs—including the Tribune, the Isaac Franklin, and the Uncas—made twice-a-month trips up the Mississippi and that all the vessels were "first class, commanded by experienced and accommodating officers." The cost for shipping an enslaved person was twenty-five cents per day.

An editor of the New-York Evangelist, a weekly Presbyterian newspaper, had a firsthand look at the Tribune and delivered a blunter assessment of the accommodations: "The hold is appropriated to the Slaves and is divided into two apartments. The after hold will carry about 80 women, and the other about 100 men." The enslaved people were forced to lie on a platform as close together as possible in a cramped space that was only about five-and-a-half to six-feet high.