Original Author: American Anti-Slavery Society; William S. Dorr, printer
Medium: Letterpress with nine wood engravings
Slave Market of America
A broadside published by the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1836 denounces the slave market in Washington, D.C. The engravings on the top row, from left to right, portray a reading of the Declaration of Independence; a partial map of Washington, D.C., "the residence of 7000 slaves," with insets of a shackled slave and a runaway slave with a "$200 Reward" offered for his return; and a scene of slaves being led past the U.S. Capitol. The middle row of engravings show slave jails in Alexandria and Washington, D.C. The bottom row shows, from left to right, an overseer, whip in hand, marching enslaved men and women from the slave house of J. W. Neal & Co. in the nation's capital to markets farther south; a view of the Alexandria harbor "with a slave ship receiving her cargo of slaves"; and the slave prison in Alexandria owned by Franklin & Armfield, one of the most successful slave-trading firms in the region. One visitor to Franklin & Armfield's jail in 1834 noted there were roughly 100 slaves being confined there, among them "about 28 children under 10 years of age." The firm owned a fleet of sailing ships that it used regularly to ship slaves to New Orleans, sending "not less than 1000 slaves" in the year 1834 according to their own account.
The broadside notes that on February 8, 1836, the House of Representatives rejected a petition to abolish slavery in Washington, D.C., by a vote of 163 to 47.