Eyre Crowe, Slave Market in Richmond, Va. , 1853 (Private Collection)

Slave Market in Richmond

Johnson, Walter. Soul By Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market . Cambridge : Harvard University Press, 1999.

Guy C. McElroy, Facing History: The Black Image in American Art, 1710-1940 (Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1990).

Takagi, Midori. "Rearing Wolves to Our Own Destruction": Slavery in Richmond , Virginia , 1782-1865 . Charlottesville : University Press of Virginia , 1999.

Crowe, Eyre. With Thackery in America . London , 1893.

West, Emily. Chains of Love: Slave Couples in Antebellum South Carolina . Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 2004.

Camp, Stephanie M. H. Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women and Everday Resistance in the Plantation South . Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina, 2004.

Rodriguez, Junius P. Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion. Greenwood, 2007.

1. The painting represents a slave auction in Richmond , Virginia in 1853. For abolitionists, the slave market represented one of the most horrific aspects of the institution. Discuss the slave market in antebellum America.

2. The painting was made by English artist Eyre Crowe who later published an account of his travels through America . After reading his accounts, discuss the painting in relationship to his description of this event and other slave auctions he witnessed. What message or themes was he trying to communicate in this painting?

3. The 1850s witnessed one of the largest geographic shifts in slave population. Discuss this shift and what role the slave market played in this. What impact did this have on the slave family?

4. Oftentimes slaves were sold for purely monetary reasons. Other times, slaves were sold because they were seen as particularly difficult, sullen, or trouble-making. Discuss the kinds of resistance that sometimes led to owners selling them away.