A historical marker for the Broad Street site of domestic slave trade, foregrounding an image of the Exchange Building, located in Charleston, South Carolina.

Activists Have Long Called for Charleston to Confront Its Racial History. Tourists Now Expect It.

Tourist interest is contributing to a more honest telling of the city’s role in the US slave trade. But tensions are flaring as South Carolina lawmakers restrict race-based teachings.
Georgetown University building.

Confronting Georgetown’s History of Enslavement

In “The 272,” Rachel L. Swarns sets out how the country’s first Catholic university profited from the sale of enslaved people.
A page of the 1838 deal by the Jesuits to sell 272 enslaved people.

The Families Enslaved by the Jesuits, Then Sold to Save Georgetown

In 1838, leaders of the Catholic order faced opposition from their own priests, but pressed forward with the sale of 272 human beings anyway.
1836 lithograph of a slave trader marching enslaved people to be sold.

Partners in Brutality

New books investigate the brutality of the internal slave trade by focusing on businesses, and examine the role of white women in enslaving Black people.
Handcuffs with chain of $

The Men Who Turned Slavery Into Big Business

The domestic slave trade was no sideshow in our history, and slave traders were not bit players on the stage.
Original bars on a window are seen in the basement of the Freedom House Museum in Alexandria, Va.

The Deep Cruelty of U.S. Traders of Enslaved People Didn’t Bother Most Americans

Debunking the myths of the domestic slave trade.

A Slave Trader’s Office Decor and the Pornography of Capitalism

In the antebellum South, the slave trader’s office was a site of desire.

In 1870, Henrietta Wood Sued for Reparations—and Won

The $2,500 verdict, the largest ever of its kind, offers evidence of the generational impact such awards can have

Beyond the Middle Passage

Intra-American trafficking magnified slavery’s impact.
Enslaved people being marched from Virginia to Tennessee.

Retracing Slavery's Trail of Tears

America's forgotten migration – the journeys of a million African-Americans from the tobacco South to the cotton South
“The Caring Hand,” by Eva Oertli and Beat Huber, sculpture of a hand holding a tree.

Bryan Stevenson Reclaims the Monument, in the Heart of the Deep South

The civil-rights attorney has created a sculpture park, indicting the city of Montgomery—a former capital of the domestic slave trade.
Drawing of Josiah Henson

The Man Who Became Uncle Tom

Harriet Beecher Stowe said that Josiah Henson’s life had inspired her most famous character. But Henson longed to be recognized by his own name.
Sea Captains drinking alcohol

Ships Going Out

In "American Slavers," Sean M. Kelley surveys the relatively unknown history of Americans who traded in slaves in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Lauren Davila, standing in front of a historical marker for slave auctions, in Charleston, South Carolina.

How a Grad Student Uncovered the Largest Known Slave Auction in the U.S.

The find yields a new understanding of the enormous harm of such a transaction.
Newspaper clipping from an Abolitionist paper

The Hypocrisy of This Nation!

How abolitionists viewed the American flag.
Illustration of yellow fever victims in pain on park bench while another man flees

How Yellow Fever Intensified Racial Inequality in 19th-Century New Orleans

A new book explores how immunity to the disease created opportunities for white, but not Black, people.
Illustration of the shadow of Mary Lumpkin over the blueprint of Virginia Union University

The Enslaved Woman Who Liberated a Slave Jail and Transformed It Into an HBCU

Forced to bear her enslaver's children, Mary Lumpkin later forged her own path to freedom.
A large federal style brick house, the William Paca House in Annapolis, Md.

I Searched for Answers About My Enslaved Ancestor. I Found Questions About America

'Did slavery make home always somewhere else?'
Lithograph of the waterfront in Alexandria, Virginia 1836.

The Life and Death of an All-American Slave Ship

How 19th century slave traders used, and reused, the brig named Uncas.
Photo of Jefferson Davis

The Southern Slaveholders Dreamed of a Slaveholding Empire

Antebellum slaveholders weren't content with an economic and social system based on trafficking in human flesh in the South alone.